By Marsha Adibah and Muhammad Faiz
PETALING JAYA, 20 November 2017: Two trips to advertising agencies turned out to be an eye-opener to the advertising world for IIUM students.
As one of the assignments for the semester, two sections of advertising classes paid a visit to two advertising agencies, Havas Worldwide Kuala Lumpur and M & C Saatchi, last Friday (17 November).
The trip was aimed to expose advertising students to the practice side of advertising, according to Dr. Aida Mokhtar, the lecturer for Advertising: Principles and Practices.
She told IIUMToday, “Students learned about the theoretical perspectives in terms of the principles and ideals in class and this is complemented by the field trip so they would be exposed to the advertising practice.”
During the visit to M & C Saatchi, its General Manager, Shireen Peterson, gave the students a briefing on how it is like to be working in an advertising agency, particularly for those who have intention to join the field.
She said, “You need to have the intellectual capitalism, be extravagantly creative, ability to do analysis well, imaginative, be skilful in script writing and also have a sense of leadership.”
Apart from having a good understanding of the course conducted at the university, students must first develop their interest in advertising before making decision to land themselves in the field.
Shireen spoke of the challenges students would face in the field. “Advertising job often comes with daunting tasks. It will not be an easy job and many of you might fear of making the wrong decision,” she highlighted.
She advised the students that “the essentials on anything that we do is to know what we want”.
Shireen also spoke on the importance of leveraging on contacts and friends. “We should broaden our contact list to make our profession be at its best with better supervision.”
As to whether the students are really getting to where they are heading, Shireen gave the following hints. “At this level, you should enjoy what you choose to excel. You should be able to evaluate yourself and see the importance of external validation from friends who might transform you to be better.”
Shireen also mentioned that her company could consider IIUM students who are interested to undergo internship with M & C Saatchi.
The second advertising class visited Havas Worldwide Kuala Lumpur where they were enlightened by the advertising industry. They also had the opportunity to walk through the process behind the making of an advertisement.
“The world of advertising might change but the fundamentals of advertising stay the same through it all,” Rubin Singh, the agency’s Senior Account Manager, told the students.
“As an advertising agency, we need to advise clients against any idea that somehow portrays the wrong message to society,” he added.
“It is the social responsibility as an advertising agency to produce a good advertisement with the right message.”
Besides that, the students also learned that in running an advertising campaign, one needs to have the right data and information and to make sure they are accurate.
Asked about the challenges faced by the industry, Rubin Singh said, ‘The industry will keep on changing but we do change with them, therefore it makes it easier.”
He said that Havas Worldwide Kuala Lumpur hopes that in coming years there would be more newcomers in the industry as they are “yearning for new talents”.
Meanwhile, Dr. Aida expressed that the course ‘Advertising: Principles and Practice’ would in future focus on the overview of advertising, advertising research, Islamic advertising and Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC).
She said, “I believe they are important components. Perhaps in future, research and IMC would be integrated more.” ***