“Naming new cereal flavors is a job,” and, the Association of National Advertisers hopes, a cool one to Gen Z.
Marketing has an image problem, at least according to the trade body—which is why it has released a campaign in hopes of convincing college grads that fruitful, exciting careers do indeed exist for those who choose to go down the marketing road.
According to ANA research recently conducted in partnership with McCann, most students view marketing as “simply ads and selling, and “fail to see that a career in marketing is a diverse, multi-disciplined career that calls for a variety of skill sets ranging from creative to analytical.”
The campaign aims to give the next generation entering the workforce a better perception of the industry by giving examples of various tasks that could potentially fall under a marketer’s purview. It, of course, highlights some of the more fun aspects that a role in the marketing or advertising could entail—like “analyzing trends in nail polish.”
“The discipline of marketing has changed radically, and the campaign we have developed celebrates this shift and challenges perceptions,” said Chris Macdonald, global president of advertising and allied agencies at McCann, in a statement. “It is critically important to communicate to students, professors and parents what incredible career opportunities exist throughout the industry.”
The video is launching this month on WayUp, a platform that connects college students and recent grads with internship and job opportunities. A dedicated landing page features job openings from the likes of Sephora, IBM, Mastercard, Verizon, McCann, the Ad Council, Publicis Media, R/GA and Nasdaq.
Additionally, companies including American Express, P&G, Verizon and Sephora will promote the recruiting effort on their Instagram channels—some of them are even putting paid media behind it.
The effort comes at time when jobs in the industry are projected to increase: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of managers in advertising, promotions and marketing is expected to grow 8% between 2018 and 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.
It also comes two years after the ANA released a report detailing a “talent crisis” in the industry. The study found that “students are unclear what defines a career in marketing or advertising and are unsure it constitutes meaningful work,” while ad agencies and marketers are frustrated by “trying to understand the student mindset and find many recent graduates unprepared to enter the workplace.”
Earlier this month, an ANA study found that its client-side membership is “significantly female and white.” According to the report, 68% of its client-side members are female, while 75% are white.