Roles Played by Various Professionals in Preparation of Advertising Campaign

Roles played by various professionals in preparation of an effective and successful advertising campaign are briefly explained as follows.

Structure of Advertising Agency
Structure of an Advertising Agency

1. Role of Account Director in preparation of advertising campaign

An account director will be responsible for a group of accounts (clients). He may be a partner or a director of the advertising agency. Working under him will be account executives who handle one or more accounts. The account director will be reporting to the board of directors.

Account Director is concerned with profitability. He will lead negotiations for establishing new clients and will also direct policy matters, regarding accepting new clients.

2. Role of Account executive in preparation of advertising campaign

An account executive liaises between the agency and the client. The account executive should fully understand the client’s needs, his business and industry, and interpret these needs to the agency. Conversely, the account executive has to present to the client, the agency’s proposals, ideas and the work involved.

An account executive should have a broad knowledge of advertising and be able to work with everyone in the agency, directing their efforts in the interest of the client. He or she may be a young graduate who has been employed as a trainee. The recognized professional qualification is the Certificate in Advertising Management Diploma.

Contact Report

After every client’s meeting, an account executive quickly submits to the client a copy of the minute containing details such as when and where the meeting was held, who were present, etc. It will also state to whom all in the client’s office and in the advertising agency the report will be circulated.

The report will give a brief statement of items reported and decisions taken. It should be distributed immediately after the meeting so that an opportunity is given to all to make necessary revision, etc. The reports are filed in a facts book which becomes a concise record for constant reference and also the basis of the advertising agency’s annual report to the client.

3. Role of Marketing Manager in preparation of advertising campaign

The modern agency is marketing conscious, and the agency’s marketing manager fulfills several functions. Marketing advice is offered to clients who do not have marketing managers, or it may even complement a company’s marketing manager, if the agency is marketing-orientated.

For example, advice will be given, on aspects of the marketing mix such as product development, naming and branding, packaging, market segment, test-marketing and distribution.

4. Role of Media Planner in preparation of advertising campaign

When it comes to Advertising, Media planning calls for an intimate knowledge of the range and importance of available media. Media are extensive in their number and reach. In India, there are a number of national and regional newspapers in various languages and now numerous television channels and radio broadcasting stations have also sprung up.

Media Statistics

To enable to select the right medium, a media planner is assisted by statistics obtained from independent sources, and from the media themselves as part of their sales campaign.

  • Figures on circulation of newspapers and magazine are provided by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).
  • Figures on readership, and profiles of readers, are provided by National Readership Survey (NRS).
  • The figures on the number of people who watch television are supplied by the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Advertising Joint Audience Research (RAJAR).

There are other media owners who conduct their own surveys and supply agencies and advertisers with data regularly.

Media Rates

A media planner now has to match statistics to costs. These are expressed as cost-per-thousand sales, cost per-thousand readers, viewers, listeners, passengers, household, etc.

For example, the rate for a whole page in Journal A may be Rs. 1,000, but only Rs. 800 for Journal B. Which is really the best buy? We have to look at their circulation and readership/figures. Then, we can calculate the cost-per-thousand buyers or readers. Suppose, Journal A has a circulation of 10,000 copies per issue.

The cost-per-thousand is 1000/10 which is Rs. 100. However, if Journal B has a circulation of only 5,000, its cost-per-thousand will be 800/5=Rs.160. So, Journal A is preferred.

Media Schedule

Having completed his media study and calculations, the media planner then draws up a media schedule which is a plan of the proposed insertion of adverts in the press, or appearance on radio or television, or use of other media, over the period of the advertising campaign, with their costs.

5. Role of Copywriter in preparation of advertising campaign

The copywriter is responsible for preparing the wording of advertisements. He should have the ability to convert sales propositions into selling ideas, creating themes or copy platforms for campaigns. His/her writing style should be unlike any other. Grammatically correct sentences are not always written, but short and crisp messages are written.

The copywriter should write in such a way that it grips the reader’s interest and desire. The copywriter may also write scripts for television and radio commercials, or there may be a script-writer. Agencies employ copywriters in different ways. There may be a copy department headed by a copy chief, or they may use free-lance copywriters. Many of the best and most highly paid copywriters work free-lance.

6. Role of Art Director in preparation of advertising campaign

As the head of the studio, an art director in a large advertising agency will have a team of visualizers, layout artists and typographers. In a small advertising agency, the art director will perform all these creative tasks. If there are no artists, artwork will be bought from artists. Photography will be commissioned and models engaged, usually through a model agency.

7. Role of Visualizer in preparation of advertising campaign

The visualizer is the creative counterpart of the copywriter, a first-class artist who is able to interpret in visual terms the copywriter’s ideas. They usually work together as a team.

The visualizer produces roughs or scamps, and may scribble many versions until the ideas are sufficiently well expressed for them to be finished up with dummy pictures and hand lettering. The client is usually shown visuals without final photography, drawings and typesetting, but such visuals are sufficient to give a good impression of the finished advertisement. When approved, the artwork is commissioned.

8. Role of Layout Artist in preparation of advertising campaign

A layout is an exact plan of the advertisement. The layout artist prepares the advertisement as per the pre-determined size of the advertisement.

9. Role of Media Buyer in preparation of advertising campaign

The media buyer (or space buyer) negotiates with the media for purchase of space and airtime. His skill lies in getting the best positions and time at the best rates. Some media may have to be booked months in advance for insertions. So, tentative bookings have to be made before the media schedule is presented for client’s approval.

The media buyer will maintain good relations with the sales executives of the media who will be contacting him regularly with offers and proposals. It should not be assumed that space and airtime are simply placed and accepted. A keen competition prevails there. The media will be eagerly trying to induce the media buyer to use their media.

10. Role of Typographer in preparation of advertising campaign

A typographer is familiar with hundreds of display and text typefaces and knows how to use them both to create effect and to ensure legibility.

The typographer will take the written copy and the drawn layout, and select and instruct the typesetter on the type face and size required. To do so, the typographer will also cast off the copy, i.e., calculating the number of words and size of type to fit spaces (Sometimes, the layout artist and typographer will be the same person).

11. Role of Television Producer in preparation of advertising campaign

In large agencies that handle accounts requiring television advertising campaigns, the producer creates ideas for commercials, and these are presented in the form of a storyboard which resembles a series of cartoons in shapes matching the size of television screens.

The TV producer will also be responsible for casting the actors, hiring music, appointing a director and production unit. The distinction should be made between the agency producer who creates and assembles the necessary resources, and the outside director and his production unit which actually shoots the film or video.

12. Role of Production Manager in preparation of advertising campaign

Basic task of a production manager is to organize production of advertisements according to a set time table, so that advertisements are delivered to the media in time. The production manager acts as a progress chaser and is also responsible for typesetting and supplying finished advertisements as they are required for flexography, photogravure or offset-litho printing.

As offset-litho is increasingly used for printing newspapers and magazines, camera-ready copy has to be supplied. In large agencies, work flow will be maintained by the traffic controller who supplies duplicate copies of instructions to all departments which need to be aware of the work in progress. As several separate campaigns are likely to be progressing simultaneously, progress has to be checked daily.

Most of the advertising agencies, irrespective of their structure, establish Plan Board or Review Board. It consists of’ departmental heads and senior specialists in order to reassure clients that they are receiving the benefit of the best brains in the agencies. The Plan Board makes suggestions on both the overall strategy and the specific strategy to be used in a client’s advertising when they meet the account executive.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies designed a model organizational chart of advertising agency. (Refer Image below). The figure shows that the president is the head of agency and is directly responsible to the Board of Directors. There are four vice presidents — one for marketing services, one for management and finance. The third one for account services and the last one for creative services.

Organisational Chart of a Departmental Advertising Agency
Organisational Chart of a Departmental Advertising Agency