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The magic of a full-page ad.

Advertising: The magic of a full-page ad.

The magic of a full-page ad.

I thought it was about time for an anecdote. A what? Yes, I know, that's not really a word we use a lot presently. And "presently" isn't really a word for now either. Anyway, let's move on. A look back…

I don't want to dwell on the past. I want to reflect on the motivation for choosing a career in advertising. I've come to realize that this motivation was easier to find back in the day. Here's an example from my own life.

The moment I started in advertising was April 1, 1999. Still in the last century, but that's beside the point. That year, the free newspaper Spits was launched. For everyone thinking... newspaper? That's the news printed on paper. A day after it happens. Yes, that's old. Yes, that's strange. And yes, it really existed. None of that matters now.

We received a rush job on a Friday afternoon to come up with a full-page ad, 1/1 pager, as a tie-in to the launch of Spits. It was a dream assignment. I had been in advertising for just two months, and I got to create a full-page ad. That was a dream. I had plans to go out for dinner with my girlfriend at friends' that Friday evening. I had to call and say that it wasn't going to happen. We had to keep working... to come up with a full-page ad. My girlfriend said, "Oh, what a shame you can't go and have to work late on a Friday. You must be really upset." I replied, "Upset? Disappointed? This is why I entered advertising. This is fantastic..."

There you have it: the reason for entering the profession was actually quite simple. The excitement. The creativity. The deadlines. And above all, the satisfaction when you opened Spits on Monday after the weekend and saw your full-page ad. That's wonderfully motivating. Deliciously affirming. That's why you enter the profession...

How different it is now. When people ask me which clients we work for, I can name a few impressive names. Very beautiful brands. And often people then ask, but what kind of advertising do you make? Well, those are the thousands of posts, digital videos, and much, much more that find their way to specific target groups across Europe. But not seen by those who ask me about it in the pub. You can certainly be proud of our profession, but due to media fragmentation, it's not as visible to everyone. And thus, less affirming.

Nostalgia is allowed from time to time. I sometimes long for that feeling. That proud feeling when you see your own work on the kitchen table with your first cup of coffee in the morning. When you can tell your children: daddy came up with that idea. We can still be proud that we create beautiful work. Work that makes an impact. Moves people. And perhaps it's sometimes less visible. The motivation remains to reach for both the target group and your best work.

Jos Vis