What got me into marketing: Copywriter

In high school I always veered towards creative subjects. I enjoyed art especially, but knew I didn’t want to pursue that alone as a career. My other love was English, but how could I combine that with something visually creative? That stumped me for a while. Then one day watching TV, I remember seeing the Dulux ‘perfect match’ advert come on and thinking ‘This is fun. Hang on… this is words and pictures!’ And that was it.

I was very lucky in realising my dream job at 15, so chose my a-level subjects (art, product design, English language and English literature) based on getting into an advertising course for uni.

I did just that – going to Northumbria to study Advertising & Media. To be honest, the course wasn’t all I had dreamed. There was much more focus on the media, marketing and business side of things than I had hoped, with only a few creative modules. By 2nd year, I realised I wasn’t going to come out with a portfolio of work unless I took it into my own hands.

So, I started looking for a summer placement in an ad agency. This was when I stumbled upon MRL’s fabulous circus-themed website at the time, featuring a fun article written by the lovely Copywriter Emily Hague. It was based on O2’s current Be More Dog campaign, but talking about why creatives should actually be more cat. Weirdly, I’d had had a similar conversation myself around that time! So, I wrote an email to them. The creative Director, Don, phoned me the next day and that was that.

A two week placement turned into a full summer. Then MRL merged with HOME and I ended up going there for another stint over Christmas. Up until that point I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a Copywriter or Art Director, but Don teamed me up with another girl on placement who had a background in design. The two of us worked on a TV pitch that week… and won it!

Don offered us jobs working together as a creative duo, but I had the small issue of needing to finish my degree. So, for the next few months I split my time between 3rd year up in Newcastle and agency life down in Leeds, sleeping in my friends’ cellar until I could officially move full time.

Skip to about seven years later. I’m still clinging onto Don after various mergers. Still enjoying working on all shapes and sizes of ideas. And that lovely copywriter Haguey is still inspiring me to this day too!

Written by:

Alice.Banham Copywriter


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