New Web Platform Aims to Promote Advertising Industry and Attract New Talent

The 4A’s, in conjunction with Arnold Worldwide, has launched a new web-based video platform, called Open Advertising, aimed at young adults and intended to attract best-in-class talent to the ad-marketing industry.

The site’s primary feature is a collection of videos from young ad professionals sharing their work experiences. In addition to highlighting the diversity of roles that exist in the industry, Open Advertising showcases how technology and innovation are at the core of marketing and advertising today.

The launch of the Open Advertising web site was announced today by Arnold Worldwide Global CEO and Havas Worldwide Global Chief Digital Officer Andrew Benett, Sharon Napier, CEO, Partners + Napier and 4A’s President-CEO Nancy Hill during the 4A’s Transformation Conference at the Beverly Hilton.

The talent shortage in the advertising industry is largely a result of competition from other creative fields, tech startups and other professions. This hub is one of the actionable recommendations from 4A’s members based on findings from Arnold’s 2011 study on the state of talent in the ad industry, which concluded that the industry was not adequately training or retaining top talent, nor was it actively promoting itself or recruiting on campuses around the country.

Conceived by Arnold Worldwide, the Open Advertising site showcases the innovative work and change that is happening in the advertising industry. It features video testimonials of young ad professionals speaking about the cool communications challenges they get to solve either in tech, storytelling, copywriting, user experience, creative coding, data visualization and other roles that either didn’t exist or have evolved during the last decade.

“Advertising is not a destination profession for enough young people,” according to Hill. “They are either unaware of the industry, have a negative opinion of it, or are unfamiliar with the many opportunities it presents for them to use their innovation and entrepreneurial skills. The industry has rallied around this project and has truly come together to help out.”

Added Benett, “Due to the popularity of Mad Men, there’s been a heightened awareness of our industry, but advertising today is drastically different from what it was 10 years ago, let alone 50. The work advertising agencies do is constantly changing because technology is evolving at a faster rate than ever before. In order to keep up, we need to stay one step ahead of the curve, and a big part of that challenge is finding people who understand how we can leverage these advancements to serve brands and consumers. Our goal is to attract the talent that’s going to tech companies, start-ups and other digitally driven environments to consider a career in advertising.”

According to a recent study of adults under age 30 by the Career Advisory Board, 71 percent of respondents said that having the “opportunity to do meaningful work” was their top career priority. That goal ranked even higher than salary considerations. Therefore, the Open Advertising hub and its content demonstrate the unique convergence of creativity, culture and innovation that make the advertising industry a desirable profession for those who are passionate, energetic, or who are change agents, to turn their unique ideas into reality.

In the hub’s introductory video, one young woman, a digital strategist, says, “I can dream up an idea, I can work on it, and I can see it in market in a few months. To realize that my voice had a power was incredibly uplifting. I’m so lucky I get paid for what I do because I would do it regardless.”

Content from member agencies is on the site and will be refreshed periodically. Going forward, most of the content will be user-generated and will come from people who have unique stories to tell about the job and their work.

Anyone can view videos on the site but to comment, link or upload work, users must log in through their Facebook accounts.

Agencies participating in the Open Advertising effort include, Arnold, Euro RSCG, JWT, McGarry Bowen, Rapp, Razorfish, R/GA, Rokkan, Saatchi & Saatchi, Socialistic!, Y&R and Partners + Napier.