The ever-changing world of advertising

Evolution doesn’t just apply to the animal kingdom; it doesn’t even just apply to physical objects. Our ideologies and expectations evolve over time to fit our environment, as well as our lifestyle. With that, the advertising world isn’t that much different. We’ve come a long way, from when tokens/models and word of mouth are the only ways to advertise, to having to now consider even people’s daily habits if we were to reach them.


Advertising: The past

With a much smaller playing field, most people only knew what was available to them either from their market square or, if they were lucky enough, in the next village. Hawkers literally hawked their wares, calling out through their streets or going on day(s)-long trips to sell their goods. Things were basic; people only bought and sold what was needed because they lacked the skills or means to sell them. Nobles or aristocrats were the only ones able to obtain higher luxury items, and even then, they looked to the court for their inspiration. The court likewise drew inspiration from travelling merchants from another country. The world soon grew through conquests and acquisitions, with technology aiding or promoting the growth.


A gift to advertising

The rapid use of the printing press, coupled with faster means of communication (royal mail highways, ships, and the like), allowed people to start marketing their goods. It wasn’t just the basics that were being sold anymore; with the growth of the cities, bakeries, apothecaries, and more started to appear.

The means for people to shout about their goods and services? The printed paper. People started to place ads, and print flyers for distribution all in a bid to advertise their wares. And that’s why they started to also get creative: How else to tell others that what they had was better than their competitors? You start to see endorsements, catchphrases, and even promotions. “Freshly baked” just won’t cut it anymore.

The age of consumerism soon arrived. Customers wanted more, at value, and wanted them fast. Advertising would have to evolve to help businesses as time progressed.


A changing landscape

Long gone are the days when we have to look to the papers, television, or radio to know what’s out there. These days, everything is just a click away. As we have advanced, so have our expectations; they have evolved from just wanting an item to how we experience the journey of obtaining it.

Advertisers have to think of the different platforms, timeframes, and even emotions a brand can reach the consumer. It’s no longer just about the brand itself. A popular name is definitely a factor, but a competing brand is just as well known. Influencers? The competitor has got them too. Sustainability? It’s now also something of a purchasing factor.

So what’s next? These are how advertising has evolved over the centuries: From something self-sustaining to an industry teeming with experts, it’s no longer a one-solution avenue to get yourself heard. In fact, advertising itself has evolved to encompass part of public relations, exhibitions/events and even helping a brand to stay relevant.

In this ever-changing world, it is important to remember that we have to change with the times. Advertising is no longer just one dimensional; we have evolved to such a stage that we too, at times, have to remember to advertise ourselves.

The line is truly blurred sometimes; we inadvertently let our personal lives enter our workplace, despite trying to keep them separate. But in the world of advertising, this can sometimes be a good thing, especially in the area of project management. And as a mother, this becomes even more so.

With the increase in daily expenses, gone are the days when women are required to stay home solely to mind the house and children. Women now have to juggle running a household as well as being productive at work.

So how does translate to being a Project Manager and a Mother? Can we simultaneously check both boxes as we strive to balance our ‘mother hat’ at home and the workplace to ensure as smooth a flow of things as possible? I firmly believe that we are more than able to.

We see both the small and big picture

Timing is everything when it comes to kids. Be it school, meals, homework and the like, we need to be on top of things. And we all know, children aren’t exactly the best in doing what’s needed of them.

As a mother, we have to look at every detail, thinking on our toes what can, should, or must happen next. Keeping track of everyone’s schedule and ensuring no one falls behind becomes second nature, and this translate into being a bonus as a project manager. Managing workflow, reminding people of deadlines and sometimes even taking on financial matters, we embrace our ‘mother persona’ by keeping the necessary tabs.

We can tell stories

Bedtime can be a nightmare – the kids don’t want to sleep. So what do we mothers do? Tell them a story! We excel at that, plucking things we’ve seen throughout the day, fairytales from memory, or just purely inventing. The sky’s the limit. Take it from me, my kids would sometimes want me to make use of totally conflicting characters and weave a tale out of them.

Taking this into the workplace, we use our keen sense of storytelling to visualize the necessary details required for a project, contextualizing it, aid in building the content to ultimately deliver the final product. We’ve taken what come naturally at home to effectively manage situations, come what may.

We are avid consumers

We need to know what’s out there. The best schools, the latest games, the in-thing for the generation. You can almost safely say that all mothers are constantly consuming content. This is to ensure that we give our kids the best, and to do so, we’re literally living the consumer journey. And that helps us in our line of work as we are familiar with what’s out there.

We understand the importance of trusting a brand, the power of brand loyalty and the importance a brand has to us. In lets us efficiently oversee the project, as diverse as they can be.

I am Mother, hear me roar

Author Diane Mariechild once said, ‘A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.’ In my experience, this has never been truer once I became a mother during my career in advertising, managing the various projects given to me.

As a mother, I make use of every avenue, every possibility, for the betterment of my kids. And this takes over when I’m at work. I manage the ‘production line’, provide inputs based on what I see, and share what I feel based on my understanding of what’s out in the market. In all aspects, I am creating, nurturing and transforming the given situation when I am needed to.

This is ultimately why I feel that there’s no full separation – my skills are useful both at work and at home.