Should a student today go into advertising? Don't we have too much of it already? Isn't the future all about the Internet and social media?
First, we have to clear up a few things. Saying the future isn't about advertising is like saying people won't be selling anything in the future. Or buying anything anymore. Which, of course, is unrealistic. The law of supply and demand is a universal law.
As long as people are going to be selling things or services, they're going to have to tell others about them. More than that, they're going to have to persuade others. Companies can't afford enough salesmen to knock on your door all the time. ("Hello. May I come in for five minutes to tell you about Minute Rice?")
They're going to have to use something more economical. That's advertising. Ever since before there was moveable type, there was advertising. And advertising has supported media ever since.
The media all have their plusses and minuses. Newspapers are timely but dying. Magazines are very beautiful but expensive to produce and mail. Television attractive but expensive, cable growing but segmented, radio useful but being eclipsed by Sirius XM and Pandora, direct mail exacting but postage costly. Web sites are giving way to social media pages, movie screens huge but captive audiences diminishing, social media and mobile growing and great when used properly but yet unproven at selling package goods and so on.
All of the above are media. Each has its own best practices. Advertising is not media, it's content. Persuasive content, no matter which media you use.
Today, because of all the media choices, the content has to be more than integrated, and more than multi-media. Today, it takes transmedia storytelling, a new kind of advertising, to succeed. And remember, advertising's great contribution to marketing is the concept of branding, which no other method has shown it can do so well.
That's why students of advertising who understand persuasion in all its facets are going to hold the future in their multi-tasking hands.