Going Into The Ad Biz? Go Interactive

So says BusinessWeek:

Mama, let your babies grow up to be Web ad guys. With the online ad business up 30% last year to $12.5 billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, job candidates are feasting on a seller’s market. The top Web ad agency, Seattle-based Avenue A/Razorfish, is looking for 200 people on a staff of about 1,500, after growing by 200 positions during the year to date.
Digitas of Boston has advertised 74 new positions since Apr. 1, on a staff of about 1,700. So eager is the outfit to drum up candidates that it recently tweaked a referral program so that even former workers can collect $2,000 for directing a friend toward a job opening.

Does anyone have any personal insight into the interactive ad job scene? Comment away. Job seekers, share with us your insights–and employers, share your job openings.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Interactive Copywriter here. Been doing this at Yahoo! and OgilvyOne for 3.5 years now. Having done TV, radio, and print, I can tell you that it’s very different. It’s more complex. But it’s also just getting more and more fun. There’s advergaming, entertainment microsites, and streaming video. Flash can be very fun too.
    We’re looking for an Interactive Web Designer (SF Bay Area). If anyone out there is interested, please email me.

  2. Todd’s right – it’s incredibly different from anything else, but the creativity is practically limitless if you’re with a good firm.
    I’m the PR manager of a Canadian firm called Fuel Industries. We’ve doubled in size in the past year, and will likely increase by another 30 by the end of the year. We’re constantly looking for multimedia developers, 3D designers, animators and shockwave people. Anyone interested in settling down in the Great White North should look at our careers section.
    I would love to be a seasoned Flash or Shockwave guy right now – the demand is skyrocketing and the supply is getting snapped up really quickly.

  3. Carl LaFong says:

    I’m curious as to just how, say, a copywriter could make the leap from a traditional agency to an interactive one. What kind of skills would you need? What would it take to make the transition?

  4. I like to know how an art director can make the transition. I’ve taken courses in Dreamweaver and Flash and looking.

  5. From a conceptual standpoint—in many cases, a writer’s specialty—I don’t see interactive as being all that different. Like every media, interactive has its own demands. When you’re making ads, concept is king. When you’re making interactive media, content is king.
    One major structural difference is the fact that a good web site is never done, unlike a print project or TV spot. This demand for daily content on the interactive side has the ability to turn copywriters into journalists.

  6. Dan Collins says:

    One of the reasons it is so hot at the moment is because of the “lost generation” that needs to be filled — agencies need the people with 3-5 years experience that really don’t exist at the moment because of the “dot boom” (I hate that turn of phrase.) Once it happened — new grads went looking in other industries and hence the
    “lost generation”…
    When you get up to the 12-15 yrs experience — it gets a lot more scarce… that and the new grads now who are having the “chicken/egg” — no real-world experience…but entry-level jobs that require experience

  7. Let’s say I was interested in this field, and let’s say I was about to begin a 12 month MA program in Advertising. Not interested in the design so much, but what business/strategic/interactive classes would one take to increase knowledge in this field? Any assistance apprciated…

  8. To Josh: Take classes in flash and dreamweaver. Wander aroudn the Web a lot and save the stuff that interests you.
    To Dan: You’re right that concept is still king. Craft is still servant, but it’s more of a democracy, if you catch my drift. There’s a lot of ideas that, when it comes right down to it, need a lot of re-tooling to make them work in 30K flash lrecs, sky’s, norths, etc. etc then tie into the microsite which was developed first which ties into the product which was developed last. And you need experience to know when it just won’t work out. It’s not like TV, print, and radio where a :30’s a :30 and a two page spread is a two page spread. It’s more like coming up with an idea and figuring out how to make it work in 4 different media in two days (exaggeration, yes, but barely). In short, your skills in the traditional world are critical, but there’s a lot to learn.
    To Carl & Joe: For AD’s you need to learn the programs, do some spec, and show some promise. For CW’s, try to get your current clients to do more interactive. Or try to get on those projects at your current agency.
    To Josh: University of Read n’ surf

  9. Thanks for the tip- it’s right next to me church, St. Pillows and Sheets.

  10. Carl LaFong says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Todd.

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