Katrina Fowler landed an internship at Southern Cross Austereo while finishing up a Diploma of Advertising at Macleay College. It turned into a full-time copywriting gig and, in just a year, she has won more internal copywriting awards than anyone at SCA before her and has been nominated for an ACRA award. She’s making it.
Fundamentally everything revolves around emotion. That’s where my love for advertising started – making people feel something.
People hate ads. And that’s perfectly reasonable. Ads interrupt, they want something, and we hate when somebody wants something. Hungry? Eat this. Thirsty? Drink this. Hate driving over the kids’ bikes? The Mazda 3 now comes with reversing cameras.
But I see a different side — ads give you hope — hope that your problem is solvable, and I want to do that by creating ads worth listening to.
I’d best describe my role as a ‘translator’. I make ‘business speak’ relatable; they say “reversing cameras as standard” — I say, you don’t have to buy your kids a new bike. Again.
The first thing that put me on the path to starting out in advertising were the people and mentors I encountered who changed how I viewed my own ability, progression and outlook.
In my first class at Macleay College, our advertising lecturer asked everyone what they wanted to do. I sheepishly answered “I don’t know”. Not knowing had, until this point, through years of university, seemed like a crime.
Until then, I’d always been told I had to choose what I wanted to be. I didn’t have any specific talents, (manipulation isn’t really seen as a talent in school), but at Macleay College I wasn’t pushed to pigeon–hole myself. Just knowing that I didn’t have to know what I was good at made a huge difference to finding out what I was actually good at.
Through all my years of schooling, including three years of uni study, I was never told it was “ok” not to have a defined career path. After one year with the Macleay lecturers, not only did I know what I wanted to do but had work experience and a full time job doing what I loved.
Beyond that, the biggest thing that has helped me take my first steps in advertising was getting my foot in the door with an internship at Southern Cross Austereo organised by my Copywritting and Radio lecturer. I turned that into a full–time job as a copywriter, and since then I’ve been a finalist in the Australian Commercial Radio Awards and won nine internal copywriting awards. That’s the most for any copywriter at SCA and I’m happy to shout about it.
The best advice I can give to those starting out is that it’s ok not to know how you fit into the mix. The greatest thing about advertising is that it evolves rapidly. You’ll one day have a job that isn’t even created yet, so keep your uniqueness, like my love for making people ‘feel’; because that uniqueness makes a great advertiser.