How to survive the ad industry

The below article was written by Ogilvy Graduate Nash Mariah for an article originally published at

How To Survive The Ad Industry

Having won the Ogilvy Graduate Programme last year, I was placed into Ogilvy Cape Town’s most coveted digital workshop last week – the ODMA. The challenge given to us in the workshop was to create a digital piece that teaches people something useful.

The first thing I did when trying to figure what I should teach people was to ask myself: If I was looking through my Facebook or Twitter newsfeed and a ‘How to’ guide appeared – what kind of guide would I be interested to see

For me, the answer was simple.

I’ve only been in this industry for about three months, and as a newbie I thought that it would be extremely valuable to hear perspectives on the challenges and expectations that make up this incredibly fast and demanding environment.

Furthermore, I know that the feelings and challenges that I’ve been confronted with are felt by many other people in my position and even people who are still studying and who have yet to enter the industry.

To gain insight into how to truly be successful, I interviewed some of Ogilvy’s most well-known employees including Roger Makin (founder of Ogilvy South Africa), Gavin Levinsohn (managing director of Ogilvy Cape Town), Chris Gotz and Nicholas Wittenberg (creative directors).

Some of the best pieces of advice gained from them in the video are:

“Learn, unlearn, relearn.” – Chris Rawlinson

“I had to stop being an intellectual, and be a person that wrote from the heart, from the gut.”- Roger Makin

“If you keep focusing powerfully on what’s in front of you, the job becomes manageable and you don’t get overwhelmed.” – Gavin Levinsohn

This is an honest look into what makes these successful people who they are, and I am sure that a lot of people would benefit from seeing it.

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