One day experience broadened my understanding of advertising

Yangnan Liu ’12, Peer Advisor

I never imagined a one-day experience could give me another whole aspect of advertising in one of the leading agencies. I was always thinking advertising was something only related to commercial making, graphic design and brand promotion. It’s a totally visual and artistic industry in my mind. However, my day spent at Malone Advertising opened my eyes of Media Buying in advertising, which is another crucial part of advertising strategy.

Located in Circle Centre in downtown Indianapolis, Malone Advertising is a professional agency primarily dealing with media buying business. Bonnie Surber, the Vice President, General Manager and Media Director, welcomed me at her office and briefly introduced the company and the business of media buying. Generally speaking, their job is to purchase advertising space in television stations, transportation (typically highway billboards), magazines and other interactive places for their customers. The work is not as simple as it sounds, because it contains abilities of analyzing, negotiation, creativity and a strong sense of competitiveness. This job is not directly related to the visual side of advertising, but still needs passion and inventiveness.

Bonnie then took me to the senior buyers’ offices. Lesley and Jay showed me their current work with one of their customers and shared their three-year career experiences in Malone Advertising. I was amazed by how creatively they helped their customer spend a limited amount of money on TV commercial spots and how well they negotiate the commercial rate with different television stations. They act as the middle person, therefore, they become very good friends with both the TV station and their customer.

After meeting Lesley and Jay, Media Director Laura specifically introduced media buying in magazines for another client. Laura’s humorous and easy going attitude impressed me a lot. “When working on magazines, we will track our customer’s main competitors to see where and how they put their advertisements, so we can respond accordingly. Of course, we should also move ahead, that’s to say, we will usually look for new places to put on our advertisements.” Laura explained.  She then gave me a tour of the offices and told me tons of stories of Malone Advertising. “Working in an agency like this does not require you to wear a suit and tie everyday. You get to enjoy yourself and be passionate about your work.” Laura said. 

My one-day externship soon came to close. The experience broadened my ideas of advertising and let me see another inspiring side of this creative industry. I love this cool place and the lovely people working here. Malone might not be the biggest and most profitable advertising agency, but it has the most little giant spirit: small in size, big in results. 

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