One of the first things I learned in Seneca’s Creative Advertising program is that advertising is a lot like magic. I also learned that if you gather enough beautiful weirdos into one building, brilliant things will happen, but that’s beside the point.
Cultural critic Raymond Williams (look Ma’! I just used my English major knowledge for something useful in the real world!) once wrote that advertising is “a highly organized and professional system of magical inducements and satisfactions, functionally very similar to magical systems in simpler societies.” (No I am Not Going to Cite This Properly, 2015). Yes, Mr. Williams could have simply said: “Advertising is magic,” but he was a fancy literary show-off… (may he rest in peace) who was certainly correct and I don’t think I have to convince you that what we are learning to do is magic.
This leads me to something very important I would like to share with all of you. I would like to open your eyes to something that I’ve suspected for a long time, and that is that:
CAB is Hogwarts and we are subconsciously being trained to be wizards and witches.
I will now proceed to bust down the door to this suspected chamber of secrets and list off the uncanny similarities between Hogwarts and CAB. So move aside Every-Single-Famous-Person-On-Cribs-Showing-Off-Their-Bedrooms, because CAB is where the magic happens, and I will prove it.
If by some odd chance in this universe you do not agree with me (you filthy mudblood), then by all means…
Reason #01: We’re Sorted Into Houses
In CAB we are undoubtedly sorted into different “houses” which divide the copywriters from the media planners, and the account executives from the art directors. The decision on which “house” to choose is ultimately arrived upon based on your personality, skills, desires, and a bunch of other deep rooted psychological things we cannot even begin to explain. Now, I know we never had a Sorting Hat (because that would give it all away) but I know you can’t honestly tell me you never wished a grungy gross old brown hat could just tell you whether to go business or creative.
(For the record, I am definitely not about to open the discussion as to which “house” is equivalent to Slytherin… but hey, media planning does often seem like the bad guy. Just saying… numbers are the enemy.)
Reason #02: The Headmaster
There is no doubt that our program coordinator Anthony Kalamut bestows a great deal of wisdom upon us every day, but it is very hard to ignore the fact that his office is full of impressive advertising artefacts that suspiciously seem like they could have only been gathered if he were in fact a powerful wizard who has lived over 100 years, just like that of a certain long bearded fictional Headmaster. Although he may not have said it in so many words, Anthony has made it quite clear that: “help will always be given at Seneca to those who ask for it.”
Finally, Anthony may not rock half-moon spectacles like Dumbledore, but have you ever noticed that his top-notch eyewear is often, as the kids say, “on point”?
Reason #03: Muggles Don’t Understand
Let’s face it. We’ve all had those moments where we get arguably a little too emotional when it comes to witnessing a good advertisement. Next time this happens in a social setting, remember to scribble down (inevitably with your quills) the expressions of the people nearest to you who witness this ad-excitement. It is those facial expressions that truly reveal who the Muggles are. We advertising wizards arrive early for the previews, yet sleep through the movie. We pee during the third down, and rush back for the ads during the Superbowl. Sometimes we even display the absurd activity of skipping an Ariana Grande song (okay maybe that’s not THAT absurd of us) and listening to the ads on another station. This is because we are wizards, and Muggles lack the power (pun intended) to understand our love of advertising. But don’t get me wrong, this line drawn between Muggle and Wizard is a good thing considering it helps in what I vaguely recall being instructed a couple of times: “knowing your target group.”
Furthermore, I dare you to tell me you’re not the “weird one” of your group of friends. If so, yup, your friends are Muggles. If not, well then I guess I’m alone on that one and excuse me while I go pull a Moaning Myrtle and cry in the “lavatory.”
Reason #04: We Were Blatantly Given Wands
Just when I thought I couldn’t make my argument any more clear I remembered the day our Headmaster Anthony gave us each a Leo Burnett pencil! It’s wooden, fits in your hand, and has the potential to create a GREAT deal of magic… ummmm hello?
IT’S A WAND, PEOPLE.
Reason #05: Potions
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Desktop Publishing seems an awful lot like a potions class. David Barbuto is definitely NOT Snape, but he does teach us the recipes to create magic, just like the potions professor would do. Not to mention, he does have slightly longer hair like that of Snape… And I wasn’t gonna say anything, but he once told me to turn to page 394.
Also, while we’re on the topic, anyone ever notice that “Adobe” sounds awfully close to the name of a certain house elf we all know and love…
Reason #06: “Giants”
One of the first things we researched in CAB were the “Giants of Advertising.” They just full blown went ahead and called the Greats in advertising “giants” and didn’t think we’d catch on… Ha! Mama didn’t raise no fool!
Move aside Hagrid, you’re not the only giant in this part of the land.
Reason #07: Voldemort
So there may not be a super evil wizard that wants to destroy all happiness in the world and kill all the muggles, BUT I dare you to try to tell me that bad ideas aren’t equivalent to a powerful dark wizard! Just like “He Who Must Not Be Named,” bad ideas get inside your head and try to convince you that they’re good.
Bad ideas also don’t have noses.
We cannot ignore this compelling evidence, folks.
Reason #08: The Room of Requirement
For those of you who somehow made it through life without being blessed with the tales of a young orphan wizard, The Room of Requirement is a “room that a person can only enter when they have real need of it. Sometimes it is there, and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped for the seeker’s needs.“
Don’t even try to sit there and tell me that booking a study room at Seneca isn’t suspiciously like that of The Room of Requirement! Sometimes you may think you have one, then quite quickly you’ll find that it vanishes. Although the rooms come equipped with the smell of the previous student’s B.O and tears, it also is equipped with a white board and some chairs, and what more do we wizards need when it comes to making advertising magic?!
Reason #09: Nate Has Red Hair
Need I say more?
Finally, for those of you who somehow aren’t yet convinced that CAB is Hogwarts… think back to when you received your acceptance letter from Seneca… did you receive it on a Sunday?
Oh, and by the way, I have a scar below my right eye…
I rest my case.
See you wizards and witches soon!
Written by Shannon McCarroll