Great Gift Ideas for the Advertiser

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So, you know someone in advertising or someone who loves advertising with a passion? When the times comes to get them a gift, be it for a birthday, a celebration, or a holiday, it can be tricky to find the perfect present. And if you're not savvy with the advertising world at all, it can feel like a daunting task.

If you can't quite put your finger on what that special person needs this year, these gifts will please any advertising junkie:

Advertising Books

If the person in your life loves advertising, they will love the whole process. And the process always starts with a creative brief. If it's a good one, the work will be good. If it isn't, well, the same applies. 

Sadly, there are very few books written on the subject of creative brief writing. Actually, there are just two. They are the first and second editions of Howard Ibach’s book How To Write An Inspired Creative Brief. Both are excellent sources of information, although the second edition has more bang for your buck. 

If you're looking for other books in this genre, try any of the following:

  • Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan
  • Truth, Lies & Advertising: The Art of Account Planning by Jon Steel
  • Ogilvy On Advertising by David Ogilvy
  • Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin
  • From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor by Jerry Della Femina

Vintage Print Ads

Countless old print ads pop up on sites like eBay every day. Other popular sites for print ads are AdAholic and

Make your print ad gift even more perfect by choosing one directly related to your friend or loved one. A Mustang buff born in 1965 would enjoy a Mustang print ad from the year he was born. A copywriter for Van Heusen's ad agency might like a classic Van Heusen print ad from the 50s. If you're buying for your significant other, get a brand's print ad from the year you were born, and the year your sweetie was born.

Have your vintage ads framed for a special touch. With most print ads going for a few bucks, you can turn a little extra effort on your part into a cherished gift they'll appreciate for years to come.

Quirky Gadgets and Toys

If you've never worked at an ad agency, you'd be surprised how crazy things can get. Deadlines, long nights and creative brainstorming can really take a toll on your favorite ad exec or creative director.

Whether they work in a cubicle or have a cushy office with a view, give them some quirky gadgets for their desk. These social media coasters are great fun. And these minimalist posters are quirky and cool. Or if they burn the midnight oil at home, think about gifts for outside of work hours too — for instance, a waterproof notepad for ideas in the shower. 

Also, fun desk and office toys are a big hit with anyone working in the ad industry, not just creatives. This is a business that requires a lot of creativity and lateral thinking, and toys can help to loosen up the gears and get things going.

ThinkGeek has a whole section of its online store devoted to these kinds of games and gadgets, and you can also find all sorts of gizmos on Amazon and eBay. Whether it's a USB rocket launcher, a Lego water bottle, or a piece of thinking putty, they will love the fun it provides.

A Homemade Slogan Generator

This is a fun one for crafty people who are on a budget. It also helps if you like to get silly!

Buy two small baskets, vases or jars. You're looking for a small container you can drop bits of paper into that can be accessed easily. Decorate your containers any way you like. One will serve as your brand name container. Fill it with real brand names, wacky words, city names, whatever you want. For example, let's say you write the word, "Blackmail," and drop it into your brand name container.

For your second container, you'll write slogans and catchphrases. You can write real slogans or make up your own. For example, we would write down the Geico ad slogan "So Easy a Caveman Can Do It." Then, we drop it into your second container. Keep adding words/brand names and real or fictitious slogans. Now you have a wacky advertising game for that special someone.

From our example, we pull from the two containers and have:

  • Blackmail
  • So Easy a Caveman Can Do It

You would be surprised how much fun you can have with this one! Use your favorite search engine to find old advertising slogans if you choose to use real slogans for your game.

Personalized Cartoons

Most people who work in advertising have a great sense of humor. A personalized cartoon is a gift that would look great on their desk or hanging in their office. Give them a chuckle and a conversation starter at work.

The cartoon doesn't have to be directly related to advertising. You can always find Web sites of cartoon artists who would probably be willing to create a custom cartoon, though.

Your friend or loved one picked a good field to be interested in. The gift possibilities for the advertising junkie are endless. Be sure to share your gift ideas for advertising junkies with others.

Alcoholic Beverages

If the person you're buying a gift for is prone to the occasional pint of ale or glass of wine (and in advertising, that's almost everyone), an alcoholic gift will be much appreciated. In fact, studies have shown that the right amount of alcohol can increase creativity and creative thinking, which is essential in the advertising business. One agency, CP+B, went so far as to create a pale ale called "The Problem Solver," which indicated on the side how much you should drink to reach your peak creative powers. 

So, get creative with the alcohol. There are literally thousands of different brands of beer, wine, and hard liquors. Some will have names that naturally apply to the person you know. Fat Tire for a cyclist. Perhaps a bottle of The Prisoner wine for someone who's stuck in a job they can't wait to leave. Whatever it is, alcoholic drinks are always a winner and are usually the number one choice for white elephant parties.