creative strategy in advertising
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Students create a complete advertising campaign, to include outreach via color and black-and-white print vehicles, television, radio, and one other method to be chosen by students. Not an introductory course, Creative Strategy presumes (and reviews) target markets, the difference between advertising and promotion, and the particular uses of various media. Topics include targeting advertising by age, gender, socio-economic status and ethnic origin.


Students will develop understanding of aspects of creative strategy development for advertising and sales promotion by addressing communication objectives, positioning and message strategy content and appeals. They will develop the skills necessary for careers as account planners, account executives, marketing communication managers and brand managers.


By the end of the course the student will be able to

  • Understand the value of and apply truth in advertising, especially as it applies to advertising targeting children.
  • Understand the history of effective advertising and how advertising changes to reflect the time in which it is created.
  • Understand the significance of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin and other diversities and know how to direct campaigns to a target defined by these characteristics.
  • Use images and information and the subtexts applicable to both.
  • Think creatively, critically and independently in order to create a successful ad campaign.
  • Conduct research and analyze the business and advertising needs of your clients for effective targeting.
  • Write in the vernacular rather than in strict conformity with AP style.
  • Evaluate his or her own work as well as work on the Web for clarity, style and grammatical correctness.
  • Apply tools and technologies to his or her work, particularly with design and presentation packages.)


week one
Course introduction and first assignment. Maslow's hierarchy. Strategy types. Other ad categorization methods. Lecture & class discussion
week two
National advertising vs. retail advertising. Who are the targets for the media we will cover? (newspapers, magazines, radio, TV). Lecture & class discussion
week three
Target markets: age, gender, SES. Lecture & class discussion. Group selection; project selection.
week four
Powerpoint; copy platform.
week five
Print. How do newspapers & magazines differ? Does placement matter? Design basics. Layout software.
week six
Newspaper ad.
week seven
Magazine ad.
week eight
Catch up.
week nine
Let's watch some television. Looking at ads. How do ads target market segments?
week ten
Your television ad.
week eleven
Now for radio. Two radio spots.
week twelve
Promotional or premium item.
week thirteen
Start portfolio.
week fourteen
week fifteen
week sixteen

This syllabus is subject to change, and will may be updated on-line.


Keep up with the syllabus.

We will probably vary somewhat, but unless we discuss it first in class, tests and quizzes will be held on the dates indicated. Due dates are non-negotiable unless we change them in class.

Late papers

If you fail to turn in a project on or before its due date, your grade for that project will be reduced by one letter grade per calendar day past due. Assignments are considered received when they reach my hands, not when they reach my box. All projects may be resubmitted for a better grade within seven calendar days (three calendar days during summer) of when I return them to you. Grade deductions for late projects cannot be made up.