Creation of the Advertising Message

Course Details

Course Number
MCOM 3823
Section Number
MCOM 3823
Spring 2013
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR @ 2 - 3:20 p.m., FA - B114

Liz Minden (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives


As its title implies, this class focuses on creating advertising messages.  You will become acquainted with the principles of advertising strategy and creative strategy, and how to implement these strategies for an ad campaign.
Course discussions combine many of the elements you learned in other classes (e.g., persuasion, target marketing/market segmentation, media characteristics, client research) to help you develop effective ads.  Lectures will include market selection and concept development methods, as well as the principles and techniques for developing an effective advertising campaign.

This course stresses a practical approach to planning, developing, designing and writing advertising messages for a client.  By the end of this course, you should be able to:

1. apply marketing and advertising objectives to develop advertising strategy and  creative strategy.
2. evaluate effective (and ineffective) advertising messages.
3. write copy appropriate for a variety of advertising media.
4. apply advertising design principles to a variety of advertising media.
5. “pitch” a client with your advertising and creative ideas.
6. produce a portfolio of effective advertising messages for a single campaign.

Course Expectations


1. Four Major Homework Assignments: 100 points each
 Revised and combined at the end of the semester, these should constitute an advertising  campaign for a client.
2. Approximately 6 In-class Exercises: 25 points each
 These should help you in creating your other major assignments.
3. A final project: 150 points
 Based on your homework assignments, these will be your advertising campaign, your  best creative executions with accompanying explanation of strategy.
4. Creative Presentation: 50 points

Grading Standards


Course Standards:

Producing good ideas is what will make you successful in this class and in the real world.  You should strive to meet professional standards of quality.  You will not be graded so much on your technical skills, as on your use of advertising principles and concepts in solving a client’s advertising problem.  However, professional attention to details, development of creative ideas clearly based on research, use of design principles appropriate for the medium, and messages appropriate for the audience will be important in assessing the quality of your work.

You also will be expected to explain your advertising strategy and campaign completely and professionally, based on the advertising research you have done.  It’s not enough to generate great ideas; you must be able to defend them and generate acceptance of them.

General grading criteria include:
* Evidence of creative strategy  
* Freshness/originality of ideas  
* Campaign consistency   
* Professionalism of creative executions
* Ad’s appropriateness to medium
* Ad’s appropriateness to audience

Grading Policies:
1. Late work will not be accepted.  A late assignment earns a zero for points. 
2. Fabricating information or using another’s work as your own earns you an “F” for the course.  (See “Course Policies” #2.)
3. Points will be deducted from assignments that have numerous grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.  Although advertising copy often includes misspelled words (“lite,” “nite,” etc.), you will not be allowed to do that for this course unless you can make the case that it is absolutely necessary from a creative standpoint.
4. Mechanical requirements for each assignment will be provided on the assignment handout and must be adhered to.  These will be part of the assignment grading criteria.
5. Your ability to make up any missed assignment is at the discretion of the instructor.
6. Numerical grades are awarded for each assignment.  To determine your grade for the course, assignment grades will be totaled and then divided by the total number of possible points for the assignments in order to derive your percentage. The grading scale is:

       A = 90% -100% of the total possible points
       B = 80% - 89% of the total possible points
       C = 70% - 79% of the total possible points
       D = 60% - 69% of the total possible points
       F = Less than 60% of the total possible points
**NOTE:  The instructor reserves the right to adjust or cancel assignments as the course progresses.  If for some reason assignments total somewhat more or fewer than those listed, the method of calculating the final grade will remain the same:  the total points you  achieve will be divided by the total points possible to obtain a percentage, and your grade will be assigned according to the percentage scale outlined above.

Final Exam

05/09/2013 1 - 3 p.m.

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late work will not be accepted.  A late assignment earns a zero for points.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance:  Students are expected to attend, be on time for and participate in class.  The instructor reserves the right to drop any student who misses more than three class periods.  Makeup work for any absence is at the discretion of the instructor.

Other Policies


1. Attendance:  Students are expected to attend, be on time for and participate in class.  The instructor reserves the right to drop any student who misses more than four class periods.  Makeup work for any absence is at the discretion of the instructor.

2. Plagiarism and cheating:  The MSU Student Honor Creed, found in both your student handbook and the university catalog, includes the statement:  “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”

Plagiarism, lying and cheating include, but are not limited to:  fabricating information and sources, copying material from publications without crediting the author, turning in another student’s work as your own, and copying quiz/exam answers from another person.  STUDENTS FOUND CHEATING, PLAGIARIZING OR MAKING UP INFORMATION WILL RECEIVE AN “F” FOR THIS COURSE.

3. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act: Any student with a disability that may prevent full participation in this course should notify the instructor at the beginning of the course to ensure that alternatives may be found to provide the student with full class participation.

4. Limited Right:  By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course. This “limited right” shall include, but shall not be limited to, the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.

5. FERPA:  The instructor abides by the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  The instructor also will not release a student’s academic information or discuss a student’s academic progress or class attendance with his/her parent or guardian.  Additionally, the instructor will not discuss a student’s grades with him/her in class, over the phone or by email.  STUDENTS WHO HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR GRADES MUST MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE INSTRUCTOR.

6. Disruptive Behavior:  Anyone disrupting the class – or violating any other Standard of Conduct applicable to the classroom environment – will be dropped from the course.  (See MSU Student Handbook, “Standards of Student Conduct.”)

a. Turn off the sound on your cell phone during class.  No text messaging either.  If your phone rings or you’re found sending a text-message during class, you will be dropped from the course.
b. Turn off your iPods and similar technology.  Like ringing cell phones, this is a class disruption issue and you will be dropped from the course if you do not comply.
c. Be polite.  Discourtesy of any kind will not be tolerated.

7. Senior Portfolio:
Please note that all mass communication majors are required to submit a portfolio as part of their Internship course (Internship is a prerequisite to Senior Production). This requirement is a part of MSU’s reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is non-negotiable.  Through the portfolio, students are required to demonstrate communication competence through the written word and visual communication; two examples of each competency are required.
As you go through this and other classes, you are responsible for saving course work that could be included in your senior portfolio.
Please see me, your adviser, the department chair or any mass communication faculty member for handouts with more information ("Mass Communication Portfolio Competencies" and "Mass Communication Portfolio FAQ"). These handouts are also available on our department web page:

8.    Other:  You may be asked to provide your assignments on a portable computer medium
(e.g., jump/thumb drive) or by email.

BE AWARE THAT the instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason, and will give sufficient notice if changes are necessary.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at