Creation of the Advertising Message

Course Details

Course Number
MCOM 3823
Section Number
MCOM 3823
Spring 2015
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF @ 1 - 1:50 p.m.

Liz Minden (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

As its title implies, this class focuses on planning and executing advertising messages.  You will become acquainted with the principles of creative strategy and the methods to implement these strategies to create effective messages for an ad campaign.
Course discussions combine many of the principles and methods you learned in other mass communication courses (e.g., persuasion, marketing methods, media characteristics, and research techniques). Course exercises and homework assignments support discussion and reading material to help you understand and apply creative advertising techniques.
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. Critically evaluate advertisements and their effectiveness, including your own.
2. Think in terms of marketing and advertising objectives when developing a creative strategy.
3. Use product/service information to translate features into consumer benefits.
4. Create effective ads for various media that are:
a. Written from the consumer’s viewpoint.
b. Persuasive.
c. Cohesively written and designed.
d. Appropriately formatted for the medium.
5. Present their advertising concepts and creative executions to a small group.

Course Expectations

1. Four Major Homework Assignments: 100 points each
2. Approximately 6 In-class Exercises: 25 points each
3. A final project: 150 points
4. Campaign Creative Presentation: 50 points

Grading Standards

Course Standards:
Producing great ideas makes you successful in the advertising world. For this course, you should strive to meet professional standards of quality and you must meet deadlines. Assignments will not be graded as much on technical skills, as on clear evidence of the thought behind them: your use of advertising principles; application of course information and creative concepts; and originality in solving a client’s advertising problem. Your work should demonstrate professional attention to details; a creative strategy and tactics that are clearly based on research, advertising goals and the target market; and, sound design principles with persuasive copy that are appropriate for the target market and each medium.
You also will be expected to adequately explain your advertising campaign’s creative strategy and executions to a small group. In advertising, 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 cannot take “creative license” 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 a 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

05/11/2015 3:30 - 5:30 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. I will accept assignments early.

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 from the course 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 from the course who misses more than three class periods.  Makeup work for any absence is at the discretion of the instructor.
2. Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism is: (1) using someone else’s source material (published or unpublished, including the Internet) without following accepted guidelines of giving credit; or (2) submitting work for credit that is not your own. THE INSTRUCTOR WILL TAKE APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION FOR STUDENTS CAUGHT CHEATING, PLAGIARIZING OR FABRICATING INFORMATION. The MSU Student Honor Creed in your student handbook and the university catalog reinforces this policy:  “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.” Plagiarism is lying, cheating and stealing. 
3. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act: Any student with a disability who is registered with the MSU Office of Disability Support Services (940-397-4140, CSC Room 168) and needs specific accommodations, or requires other considerations because of a disability, should notify the instructor at the beginning of the semester to ensure that these accommodations are provided.
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/guardian or friends.  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:  Any student’s classroom behavior that interferes with either the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or other students’ ability to benefit from the instruction – or violates any other Standard of Conduct applicable to the classroom environment – will result in his/her removal from the class.  (See MSU Student Handbook, “Standards of Student Conduct.”). Please:
a. Turn off the sound on your cell phone during class.  No text messaging either. 
b. Turn off your iPods and similar technology. 
c. Be polite. 
7. Senior Portfolio:  Please note that all mass communication majors are required to submit a portfolio as part of their internship course, which is a pre-requisite for 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 your instructor, adviser, the department chair or any mass communication faculty member for handouts with more information (“Mass Communication Senior Portfolio Competencies” and “Mass Communication Senior Portfolio FAQ”).  These handouts are also available on the department web page:
8. Other:  You may be asked to provide your assignments on a portable computer medium (e.g., jump/thumb drive or CD). However, do NOT email your assignments to the instructor without permission.
The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason, and will give notice if any 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