Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark

University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Communications (COMM)

COMM 421W Advertising Creative Strategies (3) Planning, designing, writing advertisements; introduction to graphics and production techniques and processes; layout and copywriting practice and critiques.

COMM 421W Advertising Communications Problems (3)

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the intellectual and practical skills involved with the development of advertising creative work. Students are introduced to research and thinking strategies that lead to creative ideas and are provided with computer software and other training that facilitates the execution of advertising based on their ideas. The course requires students to complete several creative projects, in distinct product categories (e.g., packaged goods, durable goods, public services, consumer services), over the course of the semester. Before developing advertising, students will be expected to research the product, service or idea that constitutes the creative project. They will gain an understanding of the kinds of information most valuable to creative professionals in the development of ideas, and be provided with an overview of research strategies leading to the discovery of such information. After completing the required research, students will produce briefs that summarize findings and serve as a platform for further work on their creative projects. Given the course 's designation as writing intensive, these documents will be evaluated both for their content and the degree of accuracy demonstrated in grammar, spelling, punctuation and word choice. Since the evaluation of creative ideas is inherently subjective, these written research documents are usually weighted more heavily in the calculation of final course grades. Students will use their own research as the platform for generating creative ideas to advertise their product, service or idea. Instruction on creative thinking techniques will be provided as tools for this activity. As ideas are developed, students are encouraged to share their work with their peers and the instructor for feedback. In "workshop" fashion, these in-class critiques of creative work serve to refine and improve ideas. Over the course of the semester, students work toward finalizing creative solutions. By semester's end, each student will be expected to submit a final portfolio of work that demonstrates proficiency in the subject matter covered by the course. Traditionally, the final portfolio includes creative briefs and ads developed from them.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2004
Prerequisite: COMM 320

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.