Whether it’s the giant billboard in Times Square for PETA, the small classified in the back of your local paper for a dentist office or the tearjerker Tim Hortons TV commercial, advertising is a very prominent aspect of our lives. In 2010, this creative field brought in $300-billion in the United States and $500-billion worldwide. That’s not surprising when you consider that advertising is offered through everything from newspapers, magazine, TV, radio, the Internet to text messages, mobile applications and more. Professionals in advertising must have the ability to combine creative thinking with business skills in order to persuade their target audience to buy into a specific product or service. Training to become an advertising professional begins with attending one of Canada’s advertising programs.
There are actually many options within the field — from account management, and media buying and planning to marketing, copy writing and production. Centennial College’s School of Communications, Media and Design offers three advertising programs to suit a variety of interests and education levels. Although they range in focus, these programs all require students to use strategic thinking, business savvy and, of course, creativity.
The undergraduate, three-year Advertising program prepares students for careers in advertising fields such as: account management, media buying and planning, marketing, copywriting, production, direct marketing, event marketing and promotions. Students are encouraged to developing instincts and strategic abilities while meeting deadlines in a professional and creative environment. This is achieved by learning the entire advertising process (research, developing strategies, campaign planning, copywriting, production, media planning and buying as well as copywriting, media and account management); and by completing an industry field placement that allows students to acquire experience in real-life scenarios.
If, however, students have already obtained a degree or diploma in advertising, they can choose from two Graduate Certificate programs: Advertising Account Management and Advertising Media Management.
The first, Account Management, is a three-semester undertaking that will suit those who enjoy planning, managing and working in collaborative and professional teams. Within this Advertising program, students obtain both theory and hands-on training through courses such as Professional Practice, Media for Account Managers, Broadcast Production Basics, Copywriting Techniques, Interactive Production Management, and more. It, too, offers a field placement to its students. By the end of the program, students are ready for positions as specialized account managers who understand the full scope of advertising tactics and can manage integrated communication plans from inception to final production.
The second of the post-graduate advertising programs is Advertising Media Management. It is designed to help students to develop an expertise in reaching target audiences with a creative message as well as build their business and negotiating skills on behalf of advertising clients to achieve strategic results. This ensures that they are ready for the role of strategic media planning and buying. Also three semesters in length, it is balanced in its approach with both in-class sessions and an industry field placement. Specific courses in this industry-approved advertising program include: Media Industry Issues, Media Advertising, Negotiations and Sales; Media Buying and Reporting, and more.