Advertising

I want to compete in the marketplace of ideas.

Every brand, big and small, has a story to tell. They need creative people who can tell those stories in interruptive and compelling ways. If that sounds like a job for you, an ad agency or marketing department may be in your future. This is fast-paced industry that demands original ideas, killer concepts, and spot-on execution. And if your passion alone doesn't have your mind running all all cylinders, the fierce competition for jobs, projects, and clients will. In our Advertising degree program, you’ll explore ways to grab the attention and imagination of the right audience at the right time with the right appeal—from mass marketing to tailoring social media messages. Whether you choose the creative or business side of this competitive industry, you’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty* who know this isn’t a profession for the faint of heart.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Advertising

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Science in Advertising

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/3961 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to:

  • Apply industry knowledge and critical thinking skills to analyze, develop, and implement effective advertising solutions that meet professional standards.
  • Develop concepts as well as analyze and incorporate aesthetics and layout in the design process for advertising campaigns and marketing communications.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with the tools and graphic techniques of the profession to plan and implement production of advertising media such as print collateral, audio and video spots, and Web-interactive materials.
  • Articulate the vision behind their creative work and explain and promote their solutions to design and marketing problems with professional standards.
  • Demonstrate professional presentation skills, articulation of knowledge of visual problem solving, and mastery of industry standards, professional practices and ethics.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

I want to use both sides of my brain.

To make it in the advertising world, you’ll need to think both strategically and creatively. You’ll need a well-rounded education that gives you the whole picture. After your introduction to basics like color theory and typography, you’ll work through courses ranging from copywriting to account planning, from online marketing to media buying. You can explore areas like concept development, brand strategy, marketing research and public relations. You’ll have the opportunity to use relevant technologies that include design software. The idea is to help you develop the skills to communicate verbally, visually, interactively, and effectively—no matter which side of the business you end up pursuing. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet our Alumni

  • The Art Institute of California - Sacramento alumni Aaron Leong

    Aaron Leong

    Digital Filmmaking & Video Production , 2012

    "My education helped me to learn the fundamentals of production work and taught me the technical aspect of video production."

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    Aaron Leong

    Owner of 4th Wall Productions

    Aaron Leong is the owner of 4th Wall Productions in Sacramento, California. He’s responsible for client relations, directing, cinematography, equipment rental, editing, and color correction. As a freelancer, he doesn’t have a typical workday. “One of the biggest challenges in the freelance world is creating a reputation for yourself. People have to know that you’re worth it, so with any job go above and beyond expectation to prove it’s beneficial to have you on set,” he says.

    Aaron has been in the industry for 13 years and describes himself as “committed” to the industry. He’s worked in theater and performance, as well as behind the camera in production. “The work is heavy at times and very light at times. Take what you can get and save for those rainy days.” Before studying at The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, Aaron earned a degree in theater arts from San Francisco State. He studied theater because he knew that he wanted to become a director. Adding in a degree in Digital Film & Video Production helped him to make that goal a reality. “I was hired to direct my first budget narrative feature film in 2015 and it has been an amazing experience.”

    Aaron, who in 2012 earned a Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production from The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, says that his education helped him to learn the fundamentals of video production work. It also taught him the technical aspects of video production. He recommends that current students be persistent and stick to their standards. “Take any and all jobs that come your way, adjusting your rate for the position. Not only are they great opportunities to learn from someone more experience, but they are always networking opportunities.”

    See http://ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/1374 for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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What Will I Study?

I'm ready to build brands. Starting with my own.

From illustration, storyboarding and concept to strategy, research and public relations, there’s more to advertising than just creating ads. Our Advertising curriculum can take you from concept stage to market-ready professional. You'll study areas that span both the creative and business sides of the industry:

  • Copywriting
  • Digital Illustration
  • Storyboarding
  • Concept Development
  • Online Marketing
  • Account Planning
  • Marketing Research
  • Public Relations and Promotions
  • Media Buying
  • Brand Strategy


I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our Advertising degree program is built on our strengths in marketing, branding, and communication. It’s also built on our knowledge that there’s nothing easy about a creative career. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we’ll support you along every step of your journey. That’s why we provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. You’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet our Faculty

  • General Education Program Coordinator Woodrow Wilson Wagner III

    Woodrow Wilson Wagner III

    Graphic & Web Design

    "I want to elevate the intellectual spirit of my students to help them exercise their freedom as active participants in the society around them."

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    Woodrow Wilson Wagner III

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Teaching my first college class, in the fall of 1999.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    When I worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., I used political communication methods to respond to constituents and brief members of Congress and media outlets on legislation. In the classroom, I use some of those same methods to help students connect the theories of communication to the actual practice. Students have often commented how analyzing the words of politicians, entertainers, and religious leaders applies to their real-world endeavors.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My media and political communication lessons are designed to help students appraise the impact of advertisers, lobbyists, politicians, interest groups, and constituents. I want them to learn how to use communication to exercise their freedom, understand the needs of diverse groups, and create unique and innovative solutions to make their community a better place.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I’m reminded of the words of President Woodrow Wilson, who said, “We are not men because we have skill of hand, but we are men because we have an elevation of spirit. It is in the spirit that we live and not merely in the task of the day.” My greatest goal as an educator has been to elevate the spirit of my students by helping them become proficient communicators in the real world. I want to elevate the intellectual spirit of my students to help them exercise their freedom as active participants in the society around them.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    As the workplace becomes more culturally, behaviorally, educationally, and philosophically diverse, more versatile communication is essential to students’ success. I teach them to appreciate their own communication styles and the styles of others, and to use this knowledge to develop far more effective and productive working relationships.

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  • Image #1: Culinary Instructor Carol Thomas

    Carol Thomas

    Culinary Arts

    "Dreams can come true, but it takes hard work."

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    Carol Thomas

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I started college classes, I knew food and nutrition were my passion. Teaching others about nutrition and its impact on their life and health has become a lifetime goal.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I bring in executive chefs, sous chefs, and former students to help provide a look into the real culinary world. Students learn a great deal by hearing stories of what actually happens in a restaurant, on a cruise ship, in a bakery, casino, ballpark, country club, or food truck. I try to enlighten them, get them excited, but also show the realities. Dreams can come true, but it takes hard work.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I ask students to research a famous chef they may never have beard of. They come back to class and share what they’ve learned. It’s a great way to enlighten students about the industry—and how some of chefs became famous because of a new concept they created. It lets students see that the possibilities are unlimited.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    I always point out that culinary students can use some help in creating the visual that sells what they cook. Students often work together in culinary classes with graphic design students and photography students. Creating a menu requires knowledge of typeface and graphics. The right photo can enhance the presentation of the food. It all works together.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I tell them that their education will give them the knowledge and skills to prepare food, but that the business world is competitive—and their success will be determined by the attitude they take to the job. They need to show up early and be willing to stay late. And they need to listen.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Be open to what the masters have to offer. Combine that real world experience with classroom knowledge to create a successful career.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I’m passionate about helping every student achieve their dreams. I’ve seen so many graduates go out into the world and soar in their profession. Those students make me believe in what I do.

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  • Holly Agundes

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Keep an open mind."

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    Holly Agundes

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    After taking a computer science class, I realized I could never work in a traditional business environment. I had to do something with art.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My Graphic Symbolism class is learner-centered and eclectic, yet focused. It’s designed to allow students to explore their own individual style while they create a marketable piece.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Collaboration helps create awareness of other industries...each discipline relates to the other, and these connections can carry on beyond the classroom.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I impart confidence, awareness, and hopefully the ability to laugh and learn from one's mistakes.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Keep an open mind.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I welcome any student, and any prospective student, to come sit in on my classes.

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  • Culinary Instructor James McGrath

    James McGrath

    Culinary Arts

    "If you want to get better at something, do it over and over."

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    James McGrath

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I graduated college and looked at my career options, they all involved sitting at a desk, working in an office. That wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. So I dove headlong into cooking, something I’d done part-time in school.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    The classroom will never be the same as a professional environment. But our responsibility as instructors is to help students develop good work habits. We simulate the kinds of problems and issues that happen in the industry, so that when students experience them in the real world, they’ll know how to handle them.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I encourage students to ask questions now, while they’re still in school. I want them to leave with confidence in what they’ve learned so they can succeed in their careers.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    When students work in teams, each one looks at the project from a different angle. They each offer a different perspective. And when they bring all those perspectives together, the end result is better work.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Practice. If you want to get better at something, do it over and over.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Don't be too hard on yourself. Judge your work based on how it’s improved since the last time you critiqued it.

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  • Culinary Academic Director Katherina Griley

    Katherina Griley

    Culinary Arts

    Be confident!

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    Katherina Griley

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I realized that, in my role, I had the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life every day.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    Relaying stories of my past experience in the industry makes the concepts and theories more relatable and concrete, and I think it helps students to know someone who’s actually lived the lessons they’re teaching.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    My favorite class assignment, and the one that gives me the greatest sense of accomplishment, is recipe costing. Most Culinary students are terrified by math. Teaching recipe costing in an interactive, hands-on way keeps them engaged. Realizing that culinary math is really just addition, subtraction, multiplication and division eases the anxiety. Solving the challenge becomes a fun process—both for me and my students.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    It helps students realize that they won't be alone, that they won’t be expected to excel at everything. Networking with others to share ideas, and tapping into other students’ talents, is crucial to their career success, no matter what program they’re enrolled in.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Be confident!

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  • General Education Instructor Laura Hohlwein

    Laura Hohlwein

    Graphic & Web Design

    "The best work flows from your own genuine interest and passion."

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    Laura Hohlwein

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve always been someone who loves making art, loves writing, loves teaching. My father was an art professor and my mother was an English professor, so higher education has always been a fundamental part of my world. I don't know when I stopped worrying about whether I was going to be an artist or a poet or educator, but I no longer see the need to choose. All my interests are part of something bigger—engaging with life and with others in the most meaningful way possible.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    My decades of experience as a creative writer and professional artist inform my class discussions every day. Even though most students aren’t aiming to be fine artists or poets, I profoundly believe that the creative processes involved in those explorations create skills that are meaningful and transferable to most creative professions. In the case of writing, that means creating a sensitivity to story, substance, and meaning. In the case of fine art, it’s learning to play, invent, and control the elements and principles of design. I hope students can see how much fun I’m having teaching them, and consider doing it themselves someday.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    A texture project I assign in Design Fundamentals exemplifies a basic idea I have about creativity: that creative people should learn to do two very different things very well— play and edit. In this project, students roll out butcher paper over tables. Using black and white mediums of every kind, they cover the entire surface, draw over or add to each other’s work, and crunch, tear, or glue the paper. They generate all kinds of visual and physical textures and reconnect with the simple pleasure of playing. Then they cut up areas of the texture to create a typographical piece, editing the raw material to produce a clear effect.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    Life is collaboration. Collaboration is messy, and it can create interesting dynamics. People tend to be either leaders or followers; trying out different roles can expand a student’s range. It’s a great lesson to learn, since in life you’re sometimes asked to work outside your comfort zone. I think in general that it’s critical that we engage, as often as possible, with people with other interests, beliefs, and approaches.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    The best work flows from your own genuine interest and passion. The first step in any creative endeavor, whether for yourself, a client, or your company, is connecting with the purpose of making the product on a personal level.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I’m enormously lucky to teach such an amazing variety of courses, to work with talented students and our impressive and genuinely supportive faculty.

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  • General Education Instructor Mark Emerson

    Mark Emerson

    Graphic & Web Design

    "Be prepared. be professional. Be ready to work."

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    Mark Emerson

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I’m very fortunate to be able to produce artwork outside of the classroom that I can share with students. I think it’s helpful for them to see the process that I use.

    How would you describe your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I assign a series of projects that build upon each other to encourage students to grow their abilities. By mid-term, in my drawing class in particular, they're able to translate what they're learning into producing their own work.

    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

    As an example, the window assignments with visual merchandising force students to push themselves creatively in ways that they haven’t before. After completing the assignment, they’re extremely proud to have work they can add to their portfolio

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Be prepared. Be professional. Be ready to work. Be on time. Be better than your competition.

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  • Media Arts Instructor Mikiya Okada

    Mikiya Okada

    Media Arts & Animation

    "You have to learn to produce a high-quality product in a limited amount of time."

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    Mikiya Okada

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve enjoyed creating things ever since my grandma taught me how to draw a cartoon figure.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I learned so many things in school that I later realized were true in the industry. I share much of that with my students.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I always give assignments that, in addition to being the most effective way to build knowledge, I actually enjoy doing myself.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    One of the things students learn through collaboration is that there are so many career possibilities. They realize that things they learn in their own area of study could actually help them succeed in another profession.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Everybody can be great at everything if they spend enough time at it. But time is a luxury that no industry really has. You have to learn to produce a high-quality product in a limited amount time.

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  • General Education Instructor Morgan Giles

    Morgan Giles

    Graphic & Web Design

    "There isn't just one way to do or think about anything."

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    Morgan Giles

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school.

    How do you help prepare your students for the realities of the professional world?

    Although I’m not a veteran of one of the industries for which we prepare our students, I stress that each of those industries has certain expectations regarding professional behavior, and I do my best to make sure they’re ready for the challenges and rigors they’ll soon be facing.

    How would you describe your approach to inspiring students?

    I try to inspire my students to look deeper into the visual culture and seek out what their work, along with the work of others, suggest about the nature of humanity, our society, our relationship to the world around us, and our ethical responsibilities.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    As important as it is for students from different programs to work together, I believe that students and teachers also need to collaborate with each other. My door’s always open for anyone who’s having a tough time with anything we’ve covered in class.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I tell my students to think for themselves, and I remind them that there isn’t just one way to do or think about anything.

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  • Stephanie Lamour

    Culinary Arts

    "Be positive, be strong, and never stop learning."

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    Stephanie Lamour

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    Even when I was a kid watching my father cooking in the kitchen, I knew I wanted to cook.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    In the 15 years I’d been in the industry before I started teaching, I’d been hiring students coming out of other schools, and noticed a lack of knowledge and speed in some of them. When I started teaching, I decided to make sure I’d show my students how it works in the real world. I talk about the challenges they’ll encounter and how to deal with them. For example, I let them know that here, they have all the space and equipment they need. But in the real world, they probably never will.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    For my mid-term and final practicals, students make their own food and show me what they learned.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    All our classes are team-taught. I teach students the importance of working together and communicating with each other, because that’s how it is in the industry.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Be positive, be strong, and never stop learning.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I’m very passionate about what I do every single day. I have high standards, and try to be a role model for my students.

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The Art Institute of Michigan alumni Calvert Griffin [My education] helped me to learn how to be an effective teammate and work well with others. Calvert Griffin
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, 2014, The Art Institute of Michigan