Art Institutes

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 Fine Arts in Advertising

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

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.

Meet our Alumni

  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Andrew Satterwhite

    Andrew Satterwhite

    Culinary Arts , 2013

    "The Art Institute of San Antonio [taught me] why recipes come out a certain way."

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    Andrew Satterwhite

    Line Cook at Luke San Antonio

    Andrew Satterwhite is working as a line cook at Luke San Antonio in Texas. He’s responsible for set up, prep, and running the grill station for dinner service. Andrew served in the United States Army for four years as a parachute rigger and has also worked in construction. “All [of these experiences] have taught me skills that I can use for myself, but also I have used them to help this country grow,” he says.

    Andrew looks to his surroundings for inspiration and says that the best part of his culinary career is that it’s always changing. “This is one of the most diverse and exciting careers to have. I can go anywhere and learn recipes, techniques, and cultures to help me make new and exciting dishes [to] introduce to my family and others.”

    Andrew, who in 2013 earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that his education taught him why recipes turn out a certain way. “Growing up in California, I was lucky enough to encounter many cultures and the cuisines that accompanied them. In the Army, I used an electric skillet and a barbeque to make all my meals.” He recommends that current students open their minds to learning. “Figure out how to make [learning] a driving force in everything you do.”

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  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Angela Lawson

    Angela Lawson

    Digital Photography , 2015

    "My education at The Art Institute of San Antonio gave me the skills, knowledge, and business sense to be successful in [any] genre of photography that I choose."

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    Angela Lawson

    Real Estate Photographer for Curb Views, LLC

    Angela Lawson is a real estate photographer for Curb Views, LLC, in San Antonio, Texas. She photographs houses and collaborates with realtors to build virtual tours of real estate listings. To create her work, Angela visits homes for sale, photographing the inside and outside. “Sometimes, the home may not be photographically ready and I help the owners and realtors to straighten up,” she says. “I had a realtor specifically request me as her photographer because she liked my photographic style. The previous home I shot for her sold in the first 8 hours of being listed. She was so happy and that made me happy!”

    Angela’s creative inspirations include Annie Leibovitz, Martin Schoeller, Herb Ritts, Jerry Uelsman, Christian Coigny, and Helmut Newton. She’s excited to be learning new skills and meeting new people. “I have the chance with each passing day to make better work than the day before. This work is seen by many, many different people and is a reflection of my hard work and knowledge of my craft. I always enjoy learning more about photography.”

    Angela, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that her education provided the skills, knowledge, and business sense she needed to be successful in photography. “I learned about lighting, photographic design, portraiture, photojournalism, corporate and architecture, business practices, and so much more. All of this knowledge sets me apart from many photographers out there in the world.” She adds that current students should take their time and stay focused on their goals. “While you may pick up certain skills quickly, others may be more challenging. Life events, finances, and learning curves may seem to overwhelm at times—it happened to me—but don't let them discourage you from your goals and passion for what you want to do.”

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  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Ayme Troas

    Ayme Troas

    Interior Design , 2015

    "My education [taught me] how to communicate with other designers. When they ask for particular items by name, I know exactly what they are talking about."

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    Ayme Troas

    Design and Sales for KBK to Trade

    Ayme Troas is working in design and sales for KBK to Trade in San Antonio, Texas. She assists designers in finding the right fabrics, furniture, accessories, and lighting for interior design projects. Ayme also works with vendors to get information for clients and to place orders. “The design industry is always evolving, as are the people. Every once in a while someone comes along and takes the industry by storm. I enjoy learning about the new trends and introducing them to our clients,” she says.

    Ayme finds creative inspiration in the world around her. “Whether it’s people, food, my surroundings, or a movement, there is always something that will spark a start to my next project.” Her creative heroes are people in the design industry who go above and beyond to reach the best possible design outcome. Looking to the future, Ayme believes that computer renderings will continue to improve—and will soon look like actual photographs. “The industry is headed toward more digital advances [including] creating applications for tablets or phones [that will allow designers to make] on-the-spot renderings. These [applications] would be extremely beneficial to designers who are always on the go.”

    Ayme, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that her education taught her the industry language as well as how to be a strong communicator. “When [other designers] ask for particular items by name, I know exactly what they are talking about and therefore I can help them more proficiently. I’m also able to quickly draft plans or create sketches to show custom pieces or room layouts.” She adds that current students should push their creativity and don’t hold back. “Find your signature style but don’t be afraid to explore others.”

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  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston alumni Sommer Bostick

    Sommer Bostick

    Media Arts & Animation , 2014

    "Working on game based training for the military has exposed me to things I never would be doing when I started at [The Art Institute of San Antonio]."

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    Sommer Bostick

    3D Modeler and Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton

    Sommer Bostick is working as a 3D modeler and consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton on the San Antonio Riverwalk in Texas. She works on game based training for the military, and is responsible for creating and texturing 3D models, video editing, and demonstrating products and capabilities at marketing events. Sommer says that she learns something new each day. “I think that's one of the coolest things about being in the animation industry because when you have to model and animate something you know nothing about, you have to learn everything about it so you can accurately represent it.”

    Sommer is especially proud to have created a welcome video for Booz Allen Hamilton’s incoming CEO—it was played for hundreds of employees. “That video gained me recognition from leadership and other teams in the firm. I met and talked with the CEO one-on-one during the event [where the video] was played, and it was an amazing experience for me.” Since her video was viewed, Sommer says that the company’s leadership has relied on her more and more. “I realized how much I proved myself to my team, and the whole firm.”

    Sommer, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of San Antonio, says that her education provided her with the knowledge, tools, and skills she needed to transition into her current career. She recommends that current students give it everything they’ve got—even if it means taking a job that isn’t a “dream job.” “It’s experience and you need that.” She adds that the future of her industry lies in staying on top of new technology and developing applications and training. “Currently we are diving into virtual reality with technology like Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. We are exploring how these technologies can benefit training in the military. I believe that virtual reality can go beyond that into health care and other professions, and be incredibly useful in training capabilities.”

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What Will I Study?

Study Section

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

  • Christopher Wilhelm

    Christopher Wilhelm

    Advertising

    "Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. If you’re not occasionally making them, then you aren’t trying hard enough."

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

    I always sketched and painted, even when I was a pre-med early in college. That all changed when UC Berkeley offered me some grants and a fellowship to serious studio painting. However, after getting my MFA, my practical side kicked in and I went back for my MBA. That’s when I sort of blended all that training and went into advertising and marketing.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I very much enjoy branding exercises because it forces people to not only understand the difference between mere corporate identity and true branding, but the extent to which successful companies manage their brands – from initial positioning all the way through the myriad of customer touchpoints that can affect a consumer’s experience with a brand. It helps to understand just how comprehensive the branding process really needs to be.

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


    Group projects really help in this regard. They force students to work outside the classroom to research their hypothetical businesses, to understand all of the elements that go into a successful marketing or advertising plan, and how to collaborate with others in the process. It’s a good introduction into how the real world works and what it takes to succeed beyond the individual level.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?


    Very few marketing problems don’t involve collaboration to solve them. Whether you are a designer or a restaurateur, you always have to depend on the skills and goodwill of others to successfully market your product or service. No one can do it all.

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

    The most successful people in any field – whether it’s engineering, healthcare, public service or something creative – are also good communicators. No matter how good your product or service is, you’ll be a bigger success if you can write and speak well.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. If you’re not occasionally making them, then you aren’t trying hard enough.


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  • Rick

    Rick "Coach" Green

    "Setting goals is critical, in and out of the classroom."

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    Rick "Coach" Green

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

    My junior year in high school, I was in the food service program. The drama teacher encouraged me to try out for the school play, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. After the director of the food service program saw me act in the play, she encouraged me to go back into regular studies and join the speech team. The next year, I was state champion in Duet Acting and fifth in the nation for Prose/Poetry…and I knew performing was my destiny.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Adults learn by doing. So when I teach the communication process model, my students act out the different components of the model. It’s an approach that’s based on collaboration and student-centered learning.

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

    I always have students set goals for their learning experience. Setting goals is critical, in and out of the classroom, to help you get and stay motivated.

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