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Communication and Media Studies 273

COMS 273: Advertising Account Planning

Prerequisite: COMS 173

Credit Hours: (3)

Analysis of advertising from an account planning function that is creating insights for advertising strategy.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Account planners represent the consumer within ad agencies. They provide a link between the goals of the client, the account management team, the creative development group, and the media planning team. Account planners are strategists who are particularly aware the needs, wants, and desires of the target audiences of advertising messages. Given this, account planners need to know how to acquire valid information from consumers of advertising communications. Most importantly, they need to know how to obtain key bits of information that will make advertising campaigns successful advertising campaigns.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will take the form of lecture, discussion, small group activity and class presentations, and will cover the following areas:

1. Introduction to the history of the advertising account planning function.
2. Consumers in the advertising account planning function.
3. Understanding the role of advertising in marketing function.
4. Advertising strategy.
5. Research in advertising.
6. Stimulating advertising creative ideas through research.
7. Creative briefs and briefings.
8. Account planning’s relationship to advertising creative.
9. Creative development and research.
10. Campaign evaluation.


Goals and Objectives of the Course


Students will be able to:

1. Describe the function of an account planner in an advertising agency.
2. Explain the context of account planning.
3. Identify the role of advertising in marketing.
4. Enumerate the perils of not involving consumers in advertising planning.
5. Understand and practice the skills needed by an account planner.
6. Understand why and how to obtain consumer input for the purposes of account planning.
7. Become a critical practitioner and consumer of research.
8. Obtain practice in generating insights from consumer speech and behavior in general.
9. Uncover the roots of truthful consumer thought and emotion.
10. Stimulate creative ideas through research or “creative development research.”
11. Develop an advertising strategy.
12. Understand the importance of the creative brief and its attributes.
13. Develop creative briefs.
14. Understand the perspective of creative regarding creative briefs.
15. Avoid the perils of research rough creative ideas.
16. Create the conditions in the advertising agency context for a successful strategy to prosper and capitalize on the synergy of all the parties involved.
17. Understand the role of the planner in campaign evaluation.
18. Coordinate with the media planning function.
19. Enumerate issues in international account planning.
20. Describe the potential role of the planner as consultant to clients and other communication industries.


Assessment Measures

Assessment measures may include: quizzes and exams, weekly assignments, semester projects, and class presentations.


Other Course Information

Possible additional sources of information which may be used in this course among others:
•    Jon Steel’s Truth, Lies, & Advertising: The Art of Account Planning;
•    The Account Planning Group’s How to Plan Advertising, 2 ed., Alan Cooper, ed.;
•    Patricia Sunderland and Rita Denny’s Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research;
•    Readings in Account Planning, Hart Weichselbaum, ed.;
•    The Communications Challenge – A Practical Guide to Media Neutral Planning, Julian Saunders, ed.;
•    Lisa Fortini-Campbell’s Hitting the Sweet Spot;
•    Claes Fornell’s The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference.


Review and Approval

05/2011