Course Description

Advertising can be boiled down to a concept expressed in words and pictures. This course starts where grammar, syntax and punctuation end to explore the art and science of visual language in advertising. Students will isolate the words behind the pictures and develop the ability to persuade with visual language on a broad range of topics. The course challenges visually oriented students to focus on the writer’s role in the creative partnership between art director and copywriter. Topics include developing advertising strategy statements, headlines and slogans; combining copy and images; writing long & short body copy ad campaigns, TV & radio scripts and copy for direct mail and demographic profiles.

Learning Outcomes

For the successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in writing strategy statements based on research.
  • Conceptualize and develop branded content such as social media posts, webisodes, brand manifestos, video scripts, digital text ads, radio scripts, voiceover copy, guerilla marketing.
  • Develop complex digital, traditional and new media campaigns using the visual concept and strategic principles learned in COMD 2400.
  • Demonstrate use of vital communication tools such as the cliché, visual puns, metaphor, sarcasm and other time-tested methods as a copy tool in advertising.


The following syllabus presents the college approved course requirements, learning outcomes, suggested weekly course outline, etc. Your students should meet the defined learning outcomes and COMD Standards, but please adapt the weekly outline, project guidelines, and grading scheme, as needed.

Model Course

If available, a cloneable model course contains learning outcomes, suggested weekly topics and projects, video resources, quizzes, and more.

Course Coordination








Please review the COMD Standards for Curriculum Continuity.

Course Resources

This course utilizes the following Open Educational Resources (OER), zero cost resources, and/or required textbook :

  • Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising and Marketing, Mark Shaw, Laurence King Publishing; 2nd ed. edition (October 18, 2012)
  • Creative Strategy and the Business of Design by Douglas Davis
  • Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads by Luke Sullivan
  • Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence By Lisa Cron
  • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

Best Practices

Please review the Distance Education and Continuity Best Practices. These standards apply to all courses, whether web-enhanced, hybrid, or fully online, and may be used to inform peer evaluation of teaching.

BFA Resources

Please review and share the following resources with your BFA students.

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