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Distance Learning Advertising Course Descriptions

Advertising courses prepare students to design ads using words and images in Web and print formats. Distance learning advertising courses can be taken individually through 2- and 4-year colleges, universities and art and design schools.

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Online Courses in Advertising

Below are some commonly offered advertising courses available in an online format.

  • Principles of Advertising: Aspiring professionals study marketing theory and strategy and learn how these principles are used in the advertising of products and services. The course also covers the history of advertising in the U.S. and the basics of planning advertising campaigns.
  • Media Planning: Students learn about the different kinds of advertising media, like TV, radio commercials and print ads. This course shows how different forms of media can be used most effectively for different products or in different situations.
  • Advertising and Social Responsibility: In this course, students examine how advertising affects consumers today and how it has affected people in the past. It also covers the necessity for truth in advertising.
  • Creative Strategy and Execution: This course familiarizes students with computer applications and programs, including Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, that are used to create ads and designs. Students learn the practical aspects of design, such as typography, layout, copy and production.
  • Public Relations: Students explore means of building relationships. They also examine the techniques, theories and processes needed to do that. They learn how to analyze media and implement solid public relations programs.
  • Selling Principles: Students learn the basics of selling to incorporate them in their advertisements. Additional topics include legal issues related to sales.
  • Music in Advertising: This course focuses on new partnerships being forged between bands and musicians and advertisers to simultaneously promote both the artist and a product. Students in this course will examine the evolution of the notion of 'selling out' and the new role of the advertising media in the music industry.
  • Law of Mass Communications: This course will cover mass media and the legal issues associated with it. Other topics include freedom of the press, the Supreme Court, and various theories of law.
  • Research and Analytics: Students in this course learn about web analytics. Additionally, the analysis of content will be addressed, and online interviews and surveys will be covered.

Program Information

Online courses in advertising can be taken as part of larger certificate, associate's, bachelor's or master's degree programs in marketing, communications, public relations or advertising. Courses prepare students for the creative and business sides of advertising, and students learn how to develop marketing strategies to boost a company's visibility and sales. Distance learning advertising courses might require students to attend a week or two on campus for instruction. However, most often students utilize a virtual learning platform, such as Blackboard, to access their professor's notes and lectures and submit assignments. Some courses require students to work in online groups in which they must meet in a virtual space at scheduled times throughout the semester.

In addition to a computer and Internet access, students may need specific software for digital media courses, such as Adobe Creative Suite. Some classes may also require access to a printer, scanner and digital camera for accessing and submitting digital coursework. Students are encouraged to research software and hardware requirements for prospective programs prior to enrollment.

Students who want to study advertising online can do so though various undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Certificates are also available. Most of these programs are available in fields like public relations, communications, and marketing.

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