module specification

MC5000 - Advertising Concepts Theory and Practice (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Advertising Concepts Theory and Practice
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Individual Essay
Group Presentation 20%   Group Presentation
Group Coursework 50%   Group Report
Running in 2018/19 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module is designed to introduce students to the advertising process and the role it plays within the changing global technological environment of marketing communications. The module presents theoretical frameworks and models which are relevant to brand advertising and explores traditional and on line advertising practice. The content includes advertising theories and models; the strategic advertising brief; how agencies work with clients; how advertising is developed and produced; how advertising is evaluated and measured, (the metrics); the development of offline and online media; how advertising works within the regulatory framework in which advertising operates across markets and international cultures

Module aims

This module has been designed to build on Level 4 modules knowledge with a focus on the understanding of advertising theory and principles.  This module aims to develop a critical understanding of advertising function and its contribution to the marketing communication function.  The aims of the module are:

  1. To critically explore the concepts & advertising and techniques, and the role of advertising in improving brand effectiveness and brand communications.
  2. To develop analytical abilities of students and apply these to their knowledge and skills in understanding traditional and contemporary  advertising  
  3. To develop and demonstrate students technical skills and knowledge in applying and developing advertising plans.
  4. Develop students' understanding and knowledge of the issues in the changing structure of advertising industry in both a national and global context

The module also aims to assist students in the acquisition of the following skills:

  1. Researching analysing 
  2. Academic writing & reading
  3. Application of knowledge and presenting data 
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Communicating/Presenting, orally and in writing
  6. Being creative
  7. Inter-personal/Inter-cultural communication
  8. Interpreting  & evaluating information


  • The advertising context – Historical development of advertising.
  • How advertising agencies are structured and the differing relationships with client companies -Traditional and digital.
  • The structure of communication agencies personnel and suppliers  & functions – Account planning, media planning & buying, creative director, copywriter, art director, production  & traffic
  • The role of advertising in Integrated marketing communication
    Theoretical principles of branding & the role of advertising in building strong brands & brand equity.
  • Principles  used in developing an adverting strategy – generic, pre-emptive, positioning, rezone, affective informational
  • Advertising theories used to explain how advertising works & how consumer process information  - sales objective, cognitive,  emotional advertising, Attitudes, Integrated advertising models - FCB grid, Hierarchy of effects   Elaborative likelihood model, ATR model ,  Advertising engagement ,  Advertising & consumer involvement, Social semiotics and visual persuasion theory.
  • Analysis of how advertising theories have been adapted and adopted by the industry
  • Analysis and critique of advertising executions
  • Writing and evaluation a creative brief and creative appeals.
  • The media options for adverting traditional and digital (TV, Radio, Print , cinema , outdoor , paid search, display advertising, video advertising, advergaiming )
  • The media industry in the context of buying & using media for advertising - traditional and digital
  • International advertising strategies and planning – Culture, cultural norms, language & symbols standardisation, adaptation & localisation.
  • Regulatory, legislative, voluntary  and ethical frameworks within which advertising operates
  • Detailed analysis of how each stage of an advertising plan is developed from brief to execution
  • How advertising is measured, controlled and evaluated (traditional metrics and digital metrics )
  • Research methods to pretest, post-test. Research approaches  &  methods  to measure effectiveness of  advertising campaigns  -quantitative  /qualitative approaches 
  • Examining the range and context of how advertising is assessed and evaluated in the business world

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered over a 30 week period and consists of 1.5 hours lectures and 1.5 hours seminar each week.   The weekly lectures will focus on key theories, concepts models and frameworks
For the analysis of contemporary advertising. The seminar sessions will cover discussions, debates, and video, cases, campaigns and questions and answer sessions to build on the contemporary advertising issues covered in the lectures.  The Seminar  serves to anchor knowledge imparted in the lectures and provides a forum student discussions

  • A better understanding of lectures through small group discussions, case study/ campaigns/ journal article/problem solving analysis and interchange of questions and answers.
  • Assist students in relating their knowledge to the advertising  discipline and profession

The facilities of Web Learn will be used as part of a blended learning approach and will be central to the delivery of module handbook, case studies, campaigns, journal articles, and external web links learning

Learning outcomes

On successfully  completing the module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrates an understanding and evaluates the brand-building function of advertising  and how brands are perpetuated, enhanced in various  advertising media channels  (1)
  • Analyse, interpret, and evaluate relevant information & demonstrate a critical understanding  and  use of the principal theories of advertising  in branding communications (2)
  • Understand and critique the increasingly complex nature of advertising within the management, delivery and control of strategic brand communications plans (3)
  • Analyse,  and interpret, and evaluate relevant information to manage the advertising planning process & demonstrate the use of appropriate metrics & measurements for controlled and evaluated  plans  (traditional and digital) (4)
  • Select and use appropriate theory & media  mix (traditional & digital)  in response to a specific  pitch brief and support their use (5)

Assessment strategy

The module requires students to evaluate, analyse and think critically and apply their specialist knowledge gained during the module. Accordingly, the module is assessed by Three components:  Individual Essay on one theoretical aspect of advertising 30% (2,000 words)  Group presentation  of  a creative   brief  20% (20 minutes)  Group advertising campaign  report  50%  (4,000 words ) 

Individual Essay  30%  (2,000 words)
Students will be required to analysis one theoretical aspect of advertising. The assessment will require that the students select an academic article about Advertising Theory from a given list. This will be provided by the lecturer on Web Learn. They will need to write an essay that presents the theoretical underpinnings of the article and gauge the most important ideas from the selected article and its relationship to advertising theory. Students will discuss managerial implications and provide illustrates of advertising campaigns supporting the theory and viewpoints from the article.

Group Presentation creative brief  20 %  (20mins)
Students will be required to work in groups of 3-4 for an oral presentation. Students will be required to carry out the development of an advertising pitch for a brand, product or service as agreed with the Module leader   students will prepare a deliver a presentation. & supporting material.

Group Report  50%   (4,000 words)
Students are required to produce a comprehensive advertising plan. Each group should clearly explain the contents of the advertising campaign including the context analysis, advertising strategy, creative strategy, media planning and buying strategy, campaign implementation process, budgets and measurements of results.

Constructive alignment of assessment strategy to learning outcomes and skill development

Assessment strategy Learning Outcomes Skill Development
Individual Essay 1,2,34,8 Researching &  analysing,(I PA) Academic writing & reading (PA) Application of knowledge,(A)  Interpreting & evaluating  information (IPA)
Critical thinking (IPA
Group Presentation creative brief report                                                           1,2,3,4, Inter-personal/Inter-cultural communication, (PA) Application of knowledge and presenting data,  (IPA) Being creative (IPA) Researching analysing ,(I PA)
Group report  – Develop  an Advertising plan ,1,2,3,4,5,6,8                                         Researching analysing (IPA) Application of knowledge,(A) Inter-personal/Inter-cultural communication, (PA) Critical thinking (IPA)Academic writing (A) Being creative(IPA) Interpreting  & evaluating inform (IPA)




Fill C. Hughes G. De Francesco S. (2012) Advertising: strategy, creativity and media Pearson

William F. Arens, Michael F. Weigold, Christian Arens  (2016)  Contemporary Advertising 15 Edition International edition McGraw

Rodgers S.  Thorson  E. (2012)  Advertising Theory Routledge

Fennis B.  Stroebe  W. (2015) The Psychology of Advertising  2nd edition Routledge

Yeshin T. (2006) Advertising Thomson

Moriarty S, Mitchell N.  Wells W. (2015) Advertising & IMC: Principles and Practice, Global Edition, 0/E Pearson

Helpful additional recommended reading:
Hackley C.  Hackley  R. (2015) Advertising and Promotion  Third Edition SAGE Publications

Kelley L,  Sheehan K.,  Jugenheimer D. (2016) Advertising Media Planning A Brand Management Approach, 4th Edition

Wellls D. (2014) Measuring Advertising Effectiveness Psychology Press

Tag  N. (2012) Ad Critique How to Deconstruct Ads in Order to Build Better Advertising Sage

Eckler, P. and Rodgers, S., (2014) The handbook of international Advertising Research

Morrison, M.(2002) Using Qualitative Research in Advertising, Sage, 2002

Farley, D.(2002) How to Produce Successful Advertising, Kogan Page, 2002

Davis J.(2011) Advertising Research: Theory and Practice, Prentice Hall, 2011

O’Shaughnessy J. O’Shaughnessy N. (2003) Persuasion in Advertising Routledge UK

Fill C.(2013) Marketing Communications Brands, experiences and participation 6th Edition Pearsons
(Available as an E-book.)

De Pelsmacker, P., Geuens, M. & Van den Bergh, J.,(2013) Marketing Communications, 5th  ed, Pearson  (Available as an E-book.)

Keller K. 2013 Strategic Brand Management Global 4th Edition  Pearsons
(Available as an E-book)

Keller K., Aperia T. Georgson M.  (2012) strategic Brand Management 2nd edition  Pearsons (Available as an E-book.)
Chaffey D. Ellis-Chadwick F. (2015) Digital Marketing Strategy Implementation & Practice  6th Edition Pearson Education Limited

Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising
Journal of Interactive Advertising
Journal of Advertising Research
Journal of Advertising
International Journal of Advertising : the quarterly review of marketing communications
Journal of Promotion management
International journal of Integrated Marketing Communications
Journal of Marketing Communications

Advertisers Age
Financial Times
Marketing Week
IPA Effectiveness Award Books

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
Internet Advertising Bureau UK
Interactive Advertising Bureau
Broadcaster Audience Research Board
Screen Digest
Advertising Standards Authority
Radio Advertising Bureau  radio-advertising-bureau-uk
Click Z www.clickz
Marketing Sherpa Sherpa
World Advertising Research centre
Advertising Association
News media association