Advertising Major

If you dream of creating commercials for the Super Bowl, then advertising might be the career for you.

Advertising students study all phases of the industry from art direction to media planning and buying. For instance, advertising students write and design ads, conduct market research and develop campaigns. They sharpen their creative skills, learn the inner workings of the industry and gain the academic credentials needed for success.

An advertising professional work alone and with a team. People in advertising sell, create, think, strategize and execute ideas to connect people and products.

Advertising students can work for an advertising agency, a national or regional company, a media firm or a vendor. Job titles include, for example: copywriter, media planner and buyer, graphic designer, brand manager, media sales, account executive, social media marketer, creative director, marketing strategist, photo/video editor, promotions manager, event planner, photographer, market researcher and account planner.

Account Management

The responsibility of the account manager is to be the client's representative at the agency, and the agency's representative at the client's organization. It is his or her job to get the best possible work from the agency for the client-but at a profitable return for the agency. This means knowing how to handle people at the agency so that they give the client their best effort without spending more time than the income from the client's business justifies.

Account Planner

Account planners make sure the consumer's perspective is fully considered when advertising is developed. He or she works to continually focus and re-focus the agency's strategic and creative thinking on the consumer, helping the team—particularly the creatives—understand what "turns the consumer on." They study how consumers actually make use of marketing communications. Using that knowledge, they help the agency break out into new ways of communicating about products and services. They offer not only consumer insight, but a plan of action for approaching marketing communications challenges.

Creative/Art Director and Copywriter

The creative department of an advertising agency is responsible for developing the ideas, images and words that make up commercials and ads. While many people in the agency contribute to the process, the invention and production of advertising is mainly the responsibility of copywriters and art directors.

A copywriter writes body copy for print, radio or television campaigns and develops merchandising and sales promotion materials.

An art director assists prepares layouts for print ads and television storyboards, develops visual concepts and designs and oversees photo sessions and the filming of television commercials.


The media department of an advertising agency is responsible for placing advertising where it will reach the right people at the right time and in the right place...and do so in a cost-effective way.

Planning and buying media at an advertising agency is exciting and challenging because ways of communicating are constantly changing and becoming more complex. Such technological advances as cable television and the internet, or digital make an impact on what media are available for advertising and how viewership is calculated.


If you have ever visited a company's website, you have been part of how interactive marketing is changing the relationship between advertiser and the audience.

An important point to understand is to realize that with traditional marketing vehicles, companies had to find you to get your attention. In the world of interactive marketing, the consumer seeks out the company's web site and decides how long they will stay. They can tailor the experience to their own needs. This is why interactive marketing is the fastest growing phenomena in the media and marketing world.

Student AdFed

Students obtain real world experience through the annual American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition. Students research a product's strengths and potential buying audience. By joining the University of Memphis AdFed club, students interact with professionals from Memphis advertising agencies and network with advertising pros throughout the country.