COMSTRAT 480 – Advertising Campaign Development is the capstone course for Advertising students as part of the Strategic Communications sequence at the The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. The course is designed to bring together the skills and concepts undergraduate students have learned in advertising, marketing and communications courses in the Strategic Communications sequence.

Advertising Agency Operations and Campaigns is the most important class that you will take in your college career. This course will challenge you in new ways and will teach you the skills you need to become a successful professional.

My goal in this course is to help you become a stronger storyteller, to empower you to tap into your creativity and intelligence, to become a strong creative collaborator, a critical thinker, and an innovator. You will also walk away with solid best practices and industry standards knowledge that you will apply throughout your career.

Fall 2017 Update

Chris Cooney is not assigned to teach COMSTRAT 480 in fall 2017. Check back later for future course offerings.

Required Readings

No specific textbook is required for this course. Students are given specific reading assignments attached to each topic area. Most are articles, blog posts or resource documents created by industry experts.

Course Resources for Students

Course blog ( assignments, schedule, related materials)

Blackboard Learn: grades and dropboxes for assignments

myWSU: Roster and enrollment status, midterm grades, final grades



Chris Cooney
Clinical Assistant Professor

Office: MURROW 207 
Office Hours: By appointment
Phone: (509) 335-5452

Course Objectives

Account team work: Once you graduate and begin your professional career, you will work as part of team, whether that be at an advertising agency or another type of communications or marketing firm. In this class, you will be placed into teams for each of your class projects. Class time will be provided for team meetings with an emphasis on informal presentations by members of each team.

Written communications: This course is structured around the presentation of professionally produced advertising and marketing campaigns. You will be required to prepare content and materials for these project at the same level of quality and professionalism as you would in an advertising or marketing agency. To meet these requirements, your documents must be grammatically perfect, and free of spelling errors or typos. Your written communications in this course serve three goals:

1) Set deadlines for completion of work

2) Model team collaboration and interaction to follow the standards and expectations of a professional agency

3) Improve your writing skills.

Oral presentations: This course emphasizes skills for formal and informal agency presentations to clients and management. Each student will play a significant role in team presentations throughout the semester.


480 Learning Objectives

Knowledge & Skills

  • Marketing Situational Analysis
  • Develop an Integrated Marketing & Communications Plan
  • Market Research (Primary & Secondary)
  • Objectives, strategies and tactics for advertising
  • Test market an advertising plan
  • Campaign elements
  • Budgeting
  • Present your work professionally and confidently
  • Produce professional campaign documents and materials


  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of advertising and marketing theories and principles
  • Understanding of balancing priorities, politics and personalities of clients, personnel, creative partners and audiences
  • Collaboration and teamwork


  • Creativity
  • Confidence
  • Reliability
  • Integrity
  • Collaboration


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