MKTG 7326
Advertising & Promotion Strategy

2013
Course prerequisite: Mktg 3310 or equivalent

Herbert Jack Rotfeld
Auburn University Alumni Professor
Department of Marketing
246 Lowder Hall
rotfeld@auburn.edu
http://www.auburn.edu/~rotfehj
http://www.auburn.edu/~rotfehj/essays.html

Required purchases:
+ Advertising and Promotion, 9th Ed., by Belch and Belch, 2012. ISBN 9780073404868
     -- Canvas is not used for this course.

Web sites of suggested reading or periodic review:

COURSE OBJECTIVE
This course provides students an opportunity to gain an understanding of advertising and other mass communications marketing practices: common business activities and terminology, perspectives applied when taking the optimal approach to decisions, plus descriptions and rationales of common practices (which are often far from optimal). The class itself places emphasis on developing students' abilities to express their analysis and recommendations in class discussion, essay exams and written assignments.

The greatest difficulty for students in this class is shifting perceptual focus. You can no longer think as if you are part of the audience (as you do when you watch television commercials or read magazines), but instead, as if you are the creators of communications strategies. And you must put aside your personal tastes. Since not all audience members (if any) are people like you, advertising strategy and tactics must be assessed in terms of what a target audience might perceive, not in terms of what appeals to you. This is being realistic: in business, people preparing advertising, publicity and sales promotion strategy and tactics are seldom members of the target audience and strategy desirability must be judged in terms of what a target audience might like, dislike or understand. And this also means we will be covering some topic areas and using examples that you might find offensive, such as sexual appeals, or media vehicles whose audiences are people whose lifestyles or values are not the same as yours.

GRADES
The final grade for the course will be determined by a combination from the following factors: essays on each lecture & related readings; preliminary research report; term paper; and a comprehensive final exam.

As video outreach students, do the readings before watching the taped program -- while watching, periodically stop the tape and jot down how you would respond to some of the items under discussion, turning the tape back on to see if your questions and potential responses were answered. The goal of this course is not to simply build a body of information needed to pass the exams, but more generally, to develop your abilities to think, share your ideas in discussion and present your perspectives on situations covered in the course.

A NOTE ON ESSAY WRITING
For the essays, you are to provide commentary notes on the subjects, answering the discussion questions linked to the syllabus, comments on one or more of the articles and chapters for each topic area marked after watching the taped lectures on the topic. These should be composed of intelligent, thought-provoking comments or questions on the articles and their related discussions (and give logic for why they disagree with on campus students or the instructor). These should be about 700-1000 words each and serve as a substitute for "discussion."  You must have satisfactory work on all of them to receive a grade in the class and the overall quality of the work on the essays will be taken into account for grade calculations.

Because you are addressing discussion questions raised in class, the temptation is to treat each discussion question as if it is a take home test, stating a answer as narrowly as possible. That approach is unacceptable. If all you do are writing is an answer to the questions, you are avoiding the assignment, which expects you to think about the items that were used for discussion in the class. Since some answers to the questions are given in class, it could be possible to write two sentence answers to each without even looking at the reading assignments, which, as assignments go, would make this requirement ridiculous busy work if that was all that was expected.  It is possible that some students might not be familiar with the concept of writing an intelligent essay: a multi-paragraph discussion that contains and opening premise, an exposition and conclusions, a "prose composition with a focused subject of discussion" or a "long, systematic discourse." As you watch the videos, you will observe that the on-campus students, which I are undergraduates, rarely ask questions that go beyond the narrow focus of what I ask them in class. However, I expect more from graduate students who are supposed to be capable of more that recall and regurgitate. It is asking for a discussion that in the process of which addresses one or all of the discussion questions.

And in one of the videos, I made a mistake mentioning "attachments" for the essays. As for format, do not send attachments in Word, or any other program. You can write it in Word or some other writing program so you might have a clearer idea of your length and structure. But what you send to me should be in the body of the email, pasting from your writing program into the email message. The subject line should say "MKTG 7326: topic [ # ] essay" with the message itself containing a 700-1000 word discussion.  The reason for having it as a direct email is that I hope you will send me something provocative enough for me to write a comment back, to answer a question raised or to correct something you might seem to misunderstand. Or, for high praise, it could be something worth sharing with the rest of the class, or even something to open additional discussion. If it is in email, this becomes easier.

TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT
The papers provide an opportunity for you to apply the course materials to a client business in which you will assess its advertising, publicity and sales promotion needs in terms of potential audience reactions. You will make recommendations for a target audience, communications goals, and the strategies to attain those goals and grades will be based on the rationales you provide as to why those recommended directions should be followed. The term paper will be your application of the course materials so the guidelines for doing each part of the paper will be developed as we work on various areas of class materials. As we go over each section of communications decisions in class, you should be working on that section of the paper.

In other words, the project is a direct application of class materials.

The preliminary report is to force everyone to start working right away. It will cover your preliminary assessments of target marketing and potential audience perspectives. It will be a short preliminary statement (4-5 pages) that will then be revised and improved in the final report. This is to get you going from the start and to give me a basis for feedback so we are all working on track.

The requirement for primary research is for you to conduct depth interviews with 20 non-students who are present or potential customers for the product. This is NOT a requirement for you to conduct a survey, but for you to have systematic, organized and directed discussions with people about how or why they might make a purchase. 

With this link, you have the required outline (and subheads) for the final paper. For the most part, write the report as if it is being written for senior management.  The maximum length of the text of the final paper is a total of ten double-spaced pages (reference lists and appendices are not part of the ten pages). Be complete but concise. In addition, you should be concerned with how well the paper reads. When in doubt, quote opinions directly and cite factual information from secondary sources properly. You must give the reference citations for all assertions originating from somewhere other than the confines of your cranium. You also need to be wary of yours sources. The internet, while a wealth of opinions and statements, is not an authoritative resource since anyone can freely distribute all sorts of garbage without any oversight, review or analysis. Opinions, rumors and conspiracy theories abound. Newspapers and news magazines give current information, but they, too, have their limitations. Research reports in academic journals present all materials for scientific peer reviews, but even then, since the topics are controversial, interpretations can vary from the same data. Your analysis must not make the mistake of over generalizing from questionable resources and you must be able to distinguish facts from opinions in assessing the issue. Remember, an opinion does not become a fact simply because you can cite someone who says it!! For example, if you come across a prediction that "the GNP will grow at an average rate of 5% per year for the the next three years," you must still cite the source. And even with the citation, it is still just someone's opinion.

The preferred method for citation is to include the name of the author, date and page in parentheses in the text and the complete reference in a "References" section at the end of the paper (that will not count as part of total pages). For example: "One recent study contends that all new net job creation came from firms with less that $5 million in sales (Jones, 1986, p. 17)." Then in the References section the complete bibliographic citation will be listed (in alphabetical order.)  But I do not expect many reference citations since main concern here is your assessment of the audience and the potential purchasers.

Term papers should be sent as an email attachment and written in a program that can be read by either Adobe Acrobat, Word or Wordperfect. If in Word, it must be in Word 2003, a .doc file, not .docx, or saved as rich text.

TOPIC OUTLINE
The numbers below indicate different topics. The actual pace the class through the sections is uncertain and will vary with the amount of student discussion, questions raised and visits by possible guest speakers. The day-to-day topic assignments and schedules will be announced in class. The additional readings, linked by clicking on the title, should all be easily accessed.
Additional required readings will be sent via email attachments.

1) Definitions, history & nature of business organizations
    Belch & Belch, ch. 1, 2 & 3
    Rotzoll, "The Coming of the Ads" [handout]
    'Mine is the Blue One on the Left': Function and Dysfunction of Pharmaceutical Brand Names
    Creative Women in Advertising Agencies: Why So Few 'Babes in Boyland'? [handout]
2) Basic Theories
    Belch & Belch, ch. 4, 5 & 6
    'The Stealth Influence of Covert Marketing
    Who Do You Hire When the Advertising Audience Isn't You?
    Brand Image of Company Names Matters in Ways That Can't Be Ignored,
3) Communication Goals/Objectives
    Belch & Belch, pp. 198-218
-- Turn in Preliminary research report --
4) Budget Setting
    Belch & Belch, rest of ch 7 (p. 218-240)
5) Creative Strategy & Tactics
    Belch & Belch, ch. 8 & 9
    How I Met the Late Howard Gossage
   
Imitation as the Sincerest Form of Ignorance
6) Media Management: Strategy
    Belch & Belch, ch. 10
    Is There a Strategy Behind Buying Advertising time and Space?
7) Media Selection: Broadcast ("Electronic")
    Belch & Belch, ch. 11
    "Understanding Advertising Clutter
8) Media Selection: Print
    Belch & Belch, ch. 12
9) Media Selection: Supplemental Media
    Belch & Belch, ch. 13, 14 & 15
    Wham! Spam! And Direct Misplaced Marketing
    Movie Theaters' Suicide-by-Advertising With Income from Abusing Customers
10) Sales Promotion & Publicity
    Belch & Belch, ch. 16 & 17
11) Research testing of effectsiveness
    Belch & Belch, ch. 19
    → Weilbacher, "Enigma of Copy Testing"
    A Snapshot or a Painting? Metaphors, Myths, Misuses and Misunderstandings of Marketing Research Information by Journalists...
12) Regulation & self-regulation
    Belch & Belch, ch. 21
    Desires Versus the Reality of Self-Regulation
    A Pessimist's Simplistic Historical Perspective on the Fourth Wave of Consumer Protection
    recommended, if you have time and feel like it: Libraries, Learning and Dirty Sandals