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Advertising Agency Management

MKTG 401 and 402 Course Overview

This two-semester sequence of courses is designed to provide students real-world experience and knowledge of advertising agency operations. Led by Jennie Myers, vice president and executive creative director at Drake Cooper, 401 and 402 culminates in a student team competing in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF).

The National Student Advertising Competition is the premier college advertising competition that provides more than 2,000 college students the unique experience of creating a strategic, integrated advertising/marketing/media campaign for a corporate client. Students develop a marketing plan and then pitch their work to advertising professionals at the district, semi-final and national levels.

The AAF provides the NSAC client. Examples of past NSAC clients include Coca-Cola, Yahoo!, Bank of America, and Ocean Spray, just to name a few. Regional competition in the spring will include student teams from colleges and universities across Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The regional competition also offers the opportunity to network with advertising professionals as well as competing students and faculty advisors.

Boise State teams have taken several top honors at the regional competition over the years. They placed first in 2003 and second in 2018, 2009, 2004, and 2002. The 2010 team won the “People’s Choice” award for Best Presentation and took third place overall.

You can learn more about the AAF NSAC competition here.

National Student Advertising Competition

MKTG 401 – Fall

In the first semester, the corporate sponsor provides an assignment or case study outlining the history of the product, current advertising, high-level goals and objectives, and other key information to be used as the foundation of developing a campaign. The case study reflects a real situation and seeks student recommendations which may be applied by the client in actual marketing executions.

MKTG 401 students will gather and analyze information about the client, the client’s industry, customers, competitors and trends. This includes information provided by the client as well as secondary and primary research conducted by the students including both quantitative and qualitative techniques. This information becomes the foundation of the development of an overall marketing communications positioning strategy in the fall semester.

MKTG 402 – Spring

Toward the end of the MKTG 401 fall semester, students will be selected to continue to MKTG 402 and become part of the team competing in the spring NSAC regional competition.

MKTG 402 students will use the output, information and strategy from MKTG 401 to develop an integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaign including tactics across the promotion mix, media plans, budgets, anticipated performance objectives, metrics and outcomes. The student team prepares a formal written IMC plan book and pitches the campaign to a panel of judges at a regional competition hosted in the Pacific Northwest.


MKTG 401 is the entry point for the two semester sequence and enrollment is limited to 40 students. Juniors and Seniors will receive priority consideration in the event of a waitlist. Students from disciplines outside of the College of Business and Economics will be allowed to participate with instructor permission.

Enroll now to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience!