Course Overview

Everyone likes Super Bowl commercials. Who creates those funny ideas? Advertising Art Directors and Copywriters do. In this course, you’ll not only learn what Advertising Art Directors and Copywriters actually do, you’ll become Art Directors and Copywriters yourselves. Creating unexpected ideas, thinking outside of the box, and running with scissors are not only welcomed but encouraged. You’ll have the freedom to explore crazy and weird ideas. The more daring the better.

You’ll learn how advertising has really changed in recent years to using VR, AR, AI, etc. And how advertising creates work for the good, to help bring voices to the voiceless. It’s all about solving problems, whether it’s for a product or a non-profit. In this course, the students will learn the secret to creating great ideas, what makes a compelling ad campaign, how to concept, how to design ads, and how to write ads. And then you’ll actually create a couple of ad campaigns yourselves, focusing on creating ideas for print ads, outdoor ads, and digital advertising.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • LEARN HOW TO BE CREATIVE and how to express your creativity.
  • CONCEPTUALIZE and create effective advertising executions.
  • CLEARLY COMMUNICATE and persuasively present their advertising ideas.
  • COMPARE AND CRITIQUE ad campaigns.
  • CONSIDER all the above through the lens of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion to mitigate bias, prevent stereotyping, and produce culturally humble and ethical output.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 174

Format: On Campus

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Residential: $4,095
  • Commuter: $3,166

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus2-Week Session II: Monday, July 22 – Friday, Aug. 2, 2024MTWThF;
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Students will have a one-hour break for lunch.

Course Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

It’s helpful, but not necessary, if you have some experience with any of the following: drawing, painting, design, writing, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop.

Required Supplies


  • Textbook: Hey Whipple, Squeeze This, by Luke Sullivan & Adam Morey, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 6th Edition, March 24, 2023. The wisdom, wit and occasional whine of an absolutely first-rate, advertising creative.
  • Laptop, preferably Macintosh.
  • A box of 10 Black Sharpie Fine Point Markers.

Instructions on how to order the textbook can be found here.


  • Adobe InDesign & Photoshop. If students don’t have this software, they can use the computers in the Newhouse Computer Labs that do have this software.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

9 a.m. – Noon: A typical morning will include watching funny, stunning, moving, and impactful ad campaigns, and learning how Art Directors and Copywriters created the ideas for them. The presentations are very interactive and engaging. Then, you’ll have fun with in-class activities that put into practice what’s learned in the presentations. And you’ll get to be creative and create your own ad campaign ideas in Art Director / Copywriter teams using print, outdoor, and digital mediums. In addition to creating ideas, you’ll learn about the Craft of Art Direction Design and the Craft of Copywriting, which will help in the development and production of your ad campaign ideas.

Noon – 1 p.m.: Break

1 – 4 p.m.: In the afternoons, you’ll learn how to create ads on the computer by learning Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Firefly. You’ll start with learning the software with some fun exercises. Then, you’ll create your own ad campaigns on the computer.

At the end of the course, there’s a student competition with no entry fee that you can enter your finished ad campaign into.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College – On Campus activities to meet and connect with other students! Check out our On Campus Experience page for more information!

Faculty Bio

Mel White

Mel White has more than 25 years of advertising experience – 17 of these years as a veteran of the New York City advertising scene where she worked as a creative director/art director at top agencies such as Young and Rubicam, Ogilvy, Grey, Publicis, and D’Arcy.  

She has worked on a range of accounts from packaged goods to technology on many high-profile brands such as Microsoft, Land Rover, MINI Cooper, Crest, Dannon, American Express, Lea & Perrins, Miller, Xerox, Dell, Sony, Bounty, Green Mountain Coffee, Hillshire Farm, Old El Paso, Cellular South, Sleep Number, Fisher-Price, Capitol One, Always, Pillsbury, Swiffer, UNCF and Search Dog Foundation. She has big pitch experience for national brands such as Famous Footwear, Sleep Number, Ameriprise Financial, Transitions Lenses and Earthlink and has been instrumental in winning pitches for new accounts – most notably at Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy. 

Having won several industry awards, she excels at creating strong visual solutions and has worked on integrated campaigns with shoestring budgets through million dollar TV shoots. In addition to TV, print and outdoor, she has created advertising for brand activation, social media, digital interactive and new technology. 

She began her advertising career at Mark Russell and Associates in Syracuse, after earning a B.F.A. in advertising design from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.