09 Apr, 2015

Beyond Mad Men

09 Apr, 2015

We’re pretty excited this semester as we are taking the wraps off our new and improved AD Program.

Since we officially launched the revised AD program last week, we have had a number of questions about what we are doing and why. First, what are we doing? Program changes that begin this Fall have eliminated a couple of classes, added some classes and changed the name, number, or the prefix of others. In brief, we have streamlined the AD Program to focus on two tracks; Branding & Interactive Experience Design (IXD).

I think most of our majors and many others recognize that conventional advertising has changed radically in the past 10 years. In the past, brands would tend to use TV, radio, magazines or newspapers to reach potential consumers with their sales message. This still is occurring. In fact, most advertising revenue today is generated by mass media. But, the shift to digital media by consumers is becoming more than a wave. It’s a tsunami! This is changing the AD business in a number of ways. For example, brands are becoming publishers and broadcasters, not just advertisers. Consider Red Bull. The energy drink company uses sports events as a primary way to deliver their brand message to millions of global consumers. They don’t just buy media. They are media! Emerging digital technologies and changing consumer behavior has also changed what brands want from their employees and agencies. Brands want employees who understand conventional media, PR and digital media. The fusion of these areas is what we call Branding.

Consumers are clearly embracing digital tech in a big way. Cellphones, tablets, laptops, TV’s, are being used independently and together. Think about your lifestyle. Have you been watching a movie or a game on TV and then used your phone or tablet to get background about the star or athlete? You’re not alone. Recent research shows that 9 out of 10 consumers with cellphones do the same thing! Given that consumers are now seamlessly moving among different devices, it’s more important than ever for brands to make sure that their content can be just as impressive on TV as it is on a cellphone, tablet, or laptop. This is called “interface design.” But, consumers are also expecting relevancy. In other words, consumers are now controlling their content intake. They now choose what they want to consume, where, and when. This filtering means brands’ have to be a lot smarter about how they develop the design and content of digital platforms. Interactive Experience Design (IXD) is a discipline that some call User Experience or UX. Others call it “design with brains.” The basic idea is to use consumer research and prototype testing to develop the ideal way to communicate the brand’s content to their intended consumers. IXD is an exciting blend of research, graphic design and computer programming. Learn more about UX from Digital Arts Magazine: http://bit.ly/1OYYN5w. Or here’s a great slideshare about UX: http://bit.ly/1DmPs2H.

Look for more information in your classes.

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