While advertising may no longer be dominated by print and television, the ability to effectively communicate a concrete message never goes out of style.

For students interested in shaping the messages around them, Seneca’s creative advertising diploma, a two-year joint program with York University, offers one of the best introductions around.

“Advertising has to be creative regardless of where you end up,” says Anthony Kalamut, the program’s co-ordinator.

“We prepare students for both sides of our industry, creative, which entails copywriting, art direction, and production; and business, which is account management, public relations, media buying, media planning, media sales.”

Graduates have been responsible for ad campaigns for Molson, IKEA, Bell, Kellogg’s, the Toronto Humane Society and Dell, among others.

The program has two streams — creative and business — and during their first and second semesters, students are immersed in both. During their third semester, students move toward a business or creative career, while still sharing certain courses. In their final semester, everything is either creative or business. There is also a “field placement” — internship — for students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher.

Explaining the internship criteria, Kalamut says “the industry has demanded that of us. If there’s one quotable out there from me, it’s that our program is based on what the industry needs.”

The program will even change from one semester to the next if it must. As an example, Kalamut says, new international trends are often revealed every September at Advertising Week, an annual conference in New York City. “We go out, and if we hear there’s a trend, we come back asking how to put that trend into our curriculum,” he says.

“Two years ago the trend was interactive. Last year we heard mobile. So how do we adapt our program to mobile? If it means adding specific courses, taking out courses that are less relevant, we do it,” Kalamut says.

“Our curriculum grows with the demand of the industry.”

Prior to joining Seneca, Kalamut worked internationally as a creative director, and teaches courses on strategic planning and career launching, in addition to creative directing.

Though he no longer works in the industry, his passion for advertising remains equal to that of anyone in the business.

“I need to bring that passion every day to the students,” he says. “If that passion ever disappears, there’d be no reason to continue.”

For more information, visit senecac.on.ca/fulltime/CAB.html.

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