Name of the workshop Advertising and Graphic Design failures: why some campaigns failed and what to learn from them Teaching format N
Workshop teacher Prof. C. Fàbregas Recommended prior knowledge --- Timetable Unique
General description of workshop 1. – Creative and graphical analysis: we will analyse, through visual examples, the graphic design and creativity of foreign (UK & US focus mainly) and national renowned campaigns, and not so renowned.
2. – Advertising context: secondly, we will see if they achieved their goals and if, therefore, were an advertising failure or success.
Language English Tipus OB
Technical requirements   At the room: Projector
To be provided by the student: Pencil, paper and rubber


Date of proposal: 01/02/2012
Date of last update: 16/06/2014
Date of validation by the Executive Committee: 16/06/2014

Workshop Program

- Subject 1. –  Graphic Design as an essential tool: good and bad graphics used in campaigns (a campaign with a good graphic design can be a failure and vice versa). Graphic Design principles and elements that must be considered. Photographic campaigns vs. typographical campaigns.

- Subject 2. – Copywriting techniques; the message, tone of voice, point of view etc.

- Subject 3. – Contextual analysis –with visual examples– of an Ad campaign from the beginning; from Briefing to execution.

- Subject 4. – Creative techniques and different media (TV, Radio, Newspapers, Internet, viral, etc.). What makes an idea a good idea? Ideas that stick in the collective mind; SUCCESs fundamentals. Good ideas poorly executed versus bad ideas well executed.

- Subject 5. – Self-promotion: if your job is to promote big brands, why don’t you use these powers with yourself? Creating a good and bad portfolio. Producing a good folio to land a good job!

- Discussion: At the end of every lecture –theoretical contextualisation–, the subject will be discussed with the students for a few minutes.


This workshop has an eminently practical character.
Go to “EVALUATION” to fill in the detail of each one of the Educational Activity.

Competences associated to the Workshop
C1 Ethical commitment.
C2 Learning and responsibility ability.
C3 Work in teams.
C4 Creative and enterprising ability.
C6 Theoretical and practical knowledge about advertising and PR so as about their processes and organizational structures.
C7 Knowledge about design and development of strategies and implementation of persuasive communication policies to the public and private companies or institutions.
C12 Knowledge about the management of the functional areas of communication.
C13 Ability to exercise as professionals in charge of the customer support in advertising and PR.

Workshop General Objectives OGT associated to each one of the competences
(OGT) C1 C2 C3  C4  C6  C7   C12 C13
OG1. - The student will learn the role of Graphic Design in communicating. X X   X X X X  
OG2. - The student will know the background of a campaign and the ideas that underpin it. X X   X X X X  
OG3. – The student will learn to put themselves in the shoes of the client to sell himself/herself to him/her. X   X X   X X X
OG4. – The student will put to practice the lectures/theoretical contextualisation. X   X X   X X X


Specific objectives of each block
Blocks Objectives to each block of the program SO related to each one GO
OG1 OG2 OG3  OG4
1 OE1. - The classes will help the student to differentiate between creativity as an added value to sell products and as a value in itself. And also, in a marketplace in constant change with technological advances to reach out to the consumer, the classes will emphasise the importance of opening new channels of communication as well as new ways of self-promotion will be highlighted. X  X    
OE2. - The lectures will highlight the importance of the key elements of Graphic Design, such as the form and format, media, line, texture, color, rhythm and the balance or proportion, as well the increasingly expansive and multidisciplinary work of the Art Director/Copywriter. X  X    
OE3. - The student will understand the importance of deciphering and analysing errors and correcting them with limited resources.     X  X
OE4. - The student will understand the importance of thinking how to self-promote themselves.     X  X

Read Glossary types of educational activities (according to the UB description)
Total summary of formative activities
Types of educational activities Total Hours at Classroom (with teacher) Hours of personal work ECTS credits
A) Theory 50 18 32 2
B) Theory-practice
C) Tutee work
D) Autonomous work

General sources of the workshop (also online)

Arden, Paul. It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be. London: Phaidon, 2002
Bergman, Margo. Street smart advertising: how to win the battle of the buzz. Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC., 2007
Bond, Johnathan, Kirshenbaum, Richard. Under the Radar: Talking to Today's Cynical Consumer. New York: Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998
Haig, Matt. Brand Failures: The Truth About the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time. London: Kogan Page Ltd., 2003
Heath, Chip and Dan. Made to stick. London: Arrow Books, 2008
Heath, Chip and Dan. Switch: How to change things when change is hard. London: Random House Business Books, 2011
Iezzi, Teresa. The idea writers. New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2010
Ogilvy, David. Ogilvy on Avdertising. New York: Vintage Books, 1985
Ogilvy, David. Confessions of an advertising man. London: Southbank Publishing, 2004
Roberts, Kevin. Lovemarks: the future beyond brands. New York: powerHouse Books, 2004
Solomon, Robert. The art of client service. New York: Kaplan Publishing, 2008
Zyman, Sergio. The end of advertising as we know it. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002

Webs, blogs and editorials:
Advertising Age
Ad Critic
Creative Review
Comunication Arts
Luerzers Archive

Evaluation: Specific Information 
  • The evaluation must be considered as Continuous Evaluation and must be solved during the academic period.
    Marks will be quantitative between 0 and 10.
    The mark should be presented with one decimal.
Continuous evaluation
Sequen-ce Block  Name of the educational activity Activity description Workgroups or
Individual work
% on the note.
Max. of 60% for each activity
1 1 Attendance

Students need to attend to 80% of the sessions

Individual Yes 10%
2 1 Production of a Learning portfolio

The students will produce a learning portfolio of 6 Ad campaigns: 3 successful ones and 3 failures, i.e. campaigns that have increased or decreased the sales or awareness of the products or services promoted. Later on the class will choose a failed campaign unanimously.

Individual Yes 25%
3 1 Implementation activity

The students will need to rethink and redo the chosen Campaign of Activity 1. But with one premise: correct the maximum with the minimum. Using the minimum amount of resources, students will need to redesign the Campaign to achieve considerable and positive results.

Individual Yes 20%
4 1 Simulation exercise

The class will divide in groups in which the students will do some role-play. One by one, each member of the group will represent the agency presenting his/her newly redone Campaign, while the rest of the group play the client’s role. Whether they like it or not, they will need to have a say.

Workgroup Yes 20%
5 1 Production of a Learning portfolio 2

The students will produce a learning portfolio with self-promotional examples. It will contain 6 examples of young creative’s portfolios; 3 which the student believes that are impressive and 3 not so impressive. Later on he/she will find out how it was presented to the creative directors at the agencies.

Individual Yes 25%

Teacher notes
Aula Virtual (Moodle)