Think How They Think @BIC

On Tuesday, November 15th, Douglas Davis kicked off our @BIC Lecture series, demonstrating to designers and business professionals how important it is to “Think How They Think.” As Principal of The Davis Group, Professor, Designer, and Strategist, Douglas was able to give the audience a deeper dive into his recently published book Creative Strategy and the Business of Design that teaches both sides of the creative/business divide about the strategic objectives and marketing decisions that drive creative work.
Some of Douglas’ key observations included:
>> Business is annexing design, as it previously integrated marketing.
>> Clients expect everyone involved with the brand to be strategic.
>> Design schools don’t teach business strategy. 
>> Business school doesn’t teach how to inspire designers. 

Douglas’ astute observations are partly the results of having a successful career as a professional designer/art director who couldn’t get to the next level without pursuing a second graduate degree in Integrated Strategy from NYU.  His personal journey represents the BIC program’s core belief that real leadership in this complex world of communication requires “T” shaped thinkers and doers: people with discipline passion AND more broad-based knowledge of how this industry works. In other words: designers who think strategically. Managers who understand design. Strategists who understand social media and corporate communication. And so on. 

After his presentation, Douglas stuck around for a book signing. Given his recent national book tour, BIC was lucky to have him speak on campus — even though he also somehow manages to teach BIC’s fall capstone every Thursday!

R/GA Hosts the FUTURE

On Thursday night, October 20th, BIC held its annual Mix+Mentor networking event at the AMAZING new offices of R/GA on 33rd Street.  A crowd of over 100 guests showed their commitment to the future by meeting and promising to mentor members of BIC's Class of 2018 featuring 30 hard-working grad students from across the globe, around the United States, and right here from New York City.

Industry professionals, consultants, and recruiters from agencies such as R/GA, Ketchum, Interbrand, VaynerMedia, Droga5, Samsung, Night Agency, Hawkins International, VML, NYTimes T Brand Studio, Finn Partners, Kalson Communications, Jack Morton Worldwide, Y&R, The Barbarian Group, Citizen Relations, FutureBrand, Gravity, Publicis, Rooney Partners, Berlin Rosen, ABW Solutions, HA Roth, Porter Novelli, Deep Focus, DigitasLBi, Siegel + Gale, BBDO, 4A’s, PRWeek, and Time Warner offered encouragement, exchanged business cards, and made commitments to mentor. 

Our special guest of the evening was advertising legend and BIC Board Member George Lois who posed for selfies and offered words of wisdom throughout the night. Several BIC alums now active in the industry were also there to celebrate the power of mentorship. Some were caught on tape as our MentorCam circulated the room to document guests who were there to honor this year’s theme Mentor Like You Mean It. 

BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag congratulated R/GA on its spectacular new space and expressed gratitude for  sponsoring this year's Mix+Mentor. She expressed a special thanks to catalyst Jenny Tieman and organizer Whitney Donaghy of R/GA as well as BIC Program Specialist Christina Castro and BIC Tech Specialist Mira Steinzor. Professor Tag then welcomed the crowd by introducing BIC's latest incoming class, the fourth since the program's launch in 2013. 

She also highlighted some of last year's outstanding accomplishments -- noting a theme of THREE in BIC's THIRD year: three recipients of $5,000 The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarships, first, second, and third place (once again) at the 2016  CCNY Graduate Symposium, three BIC teams chosen for The One Show Client Pitch, a $5,000 Zahn Entrepreneurship contest winner, our third MAIP winner, two articles about BIC students in AdWeek, and... a super heavy GOLD Pencil at the 2016 One Show Student Competition.  All evidence that mentorship matters!

But the focus of the evening was really on the incoming class: "By committing to BIC's two-year master's degree program in order to think more deeply about the issues impacting media and communications today," Tag noted, "these students have already demonstrated a commitment to the industry -- and to everyone in the room who's dedicated to future." Past sponsors of the BIC Mix+Mentor have been Y&R, Ketchum, McCann, and GREY.

Visit our GALLERY to see more photos!

PR Today: Nimble, Creative, Disruptive

In a recent PRWeek opinion piece, BIC Professor Sandra Stahl of jacobstahl speaks to public relations practitioners' natural "skills as strategists, storyteller, and purveyors of influence can and should take PR in an infinite number of directions if we allow them to, if the communications challenge demands it, and if we have the opportunities."

Read the full article here.


BIC alums are on the rise -- snagging new post-graduation jobs, getting promoted, shifting gears at new agencies, or even launching new product lines…!! Here are a few highlights since May 2016.

Donna Dei-Baning BIC ’16 snagged a job at NYTimes T Brand Studio in mid-August as an Insights Strategist on its brand new Creative Insights team. Donna says that she’s “been responsible for a lot of pre-sale ideation, working on pitches and responding to RFPs with stories that are rooted in audience insights and industry data.” So far, her projects have been for BMW, Google, American Express and most recently, L'Oreal. She gets to work across a lot of different verticals and weave insights into the strategies that inspire the creative team to develop custom programs for clients. 

AndrĂ© Ory BIC ’15 was recently hired at BerlinRosen, a public affairs and political PR firm, as a Senior Account Executive. Working in his wheelhouse, Andre manages strategic communications and media campaigns for leading foundations and non-profits on communications and media campaigns focused on public health, immigrant rights, and LGBT rights. His clients include the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Perception Institute, and the MacArthur Foundation. Just before joining BerlinRosen, AndrĂ© worked on communications and thought-leadership initiatives at global health strategy firm Rabin Martin, where he supported non-profit and corporate clients on public health programs targeting underserved populations. 

Himani Gupta BIC ’16 recently joined Retarus Inc., a leading global provider of professional messaging solutions, offering services for electronic corporate communications since 1992. Retarus manages the safe and efficient flow of information for enterprises around the world. Himani will be its Corporate Communications Manager, working closely with the Head of Marketing & Sales Strategy. 

Andy Kwan BIC ’16 parlayed a summer internship into a recently acquired position as Brand Analyst at FutureBrand, which “combines expertise in brand strategy, identity, digital, retails, environmental, product service design to define and connect every aspect of brand experience.” Andy will be helping migrate to a new platform as well as work with its London team to reorganize its online brand identity. 

Javier Garcia BIC ’15 is about to launch his own company, Suyo, a socially conscious active apparel brand dedicated to making a lifestyle of health and fitness accessible to all. Suyo designs and produces gender-neutral activewear bottoms using exclusive designs produced by local artists. Suyo is a Pending B Corp committed to creating work opportunities in urban neighborhoods and investing in socially impactful efforts that benefit its employees, contractors and customers. Look for the official launch in early 2017. 

BICster Builds a Bot -- Cassondra's Responsive Recruiter

Tired of reaching out to recruiters and getting back nothing but radio silence? Cassondra Bazelow BIC '16 did something about it. She coded up Rosie, an automated recruiter with a surprise feature: it responds. Okay -- so maybe it doesn't land you that dream job, but at least Rosie responds quickly AND with flattery!! No wonder Adweek dedicated an article to this "still in progress" invention, stating: "In short, it's a sex bot for people who are sick of hearing "We'll keep your portfolio on file." To fully complete the fantasy, just close your eyes, lean back and fill in the agency's name for yourself."

Currently a senior art director at VaynerMedia, Cassondra snagged jobs in the Creative Department at BBDO and Tribal Worldwide even before graduating from the BIC program. So while Rosie the Responsive Recruiter may not be necessary for Cassondra, the rest of the workforce is grateful!

See Cassondra's work here.

Read the Adweek article here.

Brava to Lynn Appelbaum's Bravo Award from Hispanic PR Association

On Wednesday evening, October 13th, the amazing Lynn Appelbaum, Professor and Director of the Ad/PR Program at the City College of New York, was awarded the first Bravo! Educator of the Year Award from the Hispanic Public Relations Association. The HPRA National Bravo! Awards are the most prestigious awards in Hispanic communications recognizing the industry's finest campaigns across several categories. This is the first year that it has honored educators who serve the industry. 

This impressive achievement recognizes Professor Appelbaum's contribution over the course of a career dedicated to educating a diverse student body and making them profession ready. The HPRA accolade is not only well deserved, but no surprise to those of us who work with her and have seen her in action. Lynn is the lead author in a recent landmark study on diversity in the PR industry. Read it HERE

The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) is the foremost organization of Hispanic public relations practitioners in the US with chapters in Los Angeles, New York, and other major cities. 

Read more about this momentous evening HERE.  

Clients to Agencies: We Demand More Diversity. BIC agrees...

Photo of ACTUAL BIC students after a client pitch -- NOT from Getty Images!!!
A September 2, 2016 Wall Street Journal article noted that “a recent spate of high-profile scandals on Madison Avenue involving accusations of sexist and racist behavior has put the spotlight back on the advertising industry’s lack of diversity. And now marketing clients are starting to leverage their budgets to insist on change.” Among the companies demanding that agencies diversify its workforce is HP. In a letter to its five agencies, Antonio Lucio, HP's chief marketing officer, “requested that each one submit a plan within 30 days that lays out how the firm will significantly increase the number of women and minorities in key creative and strategy roles.” 

That same week, Ann Simonds, CMO at General Mills, told Advertising Age that it would apply a diversity standard when seeking out creative departments to work with including a requirement that they contains at least 50% women and 20% “people of color.”

A month later, The New York Times article entitled Brands to Agencies: Diversify or Else  noted that the motivation behind these efforts is mostly about demographic parity: "Marketers are expected to have a deep understanding and insight about their markets, about decision makers and about customers," Mr. Scotti [of Verizon] said this week. "We are more likely to create solutions that amaze our customers if our work force and suppliers represent the communities we serve."

However, having marketers reflect "the communities we serve" is not the only reason why agencies should be diverse. BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag states that the real focus on diversity should hone in on talent. "The recent demands by brands to hire more people who look like the consumers they target is positive. But efforts must go beyond seeking diverse demographics to diversity of skills, diversity of thought, diversity of culture, etc. Being "talent forward" is exactly what will lead to greater demographic diversity. Because guess what? No race, gender, culture has a monopoly on talent. This is a bottom line business imperative: diverse talent creates a dynamic work environment, a more creative work force, and more engaging products. As an industry, demographic parity is a low bar..." BIC Professor Douglas Davis agrees:  "I love that BIC is uniquely positioned to provide the diverse creative and strategic pool the industry and clients are asking for."

While this focus on diversity isn't new (The New York City Commission on Human Rights held its first hearings into discrimination in the advertising industries back in 1968), real engagement in the issue ebbs and flows. And action has been slow.  The BIC program not only celebrates diversity in both its mission, student body, and collaborative multi-disciplinary approach, but in recent original research on diversity principally authored by CCNY faculty Lynn Appelbaum and Frank Walton. Read that report here

Heineken Gets BIC Input on Drinking or Driving Efforts

On August 29th, BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag attended a brainstorming session at Heineken USA designed to identify new and innovative ways to change the conversation around drunk driving. It was attended by linguists, academic researchers, behavioral economists, and government officials. As a special treat, the attendees got a preview of a commercial that aired this week to introduce its new $200 million partnership with Formula 1 which builds on Heineken's longstanding commitment to responsible drinking. According to Anuraag Trikha, Heineken’s global communications director, “It’s a natural question to ask our point of view on drinking and driving. For Heineken, it’s an obligation and opportunity to promote responsible behavior, because people so want to listen to a brand like us.”

The spot featured here was created by Publicis Italy. As stated in Creativity: “It is a convincing re-creation of Jackie Stewart in his early 1970s heyday, in which he is seen winning and enjoying the jet set Formula 1 lifestyle while courteously refusing bottles of Heineken every time they are offered to him. The soundtrack is a version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ by Postmodern Jukebox featuring Nicole Atkins.”

BIC for Hire: UJA this Fall's Capstone Client

Being a 21st century Jewish teen comes with a lot of benefits – modern technology seems to offer just about everything at one’s fingertips. Yet today’s teens are also experiencing new frontiers of stress. Research shows large numbers of teens struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, suicide, and loneliness. Of critical importance, these are the years that set the stage for the future. It’s where we start to build our identity and make those initial life choices about who we want to become. Therefore, there needs to be new thinking and innovation on how we support these emerging adults during this critical life-juncture. 

The UJA’s response is to partner with BIC students to help provide a platform where Jewish teens can find accurate information, comfort, and real connection with the following goal: to reduce isolation for the Jewish teen community when it comes to issues of mental health. Because teens are digital natives, Pamela Schuller, Program Manager, for the Teen and Mental Health Initiative Jewish Community Services is asking BIC students to leverage online, social, mobile, and other digital communications vehicles that meet our audience where they “live.”  In order to create a dynamic community, this project seeks to inspire a movement in which teens become active participants, content creators, and advocates.

This project is part of the Fall Non-Profit Capstone lead by Professor Douglas Davis. All BIC students are required to participate in creating a communications campaign in the not-for-profit space in order to make an impact on society in positive ways. Our partnership with UJA comes through a connection of Belle Frank, EVP at Y&R. 

Five BICsters Win Coveted Spots at Planning Bootcamp

This summer, BICsters not only kept busy going to conferences, succeeding in high profile internships at places like Bloomberg, Quinn, ARF, and HAVAS, and totally rocking it in the MAIP network, but...five won spots at the super competitive Griffin Farley Beautiful Minds Planning Bootcamp sponsored by BBH. The annual competition was launched back in 2013 to honor Griffin Farley’s commitment to up-and-coming planning talent.  Over 200 applied this year to be among a select group to present campaigns in front of a distinguished panel of industry luminaries, department heads and recruiters.  In an intensive few days in late July, teams were tasked to help sponsoring client UberPool increase users in NYC from 0.3% to 2% in the period of 12 months.

The five BICsters included alum Nehal Mahmoud, recent grad Donna Dei-Baning, and current students Rocio Rivera Iglesias, Saif Ishtiaque, and Ben Kent. BICsters have won at least one coveted spot in this competition every year since it launched.

BIC's Melissa Julien Reflects on her MAIP Summer

Melissa Julien (BIC Class of 2017) interned this summer at DigitasLBi as one of an elite group of students chosen for the 4A's prestigious Multi-Cultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP). Melissa is a graduate of Hunter College with a BA in English and is currently in BIC's PR track. Here she recounts the highlights of her summer spent with MAIP.

137 students from over 55 campuses nationwide. 78 advertising and media agencies. 22 weeks of professional training. 3 summer projects. Countless friendships made. This is just a glimpse into the foundation of the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP), a fellowship sponsored by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As). With the goal of diversifying the advertising and communications industries, MAIP gives agencies the opportunity to reach out to highly talented and passionate students.

MAIP Luncheon with CCNY students Wayne Rodgers, Iliana Ortega and Bennett Bennett 

Through MAIP, I spent my summer working at DigitasLBi New York in Account Management for the Accenture and Time Inc. accounts. This was my first time working exclusively in digital advertising and I left my internship with a deeper love and appreciation for the field. Throughout my ten weeks at DigitasLBi, I worked on client projects as well as intern exclusive projects, aptly dubbed “Quickfires.” These week-long, intensive group projects focused on developing strategies and executions for some of the agency's biggest accounts, such as Whole Foods and American Express. At the culmination of the week, each group pitched their ideas to top executives within the agency and some winning teams even had the chance to pitch to clients. Fortunately for us interns, DigitasLBi always demonstrated their strong emphasis on company culture by giving us the chance to bond with each other and employees from different accounts through activities like field trips to Buzzfeed, Bagel Fridays, Friday Happy Hour and Community Service Day. DigitasLBi has no shortage of creative, strategic minds, so it was great to meet with employees across all accounts and capabilities.

First day working at DigitasLBi NY.

Of course, the MAIP experience didn’t stop at DigitasLBi. In addition to the work done at agencies, MAIP fellows must also complete projects exclusive to MAIP. This year, the projects included 12 weeks of professional development webinars, completion of a Khan Academy computer programing class, and a collaborative project that entailed working with MAIPers across the country on a creative brief. The brief for this year’s project was to help the 4As educate others on the various facets of working in advertising. The deliverables for this brief included a website, a video and a form of new media. As the Project Leader for my team, Team Kaleidoscope, it was fun yet intense collaborating with and managing team members across various capabilities and time zones. Nonetheless, we pulled through to create amazing work! Visit our project website, watch our video, and follow us on Instagram.

Overall, my time as a MAIP Fellow and Digitas intern was an eye opening and an invaluable learning opportunity. Throughout the program, I found myself connecting the dots between what I learned during the internship to my academic experience with BIC. Going forward, I cannot wait to make more connections between my classwork and fellowship experience. MAIP not only exposed me to a group of phenomenal peers and mentors, but also helped me paint a better and brighter picture of my career goals.

MAIP 2016 Fellows on MAIP Cares Day at MECA. 

BIC Boasts Brilliant Class of 2018

In late August, BIC welcomed over 30 students who came from all corners of the globe to join the BIC Class of 2018. This year's impressive cohort have degrees in architecture, info systems, communication design, international marketing, finance, international studies, industrial design, English, journalism, psychology, advertising, public relations, and television. They come from places such as Italy, Brazil, Russia Denmark, Ecuador, India, Taiwan, and Malaysia -- not to mention our largest group of New Yorkers ever.

Our latest BICsters arrived on campus Tuesday, August 23rd to a lively orientation that included a "speed" exercise in design thinking. The next evening, they were joined by the BIC Class of 2017 for a mixer at Hogshead, a local pub on Hamilton Place. See more photos in our Gallery.

Mad Ave Manslaughter in London

At the recent IPA Conference in London, Management Consultant and BIC Professor Michael Farmer challenged agency CEOs to put a floor under declining prices - a simple result of declining fees and increasing workloads - and to hold account handlers responsible for client financial performance. Noting that industry initiatives over the last few decades have singularly failed to reverse the decline in prices, he called for a focus on achieving business results for clients and the need to manage agencies as ideas factories.

The IPA is widely recognized as the world’s most influential professional body for practitioners in advertising and marketing communications. It has a well-earned reputation for thought leadership, best practice and continuous professional development and also provides core support and advisory services for its corporate and individual members. Based in the United Kingdom for nearly 100 years, IPA programs can be found in more than 60 countries worldwide.

Barri Rafferty Named Global President of Ketchum

A big BIC congrats to Ketchum CEO of North America and BIC Board Member Barri Rafferty as she adds the title Global President to her impressive resume. During her tenure at Ketchum, Barri Friedman Rafferty has held several different roles to support the agency’s overall business goals, including overseeing the global brand marketing practice and running the New York, Atlanta and Dallas offices. She also oversaw specialty units such as digital, entertainment, sports, and multicultural, some of which have since grown into full-fledged complementary businesses. She is part of the nine-member Worldwide Executive Committee, which focuses on guiding the strategy, client service and performance of the agency. Rafferty has a legacy of client service and continues to advise many of the agency’s largest clients, including Gillette, P&G, Frito Lay, Weight Watchers, Ikea, Chase and Mattel. Outside of Ketchum, she participates in a number of groups, such as the sustainability task force for the World Economic Forum. She is also active in the Public Relations Society of America New York Chapter and is a former chapter president. In 2012, she received the PRSA President’s Award for her many contributions. 

According to a recent article in The Holmes Report, Rafferty is known for a “borderless approach” that calls for “liquid teams” that incentivize agency leaders to put the best talent onto an account, regardless of the P&L structures. She also created Ketchum’s virtual reality division and works closely with digital lead Debra Forman on the firm’s fastest growing unit.

Read more about her appointment from The Holmes Report.

BIC is Buenos Aires Bound

BIC Professors Nancy Tag and Gerardo Blumenkrantz will be honored guests at the University of Palermo's VII Latin American Congress on Design Education which begins next week on July 25th. They will give a keynote presentation on branding and integrated communication as well as lecture on BIC's unique approach. While there, BIC will be building a strong and long lasting relationship not only with UP,  but also with a vast network of schools in South America. Deans from 20 countries will be there, along with about 1,000 students. 

The Conference is organized by the Design Schools Forum, the only formal and academic exchange network that brings together more than 350 institutions in Latin America, and has the backing of an Academic Committee (comprised of members of the Forum). The three day event, organized by the Faculty of Design and Communication at the University of Palermo, aims to share experiences, plan joint activities, raise relevant issues and realize academic and institutional projects designed to enrich the training of designers across the continent and to make a positive impact on the quality of the practice of all areas of Design and Communication.

Reviewers Rave: Douglas Davis' New Book a Must-Read

Over the course of a dynamic career as both a creative professional and college professor, BIC Professor Douglas Davis was inspired to write a book that teaches left-brain business skills to right-brain creative thinkers. Little did he realize that when he was finished, Creative Strategy and the Business of Design would become an "instant classic." Applauded by such accomplished authors as Luke Sullivan and Pete Barry, the book has received praise even before it was published in early June.

As Davis states, "Remaining relevant as a creative professional takes more than creativity—you need to understand the language of business. The problem is that design school doesn’t teach the strategic language that is now essential to getting your job done." Inside, you’ll read about the business objectives and marketing decisions that drive creative work with topics such as building a strategic framework to inspire visual concepts, increasing your relevance in an evolving industry, and redesigning your portfolio to showcase strategic thinking. 

Buy the book on Amazon.

More about Douglas Davis. Brooklyn-based Douglas Davis enjoys being one of a variety of voices needed in front of and behind the concept of a marketing plan or digital strategy. His approach to creativity combines right-brained creative problem solving with left-brained strategic thinking. In 2011, Douglas founded The Davis Group LLC and continues to offer strategic solutions to client branding, digital and design problems. In addition to client work, Douglas leverages his experience as a faculty member in the Communication Design department at New York City College of Technology, on the graduate level in the Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC) program at The City College of New York and digitally as an HOW Design university course contributor.

A Punch in the Face...

Douglas Davis Featured on HOW Podcast

Prior to his book launch, BIC Professor Douglas Davis was featured on Episode #29 of a HOW Design Live podcast where he discussed Creative Strategy and the Business of Design. Speaking to Ilise Benun, founder of and Partner for HOW Design Live’s new Creative Entrepreneur program, they focused on how design and creative professionals can win battles with marketing people by speaking their language. Throughout his academic career and now with his recently published book, Douglas has been on a mission to teach left brain business skills to right brain creative thinkers so they can have a seat at the table — without feeling like they’re crashing the party.

The BIC Portfolio Defense 2016

After completing coursework in mid-May, students in the Class of 2016 had one more hurdle before receiving their MPS diploma: each needed to defend a portfolio in front of a panel of professionals. On Tuesday, May 31st, students individually presented a body of work that represented their two years in the program as well as the latest thinking in the communications field. These timed portfolio defenses in the areas of public relations, management, planning, research, media planning, art direction, and copywriting were evaluated using a rubric that focused on three areas: content, storytelling, and showcase.

To prepare for the Portfolio Defense, students met throughout the year for group critiques, one-on-one advising, over-the-shoulder tutoring at the Portfolio Bootcamp, and with recruiters for the Portfolio-in-Progress (PiP) in February. It all paid off: every student passed!!

Thanks to our amazing judges who dedicated the day to evaluating and critiquing the student portfolios. They are:

Public Relations Judges

Michael Marinello
Head of Global Communications, Technology, Sustainability and Brand at Bloomberg. Michael created and leads Bloomberg’s Brand Integration efforts - working more strategically and pro-actively with the entertainment industry. He also ran Global Communications for Core and Financial Products (aka The Bloomberg terminal). He has experience working with C-suite executives, national leaders, and high profile media professionals and personalities.

Renee Wilson
President of the PR Council, former President of MSLGROUP North America, member of the MSLGROUP global board of directors and the firm’s Chief Client Officer. Renee was president of the 2014 PR jury for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and served on one other Cannes Jury in 2011.

Frank Washkuch
News Editor at PRWeek, the leading industry magazine covering the PR and communications industry and an adjunct lecturer in the City College of New York’s Branding + Integrated Communications program. He is a former newspaper journalist and a 2002 graduate of Fairfield University, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper his senior year. Frank and his wife, Danielle Lipp, live in Brooklyn, New York.

Peter Harris
CEO of Grayling US, specializes in reputation management and has managed reputations across consumer product, technology, retail banking sectors. At MSLGroup he worked as North America Corporate Practice lead, Global Engagement Director for United Technologies, and head of the agency’s Strategic Partnerships and Alliances.

Account Management / Planning Judges

David Olsen
Vice President Subscriber Business, Growth Markets at Tyco. An accomplished Fortune 100 executive with proven track record in increasing brand presence, lead generation and sales effectiveness. David has been named Ad Week “Top 10 Most Wanted Marketers” and featured in Ad Age 100 under 40.

Natalie Carey
Group Director VaynerMedia. Natalie has extensive expertise in managing a variety of disciplines, including 360 creative ideation and production, cross-cultural marketing, influencer activations, and long term strategic planning. She’s spearheaded efforts for leaders like Campbell’s, Anheuser-Busch, Johnson & Johnson.

Michelle Rowley
Associate Director, Account Planning at Deep Focus, and formally served as VP of Brand Planning for both Grey and SS+K. Michelle has managed strategic planning and developed consumer insights for clients such as: The Lance Armstrong Foundation, Time Warner Cable, U.N. Peacekeeping, American Red Cross, and Target.

Chip Walker
Chief Strategic Officer, BAV. Chip Walker is a brand, business and cultural strategist. He has led the strategy function at brand agencies (BBDO, Y&R), a marketing services agency (Wunderman) and at a digital/social agency (StrawberryFrog), giving him a truly multi-disciplinary perspective. He’s also lead strategy across the WPP companies for some of its largest clients including AT&T and Bank of America.

Mei Shibata
As Senior Director of Strategy at InterbrandHealth, Mei advises clients on brand strategy. She has gained a broad experience base over a 20 year career, spanning equity research, advertising, strategy consulting and entrepreneurship. Mei has a MBA and BA from Harvard, and an MS from a joint Harvard/MIT program.

Liz McDonnell
Director of Marketing at the New York Times and one of the spearheads behind the success of the native ad unit, T Brand Studio. The T Brand Studio is a result of the massive interest from advertisers looking to market their brands through the NYT platform.

Michael Doody
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at The _________ Project, a strategy consultancy specializing in research, business strategy, creative strategy and moderation that lead to action.

Daidria Grayson
VP, Account Director at SS+K in New York City leading the Delta Air Lines account in strategic and creative development. Prior to joining the agency, Daidria led multicultural strategy for Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart at GlobalHue New York. With over 11 years of experience in the industry, she has worked on a range of brands.

Sadira E. Furlow
Senior Director, Brand Marketing – Water Portfolio at PepsiCo where she oversaw Superbowl sensation Puppymonkeybaby. She has over 14 years in the advertising industry helping brands like Marlboro, Verizon, Miller Lite, Sprite and American Family Insurance to build relationships with a diverse group of consumers. 

Creative Judges

Christine Aliferis
Freelance Copywriter/CD. Christine is an experienced, conceptual copywriter of digital, TV, print and non-traditional marketing ideas for the world’s most beloved brands. She has worked with Ogilvy, McGarryBowen, Atmosphere BBDO, 360i, Digitas, and Y&R Brand Buzz. Her clients include Hershey Bar, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, American Express, Dove, Ford, Kodak, Maxwell House, Miller, Sheraton, and New York Times.

John Colquhoun
Award-winning CD/Art Director and Illustrator for a wide range of clients including U.S. Bank, Celebrex, Little Caesar’s Pizza, HBO, American Express, AT&T, Planters, U.S. Navy, Outback Steakhouse, ASPCA, and the Ad Council.

Marcello Guidoli
Multidisciplinary Freelance Designer and Art Director. He has worked with Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Grey NY, WWS, on a wide variety of branding and identity development projects. His client list includes Armani, Ferrari, Bass Ale, Sauza Tequila, Grand Central Terminal, IBM, E-trade, Wild Aid. He has won design awards from the Art Directors Club, Communication Arts, One Show, Graphis Magazine, and Print Magazine.