Monday, August 18, 2014

Chris Villanueva wins ANA Multicultural Excellence Scholarship


This year, two MAIP interns were awarded an ANA Multicultural Excellence Scholarship -- and one of them was Chris Villanueva BIC '15. The $2,500 scholarships, which are funded with proceeds from the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Multicultural Excellence Awards, are granted on the basis of demonstrated academic ability and community involvement.

Chris received the award in front of 500 industry people, composed of MAIP interns, alumni, and industry professionals of all levels during the Diversity Leadership Luncheon at the 4A's Face of Talent event. The Face of Talent is a two-day symposium that celebrates, challenges, and connects MAIP interns and industry professionals through an interactive forum, leadership luncheon, career fair, and evening reception. It provides an optimal platform to recognize talented multicultural individuals and agencies committed to diversity, as well as honor rising stars from 2014 MAIP.

Winning this award was especially sweet for Chris who interned at TBWA's creative department this summer as a MAIP intern. When the ANA Multicultural Scholarship was announced, Doug Melville, Chief Diversity Officer at TBWA\Worldwide, who was in the audience, proudly tweeted about it on behalf of TBWA\Chiat\Day. 

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) provides leadership that advances marketing excellence and shapes the future of the industry. Founded in 1910, ANA's membership includes nearly 600 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing and advertising. The ANA pursues “collaborative mastery” that advances the interests of marketers and promotes and protects the well-being of the marketing community.

What did YOU do this summer?

Summer was especially productive for Maxime Menant, BIC '15. In addition to interning at Experian Marketing Services, he applied and was accepted to BBH's intensive program for strategic planners called Griffin Farley Search for Beautiful Minds. It's in honor of Griffin Farley, a Strategy Director at BBH New York who dedicated much of his time to aspiring planners/strategist hoping to break into the business.

This hybrid bootcamp and networking event is a free crash course in planning from some of the top planners in the industry. Afterwards, teams pitched their work at Google headquarters in front of a room packed full of department heads and recruiters. An auction at the end of the event gave executives an opportunity to bid on who they want to mentor. Maxime's team won "Most Culturally Relevant Strategy" -- as well as a ton of business cards from contacts who will remember them long after the summer of  2014.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Breaking news: the FUTURE.

Amber Jackson selected to 2014 ADCOLOR Futures Program

On a warm evening on June 16th, a crowd gathered at the Time Warner Center for a live announcement of this year's ADCOLOR finalists. Hosted by CCNY's Don Lemon, honorees in categories such as Innovator and Rising Star celebrated ADCOLOR's mission to recognize diversity in the advertising, media and PR industries.

As part of the excitement, Amber Jackson, a BIC management student, learned that she had earned a spot in the 2014 ADCOLOR Futures Program, a highly selective program in which young professionals receive training and mentorship via a sponsored trip to the ADCOLOR Awards and Industry Conference. To qualify, applicants have to be a member or alumni of the organization's diversity summit organizations such as AAF's Most Promising Minority Program, The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship Program (see article below) and more. They must embody the program's creed of Rising up while Reaching Back. This year's conference will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. 

<< Amber celebrated with fellow BIC student and Rising Star nominee, Javier Garcia, as they walked the red carpet for this gala event.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

BIC's First Semi-Finalist in the Zahn Social Innovation Competition

It's one thing to be the first, but it's especially astonishing and gratifying to be the first in our first year: Debra Jones became our first BIC student to be selected by the Zahn Center to present her social innovation project to a panel of entrepreneurs, faculty, and venture capitalist (including Peter Zahn himself) in a competition worth $30,000. Her submission, MoYA -- or The Museum of Your Art -- allows non-artists to be part of and to amplify urban renewal through art. 



MoYA is a virtual museum that connects people to public and street art via an app and interactive website. With different versions grounded in different cities, MoYA allows art lovers, culture seekers, and city dwellers to form an active, engaged community of virtual art curators that grows through posting pictures and information of public art, curating personalized collections, creating walking tours connecting to highlighted art, and allowing others to cast votes up and down. The app pinpoints locations so tours can be created by individual “curators.” When you have the app on your smart phone, notifications/info occur as your walk around the city when art is nearby. As MoYA grows with use, so does a more engaged citizenry who is more strongly connected  — by art and culture (things that make us human and keep cities economically viable) — to community and city identity. The pilot for the Museum of Your Art (MoYA) will be for New York City. In addition to being a semi-finalist, Debra's submission was ultimately selected to be part of the Zahn summer incubator for social innovation.


Debra Jones presenting MoYA at the Zahn Social Innovation Competition on May 8, 2014.

The Zahn Social Innovation Ideas Challenge offers an opportunity for the ENTIRE City College community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) to pitch their big ideas on how to change the world through social enterprise. Teams will compete for up to $30K in prize money to help develop their innovative ideas into viable solutions to social and environmental challenges. This gives budding entrepreneurs a chance to submit innovative solutions to a problem they see in the world – from healthcare to education, gender equality to clean water, sustainability to urban architecture. This is their opportunity to activate large-scale change. Throughout the summer and fall, the Zahn Center offers funding, extensive mentorship from CCNY and the NYC social ecosystem, and pro bono legal services, all in an inspiring collaborative workspace to develop the ideas of change maker finalists.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ketchum helps BIC celebrate Year One

From left: Nancy R. Tag, CCNY Professor and
Director of the BIC program;
Rob Flaherty, Senior Partner, CEO & President
of Ketchum;
Barri Friedman Rafferty, Senior Partner
and CEO North America, of Ketchum
and Member, BIC Board of Advisers

Ketchum's world headquarters office in New York graciously hosted, on May 28th, the end-of-academic-year Mix + Mentor reception for the first class of BIC students.

BIC students and faculty, representatives from several additional advertising and public relations agencies in New York, and a number of Ketchum New York office employees representing the range of services and capabilities of the agency, met to celebrate BIC's students' achievements.

Rob Flaherty, Senior Partner, CEO & President of Ketchum provided a warm and enthusiastic welcome. Barri Friedman Rafferty, Senior Partner and CEO North America, of Ketchum -- and Member of the BIC Board of Advisers -- joined discussions with students.

Nancy R. Tag, CCNY Professor and Director of the BIC program, called out just some of the BIC student achievements during its inaugural academic year:

BIC student, Nehal Mahmoud, was awarded one of five Graduate Fellowships from the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership for a research project on how brands can positively promote public discussion about diversity in the U.S.A.

BIC students Raj Andrew Gomes and Luz Corona received top honors at the CCNY Graduate Symposium for Research and Creative Achievement, for their development of an integrated communications campaign concept for the New York City Citi Bike program.

BIC student Edmund Balogun was selected to present his paper on "Bias in Market Research" to the State University of New York (SUNY) Graduate School at The college of Brockport's third annual Master's Level Graduate Research Conference. Mr. Balogun's paper also received the third place award at the CCNY Graduate Symposium for Research and Creative Achievement.

See more images
 from the May 2014Mix + Mentor 

reception at Ketchum
-- click here.
BIC students Frederick Garcia and Amber Jackson were selected as two of only twenty students nationwide to receive The LAGRANT Foundation graduate scholarship in support of increasing ethnic diversity in the advertising, marketing, and public relations industries.

BIC student Raj Andrew Gomes qualified to represent CCNY at the 2013 JWT College Art Battle in head-to-head competition with long-standing programs including the Miami Ad School, the School of Visual Art, and New York City Tech.


BIC student named one of five Colin Powell Graduate Fellows for 2014-15

One of BIC's first class of students, Nehal Mahmoud, has been named one of five Graduate Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year by the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.

Ms. Mahmoud entered the BIC program in the fall of 2013 as a public relations specialist, and along with completing her Master of Professional Studies next year, she will pursue a research project on how brands can positively impact the conversation on diversity in the United States. She will also, as a Colin Powell Graduate Fellow, take part in weekly seminars and in public and networking events with distinguished public figures. The Graduate Fellows receive a cash stipend as well as individualized mentorship opportunities.

Ms. Mahmoud has earned the Public Relations Diploma, from MacEwan University (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) and holds a BS in Physical Sciences from the University of Alberta.

General Colin L. Powell, U.S.A. (Retired),
at right.
Lisa Staiano-Coico, President of CCNY,
at center.
 (Photo: New York Daily News, April 2013)
The Colin Powell Fellowship for Graduate Students is designed for high achieving City College of New York graduate students of any CCNY program, department, or school. Some fellows enter with interest and experience in public policy; others are students in engineering, science, the health science, the humanities, architecture, and film studies. All fellows are united by a desire to use their field of study to influence policy or social change.

The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College of New York is named after its Founder, General Colin L. Powell, U.S.A. (Retired) (CCNY class of 1958).

BIC professor is counsel to award-winning integrated communications program

Frank Walton, Professor at CCNY Media & Communication Arts Department and Director of the Public Program Track at BIC, is also a senior counsel to Shinnyo-en, a Japanese-based global Buddhist organization and its worldwide philanthropic and educational activities. Shinnyo-en's public celebration for peace-making in everyday life, held in New York's Central Park in September 2013, has received the 2014 Public Relations Society of America, New York Chapter, Big Apple Award in the category of Integrated Communications Program: Government, Associations, and Non-profit Organizations. The initiative, the Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace, was supported by New York-headquartered Finn Partners and was under the artistic directorship of Zeyba Rahman.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Money is so much better than a click

Folio Magazine blogged yesterday that "Branding Success Should Be Measured by Orders, Not Click-Throughs." This message challenges much of the breathless assertions about value inferences from digital analytics as well as adheres to marketing and business fundamental concepts. We have got so caught up with how well we can "count" (categorize, weight, etc.) the views of an ad, that there is often a decline in focus on successfully selling.

Just as the analytics have become sophisticated, the arts of spam and scam have also reached unanticipated levels of refinement -- "more than a third of web traffic is fraudulent . . . only 40 percent of the ads measured were actually viewable . . . "  Folio's blogger, Roy Beagley, writes, "Viruses and bots can inflate click-throughs, page views and a whole host of other nasty things, but as far as I am aware, viruses and bots have not actually placed any orders."

For the past few years, those of us who work in the PR research community been trying to pound a basic concept into the heads of marketers and digital enthusiasts. The following is what you can measure:

Outputs -- The stuff you (the marketer) did. The ads you placed. The media releases you distributed. The party you threw. The brochures you handed out. This is the stuff on which you spent your money. Research and analytics at this point are in the realm of process audit.

Outtakes -- The immediate reactions to the Output.  This includes the view and click-throughs. It includes the media coverage resulting from your releases and events. It includes the inquiries you get over your 800-number. And the comments on your blog.  All good stuff. This is the stuff that immediately results from how you spent your money. And it directly earns you nothing. Research and measurement at this point are in the realm of environmental (market) monitoring.

Outcomes -- Sales. Orders. Votes. Memberships. Commitments. Revenues. This is how you can truly measure the value of the Output to the enterprise.  If ROI (return on investment) can legitimately used in marketing communications, this is the point. Research and measurement at this point are financial.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Do you want "talk" about a new logo?

Old and new Netflix logos.
A new post on Fast Company Design today raises the question of why there has been no public comment about the introduction of Netflix's new logo. The bigger question for integrated communications is when -- and when not -- a corporate branding change needs to be "news."

By not treating the new logo as news, is Netflix implicitly asserting that the logo change has insignificant value to the company (to customers, to investors)? By not having a traditional PR initiative surround the launch of the new logo, Netflix may have raised more questions than the whole topic deserves. It is probably not of the consequence of Quikster ("the worst product launch since New Coke," Mashable), but it does show again Netflix's continuing ability to thrive (dominate) in its sector while still seeming to make dubious branding moves.

Monday, April 28, 2014

BIC adjunct prof on "corporate narrative"

Sandra Stahl
Co-founder and Principal,
jacobstahl, inc.
The pharmaceutical industry has a unique -- and fascinating -- challenge: it has to deal with all the branding and marketing communications challenges of any company; and it also has to convince its stakeholders to entrust them -- not with their dollars or their lifestyle -- but with their Lives.

Sandra Stahl, co-founder and principal of jacobstahl, inc., a 25+ year veteran of healthcare communications, will join the BIC adjunct faculty in the Fall of 2014 to help BIC students understand how best practices in branding fit into the most sensitive and important aspects of both our personal lives as well as part of one of the largest segments of the global industrial economy.

See Professor Stahl's recent post at pm360online.com (pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices online marketing magazine) on "The Return of the Corporate Brand."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Creativity made for sharing

Brand managers covet -- and sometimes desperately regret -- the viral spread of messages. BIC industry advisory board member, Rob Norman, GroupM's Chief Digital Officer, recently blogged at Exchange4Media.com about how communications professionals can structure and harness the cultural and social triggers that characterize some of the most successful and product viral brand messages.

BIC students: highlight of CCNY Graduate Student Symposium

BIC MPS Class of 2015 Students:
Edmund Balogun, Raj Andrew Nicholas Gomes,
and Luz Corona
On April 24, 2014, BIC students carried off top recognitions among the Humanities and Arts submissions at the CCNY Graduate Student Symposium for Research and Creative Achievement.

Edmund Balogun received the third place recognition for his paper on "Market Research Bias," a paper he first developed for his BIC course,  Research and Measurement, taught by BIC adjunct professor, and EVP of Global Research at Y&R, Belle Frank.  (Mr. Balogun will also present this paper on April 24 at the State University of New York Graduate School at The College of Rockport annual Master's Level Graduate Research Conference.)

BIC students Raj Andrew Nicholas Gomes and Luz Corona received top honors at the CCNY competition for their development of an integrated communications campaign concept for the New York City Citi Bike program, "Create Your Own Stop," a project originally developed for their BIC class in Idea Development taught by CCNY Professor and BIC Program Director, Nancy Tag.

The CCNY Graduate Student Symposium is a platform for graduate students to gain recognition for their work by faculty, students and potential employers. It raises awareness about the wide gamut of programs housed at CCNY and helps distinguish the college as one of the premier higher learning institutions in the CUNY system. The students received cash awards as well as bragging rights -- in BIC's first year, we walked away with two of the three awards for graduate student achievement at CCNY Humanities and Arts.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Still good to the last drop?

NPR's Marketplace recently reported on Kart's "refresh" of the "vintage" Maxwell House Coffee brand -- which includes a new logo and design but resurrects a Very Old Tagline: "good to the last drop."  The people at Kraft are not investing in Maxwell House out of nostalgia. Presumably, they've got some research and insights and that are supporting this risk. Another brand story to watch.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How about this idea for brand strategy: Honesty. Integrity. Truth.

Imagine: a first priority for communicating with total, transparent honesty, integrity, and truth.  Other objectives follow (efficiency comes later; sales results are important but don't come first), because if that first priority is achieved -- all else will be well.

Professor Shannon Bowen from the University of South Carolina has posted at PRWeek that "if we [marketing communications professionals] act as independent advisers seeking to create truth and support relationship building, we release the field [public relations] from the 'divided loyalties' conflict between employer (or client) and the publics that has plagued it."

Shannon A. Bowen
Associate Professor,
Public Relations,
School of Journalism
and Mass Communications,
University of South Carolina
Professor Bowen reminds us that the bar for honesty, integrity, and truth cannot be raised too high.  NOT because that's all goody-goody; but without that ability of a brand to sustain perception of honesty, integrity, and truth, there are no other "tricks of the Ad/PR trade" that will work.

The New Yorker deliberately evolves a digital brand strategy

Digiday.com has published a very interesting take on The New Yorker's digital strategy. It sounds like The New Yorker is being smart (well . . . I guess that's what you'd expect) -- in evolving its core identity into digital: not trying to be Upworthy; maintaining the 90-year tradition/policy of having every word published/posted be fact checked (by a real person) (including the comments, Tweets, etc.). It seems to demonstrate that long-read and deep content does not have to be diminished by digital platforms.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rebranding the oldest company listed on NYSE.

Sotheby's auction house is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was founded in 1744, and if it doesn't have a brand by now . . . well, what's a branding firm to do?  Well, whatever it does, it better do it well.

Pentagram Design
Since 2011, Pentagram has been working with Sotheby's "to bring stronger coherence to the full spectrum of the company's identity and communications."  If it were only so simple that the company sold stuff, at auction.  But Sotheby's is arguably one of the leading organizations / voices for significant changes in global culture. Sotheby's customers are among the most influential -- and richest -- consumers and  patrons of global culture.

Sotheby's credibility is grounded in its claim to unerring judgment of the potential value about cultural artifacts -- the final cash value of objects is, of course, up to the buyers.  But Sotheby's is the very definition of a "global market maker" -- and needs to be at home, credible, and trusted in New York, London, Paris, Zurich, Milan, Geneva, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha, Moscow, and . . . . anywhere that power and money invest in culture.

Pentagram's work for Sotheby's is an insightful case study in branding conceptualization and fulfillment in a high-stakes, high-profile environment. This is not the branding story of a start-up; this is the branding story of an organization over one quarter of a millennium old -- not much competition in that frame of reference.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

BIC students receive prestigious national scholarship awards

Two among BIC's first class of students, Frederick Garcia and Amber Jackson, have been selected -- among just 20 graduate students nationwide -- to receive The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) scholarship for students who share the Foundation's mission of increasing ethnic diversity in the advertising, marketing and public relations industries.

Nancy R. Tag, BIC Program Director and CCNY Media & Communication Arts Professor said, "Our BIC student TLF scholarship recipients competed against students in long-established, high-profile graduate advertising, design, and MBA programs from leading universities throughout the country. Most of all, we are thrilled for Fred and Amber. We are also very proud that in our very first year, the BIC program has been acknowledged among the top tier of programs preparing the next generation of leaders in integrated communications professions."

Frederick Garcia
BIC MPS class of 2015
Recipient of a 2014
LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship
Frederick Garcia received an Associate Degree from the Bronx Community College and his BA from CCNY from the Media & Communication Arts program in 2007. Mr. Garcia works at Exposure, an independent creative agency with offices in New York, London, and Tokyo. He previously was an Interpublic Group InterAct Associate (2007-2009) gaining experience at Gotham, Inc., Deutsch, Lowe Worldwide, and DraftFCB.

Amber Jackson
BIC MPS class of 2015
Recipient of a 2014
LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship 







Amber Jackson received her BS in Journalism and Strategic Communications from the University of Kansas in 2012. Ms. Jackson has been an Interpublic Group InterAct Associate since June  2012, a two-year associate program which includes six-month  rotations at four IPG agencies. She previously was employed and  had internships with Victoria's Secret (Lawrence, Kansas),  ISNetworld (Dallas, Texas), and the Starlight Theatre (Kansas City,  Missouri).

The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Los Angeles, was established in 1998 by Mr. Kim L. Hunter to address the lack of diversity in the advertising, marketing and public relations fields. TLF provides scholarships, career development workshops, professional development, mentors and internships to African American/Black, American Indian/Native American, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students. Please learn more about our programs.

Since its establishment, TLF has awarded $1.56 million in scholarships to 221 ethnic minority students and has provided in excess of 278 internships and full-time employment.

BIC student selected to present research at SUNY multidisciplinary research conference

BIC student, Edmund Balogun's research paper initially prepared for his Research & Awareness BIC class has been selected for presentation in April 2014 at the State University of New York (SUNY) Graduate School at The College at Brockport third annual Master's Level Graduate Research Conference.

The SUNY Brockport Master's Level Graduate Research Conference attracts nearly 400 presenters from over 30 universities and enables students to hone their professional presentation skills and network with peer scholars and faculty.

Edmund Balogun
BIC MPS class of 2015
will present original research
at SUNY grad-student conference 
Mr. Balogun received his BS from the American University of Nigeria, in Information Systems, Database Design, and Web Integration in 2012.  He has had employment experience in information systems and business development with the Auchi Polytechnic in Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria and with JoSeg Associates Printing, Benin City, Nigeria.  Mr. Balogun had been active in engineering, international relations and entrepreneurship organizations at the American University of Nigeria.

Mr. Balogun has previously published on "The Role of Linguistics in the Detection and Prevention of Cyber Crimes in Nigeria," African Journal of Computing (Vol. 5, No. 3, May 2012);  "The Eradication of Complexities in Human Computer Interface Design for Increased System Usage Productivity," Information Systems and Development Informatics Journal (Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2013); and "Eradicating Complexity in Software Interface for Increased Productivity Software Engineering and Research Practice," WorldComp Conference Proceedings (Las Vegas, U.S.A., July 2012).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Deep insights from SXSW: "The purpose of an agency is to scare the s--- out of me."

Kate Rothen
Partner, SS+K
and BIC Professor
BIC's faculty member, Kate Rothen, Partner at SS+K, attended the 2014 SXSW conference and brought back to the CCNY BIC community a wide range of insights that are both challenging and a bit un-nerving.

In discussions with Professor Rothen -- in class and out-of-class-- we all caught up on the gossip, the celebrities, the parties, the business launches that are always part of SXSW  (how, every year, the conference just isn't nearly as good as it used to be -- and how amazingly different and promising it now is.)

Both national media and Kate Rothen's personal insights were in agreement on one point: we are just beginning to feel and understand the impact of technological and data innovation for marketing.  If you're congratulating yourself on "how far we've come and what we've now achieved," then you really don't understand the real challenge for marketing -- and for Communication.

The old world: Communications technological channels controlled by corporations provided "slots" / openings for marketers to drop in messages that will reach many people.  Attractive, beautiful, interesting, attention-grabbing images, music, text, etc.  Marketing professions filled communications corporations' buckets with good info or snake oil.  It's all about Reach and Frequency.

The world of the future: Communications technological channels controlled by corporations will provide "slots" / openings for marketers to drop in messages that will reach the One Right Person who Really Needs That Product Now.  Marketing professions will need to fill the the communications businesses' buckets with real info, the right info for that person and situation.  Reach and Frequency will be irrelevant (or they will be about entertainment, not much relevant to marketing). What we will care about is real, usable information for that right person, at that right time.

Check out this Leo Burnett Wildfire video about the power and specificity of marketing of the future.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ty Montague shares "True Stories" with BICsters


Ty Montague guest lectures in BIC's Brand Experience course.
This semester's foundational course in Brand Experience, taught by MediaLink's CMO Dee Salomon, explores methods of creating brand experience in physical, digital, traditional and experimental ways as it delves into the coordinated application of mass, personal and social media. Students' own experiences in this course have included lectures, trips to museums, and a real life encounter with True Story author, Ty Montague.


The March 10th guest lecture up on City College's campus took on a surreal nature since students have been reading True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Build Your Business as a framework for their studies. The current CEO of co:collective and former Co-President, Chief Creative Officer of JWT North America provided his take on innovation, leadership, business transformation and the power of story. He also autographed copies of the BIC course "textbook" insuring its place in students' professional libraries.

Read more about Ty Montague in this Fast Company article.

BIC featured as "HOT" grad program in CUNY



The latest edition of CUNY Matters, the monthly newsletter for the City University of New York, showcases the BIC program among the "dozens of new and innovative graduate programs being offered to better prepare students for careers in the emerging areas of technology, medicine, public health, advertising, film, and digital media."  As the largest the largest urban university in the country and third largest university system in the nation (behind SUNY and California State University system), CUNY has over 800 graduate degree programs in its 24 colleges. 

The article (seen here http://www.cuny.edu/news/publications/cm-winter14.pdf on page six and seven) features photos of BIC students making final presentations for foundation course Idea Development. It also includes commentary from Program Director Nancy Tag and BIC students:  “We’re living in a visual society and the industry is changing very quickly, and so is the way people consume information,” said Nancy R. Tag, program director of BIC. “We needed to create a program that brings all the disciplines together, so that creative [people] understand the data [personnel] in this data-driven world.”

Cassondra Bazelow, a student in the BIC masters program, said she appreciates the “real world” experience in the curriculum. Industry professionals assisted in creating the curriculum and also serve as adjunct faculty, guest lecturers and project advisers.

 “Between the people instructing the courses and the guest lecturers that they invite, the students at BIC have access to the knowledge of working professionals relevant in their fields,” she said.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

BIC's "Day of Curiosity" draws a crowd

The first ever BIC Open House was held on February 27th and welcomed over 30 candidates to City College to tour the campus, meet BIC program director and faculty, and experience life as a "BICster."

CEO Ketchum NA Barri Rafferty
BIC's "Day of Curiosity" kicked off at noon where an SRO crowd attended MCA's "Lunch w/Leaders" lecture featuring CEO of Ketchum North America and BIC Advisory Board Member Barri Rafferty who eloquently spoke about her recent trip to The World Economic Forum in Davos and 8 Global Trends Impacting Communications (look for a full write-up soon).

Curious candidates then took a tour of the City College campus (led by BIC student, Nehal Mahmoud) which features the first Gothic-style buildings designed for an American college. For the more curious among us, there's an excellent exhibit currently at the CCNY School of Architecture about George Post's architectural masterwork. Or read the article, "The Very Model of a University," in The New York Times link HERE.

The West Gate of the Gothic Quad

At 5PM, BIC Program Director Nancy Tag was joined by BIC faculty Gerardo Blumenkrantz and Frank Walton for an Info Session on BIC. Starting with "high tea" and ending with a Q&A, curious candidates heard about BIC's 36-credit, portfolio-driven curriculum and unique approach to teaching branding and integrated communications. The audience discovered why BIC could only happen here at City College -- where multi-cultural energy is part of our DNA, access to academic excellence is integral to CCNY's mission, and our location in the media capital of the world goes beyond our proximity to midtown, but is embodied by our amazing adjunct faculty, lecture series, advisors, etc. 

Program Director Nancy Tag leads the Info Session

Our ever-curious guests were then invited to stick around and join Professor Frank Walton's BIC class "Branding Issues & Intangibles" in the Public Relations course sequence to learn alongside BIC students about country branding -- or location marketing. Starting with a quick summary of the course to date, Professor Walton (who also heads the BIC public relations track) then asked students to consider such questions as "who owns Brooklyn -- or Times Square?" "how can you leverage the attributes of a place?" and "how can branding make us appreciate the value of origin?" The lecture took students around the globe from upstate New York to the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Anti-French. Pro-American. Green?!?!?!

Cadillac ELR
General Motor's Cadillac has a fascinating, complex ad that plays with so many stereotypes it's dizzying. Anti-French/European. Pro-American. Trophy wife. Going to the moon?--No problem. American ingenuity and "winning" attitude.  All in the service of -- an electric car!

That's Cadillac Global's CMO, Uwe Ellinghaus's effort to reinterpret cultural and brand stereotypes. (Just for the record, Ellinghaus came to Cadillac from senior marketing positions at Montblanc International and BMW AG which are . . . European.)

Uwe Ellinghaus
CMO, Cadillac Global
It will be fascinating to see if this ad campaign works. Audi, you might remember, used to be an old fuddy-duddy brand, till VW re-imagined and re-branded it.  Ford has failed with rebranding strategy for Lincoln. But maybe GM has a winning approach for Cadillac. In recent years, Cadillac has won serious industry awards and media attention.

Is it possible that Cadillac may become a brand success icon of the 21st Century?

(And for any of you who are not history buffs, just a reminder -- the 1902-created auto brand is named after Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, a French explorer of North America in the early 18th Century whose adventures led him from from Nova Scotia to New Orleans to . . . . Detroit.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Linda Kaplan Thaler joins BIC advisory board

Linda Kaplan Thaler
Chair
Publicis Kaplan Thaler
On February 14, 2014, Professor Nancy R. Tag, Program Director of the City College of New York, MPS degree program in Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC), announced that Linda Kaplan Thaler, Chair of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, has joined the BIC Advisory Board.

Linda Kaplan Thaler, an alumna of the City College of New York, has created some of the most successful and memorable advertising in America. Much of her work has become part of pop culture, including the Toys R’ Us “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” jingle, Kodak Moments, Clairol Herbal Essences’ “Yes, Yes, Yes” campaign and the Aflac duck.

Ms. Thaler is Chairman of the U.S. flagship office of Publicis Worldwide and its blue-chip client roster, including P&G, CITI, NestlĂ©, L’Oreal, Merck, Pfizer and Wendy’s, among many others. Previously, Linda was CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, which she founded in 1997 and grew from a fledgling start-up to a company with over $1 billion in billings. In 2013, the Kaplan Thaler Group merged with Publicis New York to form Publicis Kaplan Thaler.

She is also a best-selling author and television personality. Her three collaborations with coauthor Robin Koval, Bang!, The Power of Nice, and The Power of Small, have all received national recognition. In 2005, Linda hosted the Oxygen television series “Making It Big,” and she has also appeared on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” as a judge. Her creative talents have earned her the prestigious MATRIX Award for Women in Communications and she was recognized in 2012 by Advertising Age as one of the "100 Most Influential Women in Advertising." She has also earned the Advertising Woman of the Year Award from AWNY, the New York Women in Film and Television’s Muse Award and 13 Clio’s, among many others.

Ms. Thaler joins the BIC Advisory Members, David Sable, CEO of Young & Rubicam; Barri Rafferty, CEO North America, Ketchum PR; Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer Global, GroupM; and Peter Finn, Founding Partner, Finn Partners Public Relations.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

IBM brand architect on brand as business strategy

Forbes today published excerpts from a discussion between Forbes contributor, Allen Adamson, and a real tried-and-tested branding professional, Randy Golden, who was a senior executive in the corporate brand architecture and design group at IBM for over twenty years.

The discussion circles around, in several ways, the concept of the corporate brand being "in the DNA" of a company -- not just in the advertising -- understood and lived by all levels of employees. They make the case for branding as a business strategy. Golden says, "It was the responsibility of the brand team to identify, prioritize, and build intgrated systems for presenting the IBM brand across all of the global business units and the numerous departments, products and programs."

Golden continues, "The challenge in big companies is the ability to act and behave across the business in a way that is consistent with the core brand. . . . [At IBM] Management knew that the brand and its values needed to guide all organizational behavior. It had to be the infrastructure around which everything else was developed. Advertising needs to be an integrated part of the overall brand presentation, but not the driver."

Adamson concurs: "If stakeholders, employees, can't understand how the brand character and messaging should be deployed in their individual areas of business, how this allows them to differentiate the brand in the minds of consumers, no amount of advertising can help. You have to get them to be able to internalize it, act on it in their world."