PRSA Foundation awards CCNY Media & Communication Arts Department a milestone grant to examine the factors affecting the success of under-represented groups in the PR profession

12/31/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

The Public Relations Society of America Foundation has announced two national research project grants to examine the issues and conditions relating to the access and success of under-represented demographic groups of young professionals as they enter the public relations profession.  These two important national grants were awarded to the Media & Communication Arts Department at CCNY and to the University of San Francisco.

The CCNY project will be led by Professors Lynn Appelbaum, Program Director of the Advertising / Public Relations Program and Frank Walton, PR Track Director of the BIC MPS Program.

Professor Walton says: "CCNY's Media & Communication Arts Advertising and Public Relations Program has been a national leader in providing career opportunities -- and understanding the broader issues -- for young professionals from Hispanic, African-American, and other under-represented demographic groups in the PR industry. This new research endeavor will help the CCNY BIC faculty be among the vanguard in the integrated communications industry in understanding the dynamics which contribute to the success of all aspiring and committed young PR professionals, regardless of their national, ethic, and cultural backgrounds."

Project co-director, Professor Lynn Appelbaum was co-author with with Professor Rochelle Ford of Howard University, in 2005, of one of the first national studies of under-represented groups in the PR profession.  Professor Applebaum is a recipient of the PRSA-New York Dorf Mentoring Award and has served as the PRSA Diversity Chair.  Project co-director, Professor Frank Walton has been a member of the Institute for Public Relations Research & Education Measurement Commission since 2008 and has previously served as the Chief Knowledge Officer of the global PR agency, Ruder Finn, Inc.

Chandler Chicco's employee of the year -- a friend of BIC

12/31/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Marianne Eisenmann
Head of Determinus,
the research division of
Chandler Chicco Companies
In our opinion, it doesn't happen often enough -- that a leading, international agency selects its top researcher as "employee of the year." But that's exactly what Chandler Chicco Companies did for 2013, as Chandler Chicco Companies (CCC), a world-leader in integrated communications in the healthcare and nutrition sectors. selected Marianne Eisenmann as their "employee of the year."

Chandler Chicco says: "Marianne has helped shape nearly every campaign at CCC over the past year – she has pushed us all to think about how to improve programs with a solid foundation of research, how to measure programs from the start, and then how to gauge and showcase success."
Marianne Eisenmann (center)
with BIC students at the
Y&R Mix & Mentor Recpetion
October 2013

Marianne Eisenmann has been a long-standing supporter and well-wisher of BIC -- and will be making some command performances at BIC classes in Spring semester 2014.

Contemplating the costs of customization, personalization, ad avoidance, and ad blindness

12/31/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Rob Norman, Global Chief Digital Officer at GroupM and member of the BIC Advisory Board has written a post about the "now and next of digital development as it affects advertising, marketing, and media." Norman presents the ad industry with a dual challenge: 1) age shift: "by 2020 Millennials will represent 50% of the West's population. Half the world's population will be under the age of 30 by the same date," and 2) the "hyper-fragmentation and attention deficit" that increasingly characterizes entertainment, media (and thereby advertising) consumption.

In an era in which the business models of content distribution, and advertising, are threatened, if not shattered, Norman worries about the future of brands and branding (as we know them today): "awareness [broad awareness by a wide public] remains critical to brand health and the creation of demand which, in turn, depends on a strong mass media."  Norman poses the question -- What if, soon, there is no "mass media"?

Brands and mass media co-evolved in the second half of the twentieth century. Without that mass media, what's the future of brands?

Check out Rob Norman's post, here.  Also, follow Norman on tumblr.

Guinness is good for appreciating a brand

12/18/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Guinness's "Best Ad of All Time" (The Sunday Times 2002)
Jemima Maunder-Taylor, a brand analyst with Interbrand in London, has written an insightful and entertaining post on the Guinness brand -- its evolution, milestones, and enduring characteristics. So few commercial brands have such a long history as Guinness; the continuity of both the product and brand attributes along with the record of marketing and communications successes provides a compelling view of the potential of well-managed brands.

Refreshing the world's biggest brand

12/12/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Quietroom provides a brand refresh for Santa. (No less an authority than Fast Company sees this as a "genius spoof.") A little more theoretical than what LogoDesignLove provided last year.

Santa has a long history (not easily "suited" for a blog post).  But we cannot ignore the contribution that Coca Cola Company has made to the Santa Brand along with branding for Coco Cola.  Here's a history of the Coca Cola contribution from

Happy holiday.

Safety info + Glee-ishness = brand Virgin

11/03/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Virgin America's latest in-flight safety info video is getting lots of buzz.  See this at Branding Magazine.   Wired was also, well, wired for the video: see here.   Even Fox News likes it.

But does it sell seats? (Should we care?)

Chobani shows resilience, determination

11/03/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

brandchannel has posted a good wrap-up of the incidents surrounding the recent Chobani product recall and the company's brand-defense. Chobani is not holding back -- aggressively reaching out to consumers with "quality" messaging, product sampling, and public affairs/CSR initiatives.  Just shows: admitting a problem / shortcoming does not mean you can't responsibly design a brand defense.

Fusion ("salsa is a bigger condiment in the U.S. than ketchup") and other news

11/01/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

ABC and Univision teamed up this week to launch the new cable news network -- Fusion  --  focused on millenials and Latinos. The positioning for that demographic is described their spokespersons as a mix of news, satire, and comedy.  The Bloomberg TV spot sums it up.  Fusion's launch video, maybe, sums up their brand even better: check it out here.

There is no doubt that cable news (not to mention broadcast news and even NPR) is aging (with America). And, there is no doubt that some lesson needs to be learned from the successes of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and The Onion.  And, there is no doubt that America is (soon) a minority-majority nation.

It is, however, an open question as to whether the Fusion product / brand is going to be a wan spin-off concept of MailOnline + TMZ + Comedy Central -- or whether it will take its audience seriously, and respectfully.

(Just a question -- how many journalists will Fusion employ?  Just another question -- how will Fusion, as a serious competitor in the cable news category perform against the most recent entrant, Al Jazeera?)

We'll see.  In the meantime, we loved the (Glee-ification of news) video.

PPC and (yes) branding

11/01/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Ninety-five percent of viewers don't click on a specific PPC (pay-per-click) ad. But does that PPC ad have any branding value?

"Yes" -- says Aga Bojko, VP, User Experience at GfK research. And it's not just her opinion.

Using eye-tracking data, Bojko assesses what percentage of research participants actually look at an online ad, how long they took to notice it, and how long they looked at it. Bojko and GfK can help advertisers decide on whether to increase or decrease bid amounts for moving their ad up or down on the search engine result pages regardless (in addition to) consideration of click-throughs.

See Bojko's blog post here.  Check out GfK's global practice in online ad global user experience research here.

The brand is in the process

11/01/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

DC.StreetsBlog today posted about a new MIT study that argues that the "benefits of placemaking go deeper than better places." This study asserts that the process (political, social, neighborhood, architectural, construction, public education, etc,) for creating an urban "place" is more important than the change of the place itself.

Similarly, I've often seen, when working with a large organization, the the process of branding or re-branding the organization is as -- or more -- important than the final product. The branding process brings together the the opinions (and objections) of the stakeholders; it tests the view of management against the views of employees, customers, and others; most important -- the process forces the marketing professionals / creatives to deal with the "politics" as well as the marketplace for the organization. The brand emerges -- a brand that may not be what the creatives or the marketing communications pros anticipated.

Mixed, mentored -- and preparing to lead

10/18/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Meet tomorrow's Ad/PR leaders
On October 17th, David Sable, CEO of Y&R, along with several of his senior Y&R colleagues, hosted the a Mix + Mentor Reception for the first class of students in the new CCNY Master’s program in Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC).

The thirty-two BIC students had the opportunity to meet with about an equal number of representatives of senior industry leadership as well as young professionals from Y&R, McCann Worldgroup, Grey Global, GroupM, MediaLink, TBWA, Deutsch, Draftfcb, Horizon Media, R/GA, Ketchum PR, Finn Partners PR, Chandler Chicco Agency, WCG, Beacon Advisors, and JacobStahl PR, among others.

BIC students also had the opportunity of networking with senior representatives of the advertising industry's The One Club, Ad Age, the Public Relations Society of America, and the Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission.

The New York advertising and PR agency communities have shown enthusiastic curiosity about the BIC program and receptivity both to participating in our curriculum as advisers and adjunct professors and receptivity to partnerships in cultivating the professionalism and experience of BIC students through internships, personal contacts, and other support.

The reception, held at Y&R's new headquarters off of Columbus Circle in New York, was a fitting introduction for BIC's students to the industry that they will help to transform in the future.

Dot Giannone, EVP, Y&R (left);
Nancy Tag, Professor and BIC Program Director (right)

Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer, Global
and BIC Industry Advisory Board Member
 (third from left)

Frank Walton, CCNY BIC faculty
and Member, Institute for PR Measurement Commission;
Barri Rafferty, CEO North America, Ketchum
and BIC Industry Advisory Board Member;
Antonio Ortalani, Group Director, Analytics, WCG

The global leadership of Ad/PR
will come from New York, from China,
from the Ukraine, from Fiji
-- and from the CCNY BIC program

Dee Salomon, Chief Marketing Officer
MediaLink and CCNY BIC faculty (center)

Chavonne Hodges
Diversity & Inclusion Manager
McCann Worldgroup (center)
Jerry Carlson, Chair, Media & Communication Arts Dept.,
CCNY and Professor of French, Film Arts,
and Comparative Literature, CUNY;
Richard Funess, Senior Managing Partner
Finn Partners;
Peter Finn, Founding Partner
Finn Partners
and BIC Industry Advisory Board Member

Marianne Eisenmann, Head of Research
Chandler Chicco Agency
and Member, Institute for PR Measurement Commission (center)
with tomorrow's Ad/PR innovators

Ann Marie Kerwin, Ad Age;
Belle Frank, Global Director, Strategy & Applied Research, Y&R
and CCNY BIC faculty

CCNY BIC announces inaugural Industry Advisory Board members

10/18/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Nancy R. Tag, Professor and Program Director, announced today the names of the inaugural members of the CCNY Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) Master’s of Professional Studies program Industry Advisory Board. The board members have extended their offers to provide professional development and various other kinds of support to the BIC curriculum and individual BIC students. The enthusiasm of these advisory board members, along with support from their organizations, is a testament to strategic direction of BIC in preparing the next generation of communications professionals.

The inaugural BIC Industry Advisory Board includes:

David Sable
David Sable, CEO, Y&R -- David Sable has been Chief Executive Officer of Young & Rubicam, Inc since February 2011 and has been its Chairman of the Board since January 1st 2012. He has served in high-profile positions in advertising, direct marketing and public relations with global clients as diverse as Microsoft, Citibank, Kraft, Hewlett Packard; IBM, Colgate-Palmolive, Bausch and Lomb, and the United States Postal Service (among others, who count on his strategic insight and ability to connect talent across marketing disciplines and geographies). He was appointed by the Mayor of the City of New York, Michael R. Bloomberg, to serve as a member of the Cultural Advisory Committee of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. He is a Member of the Executive Board and Chairman of the Marketing Committee of the United Jewish Federation's (UJA) New York chapter. Mr. Sable is a frequent speaker at industry events, including the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Venice Festival of Media, International Post Corporation, Direct Marketing Association, Australian Direct Marketing Association and the Israel Policy Forum.

Barri Rafferty
CEO North America
Barri Rafferty, CEO North America, Ketchum PR -- During Barri Rafferty’s tenure at Ketchum, she 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.

Rob Norman
Chief Digital Officer Global
Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer Global, GroupM – Rob Norman oversees the activities of the world’s largest buyer of online media with more than $5 billion in billings. In this role, he develops the digital capabilities within GroupM while establishing thought leadership positioning in the digital space and contributing to each agency’s business development. Prior to taking this role in 2012, Rob served as CEO of GroupM North America where he was responsible for the general management as well as strategic and administrative activities at each of GroupM’s four media agencies. Rob was named a Media Maven by Advertising Age in 2007. He sits on the advisory board of WPP Digital, the venture arm of GroupM parent company WPP, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication. He also is on the board of the 4A’s, and the Ad Council and leads GroupM’s diversity efforts, including a scholarship program at City College New York.

Peter Finn
Founding Partner
Finn Partners
Peter Finn, Founding Partner, Finn Partners – Finn Partners today carries on the 60+ year history of one of the pioneering generation of American public relations firms (Ruder & Finn) along with the legacy of the founder, David Finn, a CCNY alumnus. Named by PR News as a 2013 Agency of the Year and by The Holmes Report both as the Best PR Agency to Work For  in North America in 2012 and as the Best New Agency of 2012, Finn Partners is headquartered in New York and has six other U.S. offices as well as offices in London and Jerusalem. Peter Finn has over 25 years of experience in the management of market research and public relations operations of the Ruder Finn Group companies with a solid record of acquisitions and agency development. He is also the founder of the Catskill Mountain Foundation, a transformative arts-based economic development initiative in the upper Hudson Valley of New York State.

Brand Humanity

10/16/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

The BloombergBusinessweek's Management Blog had a post today about "brand humanity" by Chris Malone and Susan T. Fiske, co-authors of The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies:

"Social psychologists believe as much as 82 percent of our everyday social judgments can be predicted by our instant assessments of these two questions: What are the intentions of this other person toward me? How capable is this person of carrying out those intentions? Without realizing it, we apply such appraisals of warmth and competence in all our relationships, including those involving companies and brands. Warmth and competence defines what might be called 'The Human Brand' . . ."

A nice shorthand for thinking about why we trust some brands / companies and not others.


10/16/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

No caption is necessary.
This is not a story out of The Onion. Some branding person in Japan actually thought a cute name for brand/mascot would be (excuse me) "Fukuppy."

As if not bad enough, the company Fukushima Industry, just happens to have the same name as another company (unrelated except by the accident of name) to the disastrous operator of the nuclear power plant damaged by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami.

It's shocking to believe that the branding non-genius didn't consider the global (didn't even consider the Japanese) context. Fundamental PR concept: consider the world around you, not just yourself. You don't want to go down in branding history for a Fukuppy.

Here's the story as told at The Guardian.

POST UPDATE, OCT 15: Co-branding opportunities in wearable technology

10/15/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry since 2006
Next year: Apple's head of retail.
Today Apple announced the hiring of Burberry's CEO, Angela Ahrendts to take over Apple's retail business next year. She will be the only woman among the company's 10-person executive. Already there's speculation that she's the next CEO-in-waiting for Apple: a real co-branding of fashion and technology in the wings?

brandchannel has also posted a feature speculating about the implications of Ahrendts' move to Apple.

Samsung Mobile's Galaxy Gear Smartwatch
developed with jewelry designer, Dana Lorenz.
Photo via Fast Company 

Fast Company and Interbrand's blog have both recently speculated about challenges facing device manufacturers as they directly enter the world of fashion with the new wearable technology.

Fast Company's Sarah Kessler wrote last month, at the time of New York Fashion Week, "Pretty colors can't erase criticism that Samsung's watch has no purpose, a clunky design, and an unwarranted high price tag. But it does go a long way in making it wearable."

Rob Meyerson, Director, Verbal Identity at Interbrand San Francisco, is reassured that the major players (Google, Nike, Apple) are approaching this as a co-branding challenge. Devices being wearable isn't enough: they've got to be desirably wearable.

Burson-Marsteller re-brands

10/14/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Burson-Marsteller, fifth largest PR agency in worldwide revenue, had its new re-branding initiative profiled by Stuart Elliott in The New York Times today. Looks like a sensible, prudent move. In fact, one has to wonder why a traditional PR agency would not be making such a move given many pressures of global markets, technology change, and the reconfiguration of marketing services demands from clients that's now a decade old. Still, it's worth watching how B-M will handle it.

Coke: losing fizz

10/11/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

John Miziolek, Presdient and CEO of Reset Branding, takes Coca-Cola to task in a Fast Company blog yesterday. Miziolek reflects on the reasons why Interbrand's brand value list for 2013 shows Coca-Cola slipping -- mostly, according to Miziolek, because Coke "has not done enough to change its strategy and revamp its product line" to be in sync with market shifts away from obesity-driving product and toward authentically healthful beverages. Coke is stuck, says Miziolek, in products and marketing that don't look forward. Of the new products and line extensions over the past five years, Miziolek writes,  "the geniuses at Coca-Cola simply reached out and grabbed  the newest way to secretly sell the public unhealthy sugar water!"

Q: What does the branding process cost? A: $29.00

10/10/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

DesignMantic's free sample
logo design for
CCNY's Branding +
Integrated Communications MPS 
DesignMantic has introduced a do-it-yourself design studio product that can provide you with a logo (and a business card design!) for as little as $29 (if you choose from the library) or up to $99 for "custom design" (you will be sent 5 custom logo design concepts with a 2 business day turnaround time.).

This kind of "clip art" approach to visual identity isn't new -- it's just easier with digital files and online commerce. We should, however, take it seriously -- the design and visual identity we offer clients needs to be a whole lot smarter / insightful / authentic.  Otherwise, why not just spend $29?

Not a meltdown. A re-branding.

10/10/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

(Does this image need a caption?)
David Johnson, CEO at Strategic Vision, LLC, argued yesterday at that Miley Cyrus "is staging one of the most successful rebrandings in recent history. . . . . Yet for all the buzz about her new image and whether it is smart or not, what we are not hearing about or witnessing are stories like we have seen in the past about Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears when their antics and behavior affected their brands. The reason is that with Cyrus, we are seeing a well crafted and executed rebranding strategy and not behavior problems. She may be risque in her branding, but she isn't damaged goods."

AdWeek also picks up the theme with an article by John Tejada: "Miley: Textbook Case of the Inevitable Teen Star Rebrand."  Tejeda, however, does see a  gamble in Cyrus' (and her management's) strategy: ". . . brands that might have courted the younger Cyrus won't want to touch her now. . . . Unlike Taylor Swift, who can still reach young girls because of her relatively clean-cut persona, Cyrus is now speaking exclusively to an older demographic."

Luxury branding is for everyone

10/09/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

No, we can't all buy yachts and Maseratis. But we can learn something from luxury brand marketing. Always at the frontier, British luxury travel brands are asserting themselves in ad buys, tech partnerships, and real estate / retail expansions.

BrandChannel provides an update today, along with a clip of a new Burberry Travel Tailoring suit video which displays nice affect and images along with  graphic suggestion of product technical attributes. Even makes a London rain attractive.  And only $2000 for the suit.  But that's what luxury branding is always about -- great design, insouciance, the sense, the feeling that "Of course, it's worth it."

ARF Industry Leader Forum 2013

10/08/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

The Advertising Research Foundation Leadership Forum 2013 has as its theme, "Modeling for Growth: Mix it Up."

The conference promotion asks: "Do you know about 'bleeding edge' solutions that are expanding analytics for new consumer touchpoints?"  I'm not sure I'm totally comfortable with the mixing metaphors of consumer touchpoints with bleeding edges, but I do think the conference program looks relevant and intriguing for all of us interested in branding + integrated marketing.

You, too, brand professional, can be outsourced

10/08/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

India's Business Standard reported today that "Brands outsource ideation to India for their global campaigns."

"India is poised to become the outsourcing powerhouse for advertising," Devina Joshi reports from New Delhi. Her feature tells a familiar story to anyone who has observed how business processes and IT services have been outsourced to low-cost economies for the past generation.

The low-cost economy, assuming a reasonably state-of-the-art telco and web infrastructure and an employee based sufficiently prepared for training, gobbles up a large proportion of technology-enabled, repetitive, rule-governed functions. The classic cases have been IT services, such as data processing or systems integration, but also business services that require human involvement such as call centers, financial analysis, or even the reading of x-rays.

The Business Standard enthuses about how India-based ad firms are now serving wide Asian markets as well as occasionally European programs.  The article particularly notes Accenture Interactive -- following the classic global outsourcing paradigm -- which "has digital marketing and experienced design capabilities in the U.S. and Europe that collaborate with ad production and development centres in Costa Rica and India. The company's global clientele has reduced costs by 40 per cent through this model."

One has to consider the source (Business Standard), which may be predisposed to see a rosy future for the Indian ad services industry. But, on the other hand, we cannot be surprised if digital marketing, especially, won't follow the patterns of other data-driven, rule-governed business processes. And that means that low-cost centers will have an advantage in the global market -- and the global market is growing, disproportionately faster, in south and east Asia.

Brand builders in the post-Crash economy

10/08/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

David Karp, CEO and Founder
Photo: Platoon via New York Magazine

New York magazine has a special business report on "brand builders from the post-Lehman economy" (Web published September 29; newsstand October 7). The articles provide insights and anecdotes about how some of the relatively new, most successful brands have been managed to market prominence (and profit).

Lessons to be learned -- from Tumblr, Grumpy Cat, Chobani, Sahm Adrangi, One Kings Lane, Lending Club, Tough Mudder, Sofar Sounds, and Quirky.

BtoB magazine will merge into Advertising Age

10/06/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

On October 1, BtoB announced that it will no longer publish as of January 2014. Crain Communications' president and Ad Age editor-in-chief, Rance Crain, said: B2B and consumer markets are increasingly usig similar tools and wrestling with the same challenges, so it just made sense to have a single marketing publication."  I imagine that Crain knows best about magazine publishing -- but I wonder about his premise more generally: Do brand managers at B2B organizations really do the same things, when they go to work in the morning, as do the B2C brand managers?

Apple passes Coke as most valuable brand

10/06/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

According to Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2013 report released last week, Apple is now the most valuable brand in the world.  Interbrand's annual ranking of global brands brings together market, brand, competitor, and financial data into a single framework. The methodology, which has been refined over the years, calculates a net present value of brand earnings based on Interbrand's collection of financial data, a demand analysis, and competitive analysis.  (See info about the methodology, here.)

Apple outpaces #2-ranked Google (Apple at $98.3 billion vs. Google at $93.3 billion).  But both of these front-running, tech/web companies far out-pace #3, Coca-Cola at $79.2 billion.  Of the five brands designated by Interbrand as "top risers," four are tech giants (Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook); Prada is the only non-tech brand cited as a "top riser."

Some background on Apple's rise to the top of the Interbrand ranking is provided at a Fortune blog on October 2nd: How Apple became the world's most valuable brand.

Particularly interesting for brand-geeks are the articles and interviews with a selection of chief brand officers that complement Interbrand's ranking and analyses.

Who is Yayo?

9/08/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

There's a reason why BIC chose Yayo to design its very first poster to launch and commemorate our first year, first class, first leap into the academic fray. He's conceptual -- a deep thinker who tickles our funny bone. He's a pure talent. A keen observer of the world. A problem solver. Famous (in a funky obscure kinda way). Generous. An absolute delight. As we begin to think of WHO should design next year's poster (perhaps one of our newest BIC students?), let's pause to celebrate the artist who brought our "Enter curious.  Leave curious (but with credentials)" slogan to life with his whimsical caterpillar and butterfly illustration. 

Here's Yayo's bio. For a real treat, send me an email to request a PDF of a lovely compilation of this clever artist's take on the world (

Yayo is an illustrator with a passion for ideas. He always has something to say, through his unique poetic and humoristic approach. He’s also an award-winning cartoonist. When it comes to children’s books, he lots of experience illustrating for other authors, and is now trying to focus on writing and illustrating his own books.

His book “Chasseur d’arc en ciel”, (“Rainbow Hunter”), which he wrote and illustrated ,was nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the most prestigious literary award in Canada.  He was born in Mesitas del Colegio, Colombia, and has lived in MontrĂ©al for over 20 years.

Is digital media simply too measurable for branding?

8/27/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Yaakov Kimelfeld, Ph.D.
Chief Research Officer
Millward Brown Digital
Yaakov Kimelfeld, Chief Research Officer at Millward Brown Digital, has a challenging post today at Online Metrics Insider in which he asks (rhetorically) "Perhaps digital media is simply too measurable for branding?"

He argues that traditionally we have thought of branding as "the promise of greater rewards to come" -- not as a distinct, identifiable moment in a transaction (which he sees as the direct response perspective of what digital advertising is good for).

Kimelfeld writes, "brand awareness and favourability have become key indicators of success largely because of the measurement gap between exposure to advertising and actual sales. . . . [but] The distinction between 'direct response' and 'branding' campaigns is purely the time it takes ton convert: shorter for the former, longer for the latter. It is a continuum, not a dichotomy."

Kimelfeld answers his own question: is digital media too measurable for branding?  No. But "traditionally minded advertisers may not yet be ready."

Great design = getting people to do what you want

8/26/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Seth Godin
Entrepreneur, columnist, book author, and blogger, Seth Godin, has recently posted "Great design = getting people to do what you want" at which he firmly restates the concept (in his own way) that design has Objectives ("What do you want the user to do?")

Interbrand reports on global trends in CSR

8/13/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Interbrand has posted about its recent Corporate Citizenship Summit in New York City earlier this summer as well as about news relating to what they see as a trend toward a global acceptance of corporate social responsibility standards. See their post, here.

Summer 2013 Marcom News: the Data Haves and Have Nots

8/07/2013 Unknown 0 Comments

Following events in the ad / PR world at the end of July 2013 has been exciting and enlightening. And a bit disconcerting for anyone concerned, at least in the short term, about the viability of smaller marcom enterprises, especially including non-profit and advocacy organizations. The emerging marcom digital divide is growing wider than ever. Big data favors big enterprise. And creativity and human insight seem increasingly like a quaint cottage industry.

2013 Summer Story Line Number 1: The Promise of Big Data. From the earliest public reports of the expected combination of Publicis and the Omnicom Group (POG), such as in The New York Times, July 27th report, there has been the acknowledgement that the creation of POG is not entirely about traditionally understood advertising services. The Times’ Tanzina Vega noted on July 27th, “. . . antitrust concerns could be eased if the new company positions itself less as a conglomerate of ad agencies and more of a data company competing with businesses like I.B.M. and Facebook . . .” That same message is clear in AdAge’s August 4th post by Abbey Klaasen, in which she writes “Ninety percent of the world’s data have been generated in the past two years . . . And increasingly those data are generated by digital interactions tracked for the primary, if not sole, purpose of selling goods or services. This data-intensive world has ushered in competitors that aren’t ad agencies but giant technology and consulting firms, like IBM, Oracle and Accenture.”

From this perspective, POG isn’t at all about your grandfather’s advertising. It’s about the brave new world of data that monitors and algorithms that reveal patterns – for the organizations big enough, resourced enough to derive benefit. (Of course, all this is being reported against the wider background news about the travails of Edward Snowden and the media-hyped reportage and speculation about what the National Security Agency may know – or not know – about us all.)

2013 Summer Story Line Number 2: Small is Beautiful (and, Hopefully, Still Relevant). One reaction to the POG announcement has come loud-and-clear from the “smaller” ad and PR agencies. On the advertising side we’ve had Dan Wieden, co-founder of Wieden & Kennedy, speaking on at the AdAge 2013 fourth annual Small Agency Conference, saying that “the ad giants are ‘wobbling like drunkards’ and called for indie shops to sharpen their swords.” Wieden’s speech has been widely discussed and picked up, such as in Will Burns’ July 30th post.

On the public relations side, Art Stevens, managing partner at Stevens Gould Pincus, wrote on July 28th at about his conviction that the “smaller, more nimble agencies” will be the beneficiary of clients’ distrust of the new marcom “behemoth.” However, the PR, response reveals more than a little consternation. The Holmes Report’s July 30th post by Aarti Shah raises the question, “Is PR an “Afterthought”? And even Stevens’ optimistic view of the opportunity for non-behemoth PR firms has a telling comment: Stevens asks “. . . will they [clients] be happier with smaller agencies with worldwide capabilities?” And just how many “smaller” PR agencies really have worldwide capabilities?

2013 Summer Story Line Number 3: The End of Measurement; The Emergence of Insight. Simultaneous with the global turmoil (and relish) over POG, Katie Paine made the official announcement that she was leaving News Group International in a July 26th post of The Measurement Standard. In Paine’s more personal insight provided at her personal blog, KDPaine’s PR Measurement Blog, on July 29th, she presented a context for her departure from News Group International as an indicator of a broader trend in PR/media research: “When I started in the industry there was me and a couple of other people talking about PR measurement. Now there are some 350 companies providing some form of social or traditional media analysis. We used to think that just having data was enough. Now we have more data any anyone knows what to do with.”

I cannot foresee better than anyone else (and lots of anyones are writing about it) how the POG merger will shake out. But it seems clear to me that the implications – the inevitability – of dealing with data about transactions and communications surrounding transactions is the core challenge for the future of marcom services. Like POG or not. The argument for small agencies is attractive (like the American small family farm?) – but when clients are monitoring response to alternative creative executions, in real time, and changing media buys immediately for maximum return, it suggests different definitions of “nimble.” Katie Paine’s experience is revealing: in many ways, she’s won the battle – her corner of the industry has accepted the premise that she fought for, and the bigger data, technology companies have gobbled up the business.

The emergent digital divide in marcom services is technological and financial and social. Dan Wieden and Katie Paine are still going to do OK; because of their long-established personal credentials, they will still be sought after by deeper-pocketed clients to plan and guide marcom initiatives. But what are the options for small enterprises (clients) and truly small marcom businesses – that don’t today have either the big data clout of POG or IBM or the guru status of Wieden and Paine?

The emerging divide in marcom services has always been implicit in the industry, but it is starker than ever. It is between the would-be-decision-makers who have evidence (methodically sound, according to state-of-the-art capabilities) versus the would-be-decision-makers who are still stuck flying by the seat of their pants. Smaller marcom businesses – and, much more importantly for the economy and the country-- smaller enterprises and non-profit organizations, are a long way from benefiting from the promise of big data.

With so much information that can now be had – the gap between the data Haves and Have Nots may well be the defining factor, and marcom battleground, for the foreseeable future.

This post also appeared on
August 6, 2013
and at the author's
personal blog.