Girls Who Code wins in BIC/J-School Cross Disciplinary Collaboration

3/25/2016 Nancy 0 Comments


A select group of BIC students were able to explore the topic of branded content in a one-credit course on Native Advertising that allowed them to collaborate with students from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Starting in March with an online discussion, BICsters took their curiosity to a unique "co-conference” on March 11th at the J-School on 40th Street sponsored by both schools entitled "Journalism in the Age of Branded Content...and Vice Versa."  This sold out event featured top experts and executives from PRWeek, Contently, IBM, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Afterwards, five cross-disciplinary teams composed of students from both schools broke out into work sessions to develop  “speed" campaigns anchored in a branded content solution for one of these brands: Shiseido, Red Rooster in Harlem, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Intel, and Girls Who Code.  

The five teams met up once again on Wednesday, March 23rd to present their campaigns to a panel of professionals who included Ashley Bode (Marcus Samuelsson Group), Charles Van Es (Vita Coco), Diallo Hall (Loquatio), David M. Olsen (Tyco), Deborah Singer (Girls Who Code), and Fara Warner (Wall Street Journal Custom Studios). The night concluded with highest praise going to the campaign for Girls Who Code which used robots and influencers on YouTube to inspire girls in high school to become coders. This team featured BIC students Castro Desroches, Diana Friedman, and Megan Beth Fullagar.

The idea for this unique cross-disciplinary collaboration began as a conversation between BIC Program Director Nancy Tag and J-School Dean Sarah Bartlett. For BICsters, it blossomed into a one-credit BIC course on Native Advertising that was anchored by the March conference and student collaboration — all done in concert with J-School faculty and members of the Tow-Knight Center Jeff Jarvis, Hal Straus, and Jeremy Caplan.

2nd Annual BIC Portfolio Bootcamp

3/18/2016 Unknown 0 Comments


In the first week of March, BIC held its second annual PORTFOLIO BOOTCAMP. Taking advantage of a week off from the usual slate of classes, our graduating students got the chance to work intensely on their portfolios with the help of visiting professionals with design, content, and storytelling expertise. This year, BICsters were fresh from the February 26th  PiP (Portfolio-in-Progress) Recruitment Event where soon-to-be grads received portfolio critiques from industry talent agents. BIC students arrived at bootcamp with notes in hand, detailed plans, ready to work.

Big BIC thanks to our AMAZING guest mentors this year!


On Monday, Mark Brooks, Brand Director at Behance, and Yury Vargas, CD/CA at D’Exposito, began the week with a focus on design and digital platforms. On Tuesday, Joe Wiggins, Account Supervisor at CoynePR focused on developing portfolio content alongside Senior Graphic Designers at Gravity Media, Neil Francisco and Courtney Kozloski. Ryan Kipp, Director/Producer at Trigger Creative, and Writer/Director/Editor Ash Meer zoned in on case study development on Wednesday night. And on Thursday night, Denise Byrd, CD/CW/Storytelling Expert, and Chelsea Campbell, CD at WME|IMG, led a final focus on content development.


Thanks to each mentors’ invaluable expertise and feedback, BIC students have all the insider tips, trick, and tools they need to perfect their portfolios for what we expect will be standout presentations on Portfolio Thesis Defense day May 26th.

If you are a branding and marketing communications professional working in creative, public relations, or planning and strategy and available on May 26th email bic@ccny.cuny.edu. We are actively organizing our panels of thesis judges!


For bios about each of our fabulously accomplished 2016 Portfolio Bootcamp mentors keep scrolling…

Mark Brooks is a graphic designer and art director born in Barcelona. He moved to New York where he's lived and worked since 2007. He’s had the privilege of participating in design conferences, exhibits, and lectures and enjoyed working for clients such as NIKE, Lufthansa, Villar-Rosàs, The New York Yankees, Behance Network, Estrella Damm, NBA, Club Razzmatazz, SantaMonica, Magro Cardona and LT Burger New York, among others. You can follow Mark on Twitter @justmarkbrooks

Yury Vargas is the Digital Creative Director at Dexposito & Partners, a Hispanic advertising agency in NYC. He's currently teaching in the BIC Creative Track. You can follow Yury on Twitter @yuryvargas

Courtney Kozloski joined Gravity’s creative team in 2014, right after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Growing up in Rochester, NY she was always crafting, exploring and being creative in some way or another. Her favorite part about Gravity is definitely the people she gets to collaborate with everyday. You can follow Courtney on Twitter @clkozloski

Neil Francisco worked at Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School, a youth development nonprofit organization in East Harlem, NY, prior to joining Gravity. He is fluent in English and Tagalog, and grew up in both Manila, Philippines and New York. Neil received his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Providence College. He joined Gravity as a Graphic Designer because it gives him an opportunity to learn something new every single day. You can follow Neil on Twitter @neilfrancisco

Joe Wiggins joined Coyne PR in 2014 and graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. He oversees management, media relations and execution of campaigns for clients. His clients have appeared on major media outlets including USA Today, Good Morning America, New York Times, TMZ, Essence, Esquire, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Latina. Joe provides clients with similar results at the local level in markets in California, Illinois, Georgia, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and New York. Joe has worked with global companies such as AOL, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Universal Pictures, National Basketball Association (NBA) and Grace Foods. He has launched and directed the profiles of music, sports and film superstars such as Pitbull, Dwight Howard and Tyrese Gibson to name a few.

Ash Meer has worked as a freelance designer, animator and visual effects artist for commercial and broadcast clients in Europe, Asia, and the US. He has also worked as senior visual effects artist and Art Director. His first film, “Stages of Integration” premiered at the 1991 Asian American Film Festival and screened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Neighborhood Film and Video, the Whitney Museum and the National Asian Pacific American Film Festival. As a designer and animator his clients have included Kennedy Etc., Eyeball, PandaPanther, Offspring, Imaginary Forces, 21boom, UVPhactory, Liquid Design Group, SkyTV, Channel 5, Discovery Kids, The Learning Channel, Chanel, Anna Sui, Tommy Hilfiger, Takeout Creative, Yard and AOL. Ash has professional experience in nearly every stage of advertising media production, from copywriting and storyboarding, to shooting, editing, graphics, visual effects and color correction. Ash has a BA in Philosophy from Emory University.  You can follow Ash on Twitter @ashmeer

Denise Byrd freelances as a writer and consults with boutique agencies, entrepreneurs and nonprofits to solve branding and communications challenges. As an advertising copywriter and Creative Director, she produced numerous content videos on a variety of high profile brands. Denise has 15+ years of experience as a versatile and creatively-driven brand builder, skilled at managing the development of digital content and traditional advertising. She is an innate storyteller, consistently able to express a brand’s voice and weave its narrative across all media, including TV, print, digital, social, and experiential.  You can follow Denise on Twitter @byrddee

Chelsea Campbell is a Creative Director specializing in experiential communications. She has drive and passion for innovation in communications and translating creative ideas into tangible, interactive experiences. During Chelsea’s work at Momentum Worldwide, she led creative on an award-winning VR experience You Vs. Sharapova, a fully interactive, consumer facing virtual reality experience using HTC Valve technology, created with ReelFX and housed inside the American Express Fan Experience at the US Open. For the launch of the tournament she produced the world’s first hydro-interactive Rally on the River, another award-winning world’s first.

Ryan Kipp attended Emerson College, and received a BFA in Acting.  After college he was a professional actor for several years.  At that point he decided to learn the craft of editing in order to eventually create his own work and hone his skills as a director. Ryan worked as a video editor and animator in the advertising, PR and production industries for years.  The experience working with directors both as an actor and editor/animator provided Ryan with a wide array of tools to use as a director, and has completed that transition over the past 3 years. His recent client list includes THE WORLD TRADE CENTER HEALTH PROGRAM, THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL, CRUNCH FITNESS, POUND FITNESS, and THE MILES GROUP. THE COLLECTOR, a short documentary that Ryan shot, directed and produced, won best documentary at the New York Downtown Short Film Festival and played many other film festivals in the US and abroad.  He is currently in production for a feature-length documentary based on the same subject. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @wryankipp.

4A's Nancy Hill and Emmanual Tchividjiann of Ruder Finn Discuss Ethics, Leadership, and Law

3/18/2016 Nancy 0 Comments



At BIC, we get up close and personal and seek answers to some of the most pressing questions of the day, with some of the most brilliant minds in our industries, in arguably the best city in the world. 

Nancy Hill, President of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), and Emmanuel Tchividjian, Chief Ethics Officer of Ruder Finn, recently joined Professor Angela Chitkara's Leadership, Law and Ethics class to discuss ethics in the advertising and public relations world on a day Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the U.S. Government’s request to unlock a phone belonging to an alleged terrorist involved in the San Bernardino shootings. 

Although initial reports stated that the U.S. Government saw Apple’s move to go to the media as a marketing tactic, both Hill and Tchividjian believe Apple did the right thing by being transparent. “Doing the right thing” requires our Leadership, Law and Ethics class to evaluate the alignment of an organization’s brand with its mission and values. 

What guides us when faced with an ethical dilemma? There are several ethical parameters at play – the industry guidelines as defined by the 4As and Public Relations Society of America ( PRSA), our own personal and professional ethics, the existing laws, and those of an organization. 

According to both Nancy and Emmanuel, self regulation is key for an organization. It’s better to be pro active and self regulating than face the government’s wrath. An example of self regulating is raising ethical concerns that arise before the government does. The 4As has three lobbyists on the payroll to serve as advocates for the Advertising industry on issues such as tax structures. Additionally, industry bodies have a vested interest in serving as a voice for its members and shaping legislation on Capitol Hill. 

Emmanuel cited the important distinction between an organization’s internal ethical guidelines that governs the direction of the organization and the existing law. Crafting the ethical guidelines involves the participation of many throughout the organization such as C-Suite, human resources, the communications team and of course, the in house counsel team. Ms. Hill believes One should never ignore their own personal ethics and their ability to sleep well at night. 

Both Ms. Hill and Mr. Tchvidjian believe it is possible to develop a common ethical framework for our convergent industries of Advertising, Creative and Public Relations. The challenge is the investment of time and resources. Luckily for us, here at BIC, our class can do the thinking for our industries and propose solutions for a new era. Stay tuned. 

Andrew Tider: BIC Professor by Night. Cultural Instigator by Day

3/18/2016 Unknown 0 Comments

If you've been to the Brooklyn Museum's current Agitprop! exhibit, chances are you've gazed up at the Snowden bust, named and designed after famed whistle-blower Edward Snowden. It's hard to miss: The bust itself is four-feet tall, weighs 100 pounds, and stands on a pillar over six feet tall. In effect, Edward Snowden looms over the room. 

What you may not know is that bust was created by BIC's creative track professor Andy Tider. In addition to being an award-winning art director, Prof. Tider and his "co-agitator" Jeff Greenspan (both pictured below) are known for creating artwork meant to agitate and challenge. The bust originally appeared on April 6, 2015  fused to a pillar within the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park, a monument to POWs who lost their lives during the American Revolution.

Now a part of the Agitprop! exhibit, the bust is among the many projects that connect contemporary art to social change with a focus on historic moments in creative activism that highlight activities that seek to motivate broad and diverse publics. The exhibit will be at the Brooklyn Museum until August 2016.  Read the whole story behind the Snowden bust on http://www.andrewtider.com as well as this article in Forbes





Michael Farmer's MADISON AVENUE MANSLAUGHTER Sells Out

3/18/2016 Unknown 0 Comments


When BIC Professor Michael Farmer walked into his very first class on Internal Management, he faced a dilemma. His book, Madison Avenue Manslaughter, the required text for his course, was sold out everywhere! One reason: Forbes magazine decided to write about it, coincidentally, on the first week of the Spring semester. The article, “How Agencies Are Putting Themselves Out Of Business And What We Should Do About It,” by Keanan Beasley was viewed over 50K times. After quoting several sections of the recently published book,  Beasley seemed to entice everyone in the industry to want to get their hands on it. In both the classroom and the book, Farmer addresses how outdated business models and ineffectual agency-client relationships have led to the decline of the advertising industry --  and what needs to be done about it. With characteristic generosity, Professor Farmer arranged to have the books specially delivered to his BIC students in time for the next class.



Barbarian Group Gives BIC Students a Dose of Virtual Reality

3/18/2016 Unknown 0 Comments


What does the future look like? At a recent visit to The Barbarian Group for Professor Brian Crook's Brand Experience class, the answer was: You're soaking in it! Jeremiah Johnson, Senior Technologist at The Barbarian Group, not only lectured on the latest experiential technology, but let students experience it themselves. Students were able to try out the HTC Vive virtual reality headset and controllers.

With the HTC Vive and controllers, they were able to draw and make art in 3-dimensional space, then walk around and through the creations as they were making them. Wild! Students also tested out the virtual reality painting app called Tiltbrush.

The Barbarian Group, “a daring creative agency with a digital heart,” was founded in 2001 with a vision to grow brands’ share of the future. Since then, it’s grown into a creatively-driven, technologically savvy production-house-meets-agency. Using technology to change the relationship consumers have with brands, The Barbarian Group services clients from retail to loyalty programs — or even social good — with the technological know-how that allows them to establish more meaningful and personal connections. And if the technology to do that doesn't exist, The Barbarian Group creates it.

BIC PiP Recruitment Event :: HUGE Success

3/01/2016 Unknown 0 Comments



On Friday, February 26th, BIC sponsored a one-of-a-kind recruitment event called the BIC PiP — or Portfolio-in-Progress. Industry talent seekers filled 35 exclusive slots in the BIC space on the CCNY campus for a chance to get a BEHIND THE SCENES, sneak peek of BIC portfolios-in-progress.


Because all BIC students — from public relations and management students to art directors and copywriters — must create a process + product portfolio in order to graduate from the 36-credit, 2-year master’s degree program, recruiters were treated to PiPs from a whole range of talents three months before portfolio defense in May.


Representatives from agencies such as FutureBrand, GREY, BusinessWire, MaxusGlobal, Y&R, Edelman, Golin, Sunshine Sachs, Jack Morton, Interbrand, MullenLowe, Cohn&Wolfe, Devries Global, McCann, Ketchum, CDM, MWW, SS+K, Publicis, Gravity Media, and DiMassimo  Goldstein got to select from among 28 of BIC’s soon-to-be grads in “speed” sessions of 12 minutes each.


After working up an appetite, everyone was also treated to lunch from Dinosaur BBQ.

“Portfolio-in-Progress is a BIC innovation. It’s a laboratory in which we invite people from the industry to take a sneak peek of our students’ work before its polished. This way, they are invested in our students as well as the process,” states Nancy R. Tag, Professor and Program Director of Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC).


The BIC students represent  multi-talented, multi-disciplined, and multi-cultural students from across our nation and the world. The program, established in the fall of 2013, identified the need for a new pool of applicants to meet the demands of industry and its clients for interdisciplinary leadership. Each May, BIC will graduate around 30 graduate students ready to lead this dynamic, ever-evolving world of communications. Situated in the media capital of the world, BIC allows students to study the discipline at its nexus -- a coup for recruiters who can access a deep pool of talent just a subway ride away.


For more photos of the day, please see our gallery