Fall Capstone Promotes CUNY Arts

12/31/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

After studying the impact of gun violence for last Fall's non-profit client Sandy Hook Promise, BICsters spent Fall 2019 exploring the art scene in New York City on behalf of this year's non-profit client CUNY Arts. With the guidance of Professor Katina Scott and Creative Director Brianna Bishop, BICsters in the Class of 2020 leveraged the abundant cultural offerings here in the arts capital of the world to elevate the low brand awareness of this CUNY initiative which offers student passes to places such as MoMA and the Whitney, internships at arts organizations, and curricular development to CUNY faculty to insure that arts education is woven into classroom programming.
Divided into four teams modeled after interdisciplinary agencies, BICsters from each track utilized a cross-disciplinary approach to create distinctive integrated marketing communications campaigns based on a client briefing delivered by Nyisha Howell, Hugo Fernandez, and Fatima Hernandez of CUNY Arts back on September 12th. They returned as judges three months later for the Client Pitch on Thursday, December 12th.

Team MUV kicked off the Client Pitch with its campaign, "Engage the Whole You." Based on original consumer research, MUV found that current CUNY students are the most anxiety-ridden generation. MUV's campaign demonstrated that engaging with the arts enhances your wellbeing and is why CUNY students should invest in self-caring through CUNY Arts.

Team Uno's campaign, "Future Within Reach," directly aligned with CUNY Arts' mission to promote its Cultural Corps which connects students with career opportunities in the arts. Uno's goal of altering student attitudes to make art more relatable derived from the team's insight-driven message: CUNY Arts opens doors for CUNY students.
Team Common Ground's research revealed that CUNY students go through years of school without taking advantage of CUNY Arts' offerings. In its integrated communications campaign, "Not All Perks are Created Equal," Common Ground reminded its audience why access to the New York art scene is a CUNY student's most valuable perk of all.

Team Thumbprint's campaign was driven by a galvanizing insight: New York City may be the cultural capital of the world attracting millions of global art lovers each year, but to a New Yorker, all the city's art offerings are local. So regardless of what borough you're from -- or even if you're not a born and bred New Yorker -- once you're a CUNY student, your relationship to the arts is more personal, more immediate, and a part of the local scene. This gives CUNY an authentic position of authority that Thumbprint leveraged in its campaign, "Our local is unlike any other." The team repositioned CUNY Arts from a provider of free access at museums to being curators of New York culture.

Each team pitched their unique approach in consecutive 30-minute presentations to the CUNY Arts client. After deliberating for nearly an hour, they declared Thumbprint the pitch winner with its "CUNY Arts Local" campaign which empowers CUNY Arts to transform the entire CUNY brand as deeply connected to arts here in the culture capital of the world in a uniquely authentic and authoritative way.

Past non-profit capstone clients have been Sandy Hook Promise, The Grove School of Engineering, Columbia Children’s Health, The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, and the UJA.

BICsters Dive Deep into Cross-Cultural Marketing

12/17/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

Once again, Professor Amy Gomez brought her vast experience helping Fortune 500 companies and non-profits effectively reach diverse consumers to BIC's Cross-Cultural Marketing one-credit intensive earlier this November. As Gomez explained, she first called this course Multi-Cultural Communications. But as Gomez proved throughout her lessons, Cross-Cultural Marketing became more fitting as BICsters from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 did deep dives into various markets exploring the cultures within them.

Establishing a clear framework that acknowledged the fallacy of a "one-size fits all" strategy, Gomez wowed her class with an impressive roster of speakers: Mariko Carpenter from Neilson covered Asian Deep Dive, Brendan Snyder from Google covered LGBTQ Deep Dive, Mafê Villas Boâs from Facebook covered Cross-Cultural Insight Mining, Oscar Allain from UM worldwide covered Cross-Cultural Connections Planning, Winter Mendelson from Posture Media covered Marketing to NonBinary Consumers, and Darren Wesley Martin Jr. covered Marketing, Diversity & Inclusion and Intersectionality.

To gain a better understanding of multicultural consumers and the key tenets of cross-cultural marketing, students not only wrote reaction papers to the topics covered in class, they worked in groups to present a client pitch that gave an overview of a multicultural segment, how to reach this audience based on its media consumption, and ways to design creative opportunities that don't just target audiences, but resonate with them.

For BIC Class of 2021, THEY'RE the brand

12/17/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

The famous BIC Identity Guidelines are back for Fall 2019.

This semester-long project in Professors Gerardo Blumenkrantz and Nancy Tag's Idea Development course not only allows for personal reflection and analysis, but forces students to develop some basic digital design skills, some for the first time. A requirement of the project is that all students use both Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Mek Frinchaboy, an independent designer and illustrator, joined Laura Giraudo and Roberto Bernasconi, principals of Bardo Industries, in providing feedback to students after they presented.

After the final presentations on November 20th, Professor Tag asked the question: "Before this assignment, who had used Adobe's InDesign and Photoshop together?" More than half of the class raised their hands. And yet, the results were quite amazing. For a larger sample of student ID Guidelines, go to our Behance portfolio page: https://bit.ly/35XzJIZ.



BIC and City Tech Make it Formal

12/17/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

Since its launch in 2013, BIC has attracted amazingly talented candidates from all over the globe to its MPS degree program in branding and integrated communications at City College. Over the years, some of the brightest stars have come from across the East River at Brooklyn's Communication Design Department at City Tech/CUNY. Professor Douglas Davis, Chair of COMD_CityTech and a founding BIC faculty member, figured -- "Hey! Let's formalize this relationship!"

So this just in: BIC Program Director Nancy R. Tag, Professor Davis and the Provosts of both schools have signed a special CCNY/NYCCT agreement to make sure the relationship stays strong. As part of the agreement, City Tech students will get portfolio advice, on-site visits, and direct info on admission deadlines and open houses. Professor Tag will sit on City Tech's COMD's advisory board.

On Thursday, December 12th, the day of the formalized agreement, BIC visited COMD's new space near the Brooklyn Bridge and interacted with City Tech students as they wrapped up the Fall 2019 semester. City Tech Professor Dan Wong, who helped shepherd the agreement, and BIC Professor Gerardo Blumenkrantz were there to celebrate. We look forward to strengthening our bonds -- and seeing more amazing students after they've received their City Tech BFA in Communication Design (the only degree of its kind in the CUNY system).

2020 Digital Marketing Trends

12/03/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

More is more! According to an article published by Chief Marketer, the top digital marketing trends to keep an eye out for in 2020 involve “more influencer marketing, more content, more web video and more of what will get digital consumers engaged with your brand online.”

In the realm of social media, influencer marketing has become very personal causing brands to target individuals with significant smaller social media followings as the number of people who trust consumer recommendations over corporate advertising continue to exceed. “Stories” have also become the backbone for marketers as they capitalize from the benefits of FOMO.

From ad engagement, the advancement of tech in AI, AR, and VR, to content experiences replacing content marketing, these digital marketing trends have proven their worth in 2019 and are here to stay for the new year.

Read the full article here: https://bit.ly/2rKiD2y

The Age of Agelessism

11/27/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

“Cultural literacy isn’t like skin elasticity or hair,” remarks Chapin Clark, Executive Creative Director Social Content at RGA. “It’s not something you’re hardwired to lose over time. You do have to maintain a sense of curiosity, however.”

When Chapin turned 50, he realized that he not only hit a milestone birthday, but hit a milestone in the ad industry as there aren't many of "them" around: Ageism is an all too common bias faced by far too many.

In his recent opinion piece for Ad Age, Chapin writes that regardless of age, everyone faces the challenge of keeping up with changes in technology, media, culture, and the arts — and of course, keeping our skills sharp. The key however, is to always remain curious – BICsters can certainly relate to this!

And the pressure isn't just on for older individuals but also for Gen Zers. The stress about keeping up with the latest shows, new technologies, and recent album releases is real. Staying up-to-date requires effort, especially considering the rate at which new trends come and go. Technology and media has made agelessism both very convenient and accessible.

In this sense, what does it mean to "act your age" online? How important is age vs. experience? If we each have a duty to continue staying culturally literate, doesn't that make us all forever students?

BIC Professor Belle Frank has recently written more generally about the "Age of Age." She presented some of her findings in a dynamic presentation at Cannes and continues to contribute on this subject, including in this post on WPP's  Health Practice blog >> http://bit.ly/2DiHYmR

Read Chapin's opinion piece here: https://bit.ly/2Cpy6XM

BIC Brings Branding and Storytelling to Assistive Technology

11/27/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

Last Fall, CCNY launched the Campus Engagement Network (CEN), an initiative funded by the Moxie Foundation to develop new approaches to teaching, research and advocacy missions. This competitive program provided support to create new courses, integrate change-making values into CCNY's interdisciplinary work, and embed these transformative principles into the fabric of CCNY education and culture.

As part of CEN's inaugural cohort, BIC Professor Gerardo Blumenkrantz joined forces with Professor Zhigang Zhu of Computer Science to create a multi-departmental senior design course for undergraduate seniors that incorporates BIC know-how. CCNY's Grove School of Engineering (GSOE) will work with BICsters as well as the Zahn Innovation Center to push assistive technology to a new level. This cross-campus collaboration has a common theme for all three parties – GSOE, BIC and Zahn: to promote social good.

Over the course of a year, GSOE students majoring in Computer Science (CS), Computer Engineering (CpE), and Electrical Engineering (EE) will explore and develop assistive technologies for smart living with a focus on people in need. The first semester provides technical lectures on basic technologies in sensors, actuators, robotic navigation, vision algorithms, and assistive technologies. During the second semester, student teams are expected to implement design ideas, prototype, test, and evaluate different designs, and produce final design prototypes.

Students also have the opportunity to perform usability studies with real users, including those who are visually impaired in collaboration with Lighthouse Guild and NYS Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) and those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in collaboration with Goodwill Industries in Greater New York and Northern New Jersey via the NYSID’s CREATE (Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive Technology) program. This allows students to better understand consumer needs to improve the designs and create more appropriate business plans. Prominent teams with innovative ideas/technologies and solid business plans are recommended to compete for CCNY Zahn Center Entrepreneurship Competitions, NYSID CREATE Awards and VentureWell E-TEAM Competition.

In addition to cross-disciplinary science and engineering education, students will further "up their game" with two innovative components: branding training through BIC and entrepreneurship guidance from The Zahn Center.

Faculty and students in the Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) master's program will educate and assist GSOE senior design students to appreciate the importance of branding: how to successfully communicate with users, investors, stakeholders and community partners to really make their breakthrough work actionable through storytelling development. The branding component will be closely integrated into the technological and the entrepreneurial components.

BICsters interested in participating should please contact Professor Gerardo Blumenkrantz at gerblumen@gmail.com or Computer Science Professor Zhigang Zhu at zhigang.zhu.ccny@gmail.com for more information.

Marketing: Dead or Alive?

11/26/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

At our last @BIC Lecture of the Fall 2019 semester, Jason Chebib, VP Consumer Planning at Diageo North America, posed a provocative question: is marketing dead or alive? While the truth is rarely found in the extremes, Jason provided an impassioned argument for why marketing -- as a human function -- is fundamental to a civilized species and most certainly alive (and kicking). Plus, it's never been more fascinating.

In a freewheeling presentation, Jason continued a conversation he's been having with BICsters since Diageo first partnered with the program as a capstone client back in 2018. What makes marketing such a fascinating endeavor? First, he provided some historical -- even evolutionary -- context: marketing developed as an essential tool as humans became more skilled in trade. So to succeed in marketing, one must understand humans to their core. Socially, different parts of the world, at different times, experimented with different types of markets.  Jason posited that this is why the concept of brand loyalty should be rejected. Rather, people are "repertoire loyal." It's therefore a mistake, he believes, to narrowly target a key group of people while ignoring the rest.

He also challenged the audience to think of marketing as more than just a modern form of consumer manipulation. Instead, marketing is a way to speed up the process for getting things around the world. It helps spread new ideas, new products, new technologies, and publicizes offerings. Mass marketing is responsible for opening up the world and opening up new revenue streams. It is responsible for humans growing as a species. 

When asked what he thinks motivates today's companies to engage in corporate social responsibility, Jason admitted that most societies have come to distrust large institutions because they've let people down. The Great Recession heightened this impression, necessitating a restoration of trust.

Before he concluded, Jason left the audience, filled with BICsters, with words of inspiration: Today's technologies give us a better understanding of how the human mind operates. The newest generation of marketers have the power to collect enormous amounts of data that provide unparalleled understanding of consumer behavior.  He encouraged BICsters to be creative and to innovate -- to make something good out of the new tools that marketers now have at their disposal.

About Jason Chebib: As VP, Consumer Planning at Diageo North America, Jason oversees consumer strategy across Diageo’s portfolio of leading Spirits and Beer Brands in the US and Canada. Prior to moving to New York, Jason was Global Planning Director, Whiskies, based in Amsterdam. Unsurprisingly (he loves Scotch), this was the role that tempted Jason into joining Diageo. Preceding a six-year stint as a Brand Consultant and Marketing trainer, Jason had a career in ad agencies in London, including Ogilvy, J Walter Thompson, Publicis and BBDO.

Alongside multiple creative awards, he won two APG Creative Planning Golds, an IPA Effectiveness Award and a Marketing Society Award. Jason is a founding member of The Marketing Society New York, and Chair of the ANA’s Agency Relations Committee. Jason has a First from Oxford, but would cheerfully swap it for Arsenal FC to win the Premier League.

ABOUT The @BIC Lecture Series: BIC's signature forum brings thought leaders and industry icons to campus each semester. Past speakers have included IPG's Michael Roth, Ketchum CEO Barri Rafferty, Iconic Designer Paula Scher, TBWA\Chiat\DayNY CEO Rob Schwartz, GroupM CDO/CEO Rob Norman, Golin CEO+ Matt Neale, Weber Shandwick President Gail Heimann, digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff, founder of WPP Sir Martin Sorell as well as authors Michael FarmerDouglas DavisMarion Salzman, and Sandra Stahl.

To Take a Stand or Not

11/14/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

Today, most consumers won't invest in a brand unless it's somehow helping to better the world and taking on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Yes, brands should take a stand, but deciding which issues are just as important. Businesses should ideally be beyond maximizing profits for shareholders, making decisions for moral reasons that benefit their employees, communities, and the environment.

For example, SoulCycle's Stephen Ross contributing to a campaign for President Trump and Apple's Tim Cook publicly announcing the ban against the North Carolina transgender bathroom bill are more than political statements — they're defining the company's culture and values. But while boycotting a brand can be effective, most times it hurts a company's reputation more than it does their finances.

In this piece, Brayden King, a professor of management and organizations at Kellogg, offers advice for how companies can continue to engage with their customers and their communities, while minimizing the risk of backlash.

Read the full article here: https://bit.ly/2WU2LGe

Read Yourself Better

11/07/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

To attract new subscribers and encourage readers to subscribe to their publication online, The Wall Street Journal has launched its latest campaign encouraging readers to "read themselves better." WSJ is also dropping their paywall from November 9-11 so that readers can view an unlimited number of articles. The "Read Yourself Better" campaign urges readers to turn to WSJ for quality and trustworthy news. To accomplish this, they worked with creative agency, The&Partnership to generate T.V. spots, murals in relation to the spots, and OOH ads. “We were really clear that everything we create—the quality and the positioning of it—has to be that premium nature, said WSJ CMO Suzi Watford. "That’s why we spent the time and effort that we did."

Read the full article here: https://bit.ly/2qu9Vos