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 >>

Read Chapin's opinion piece here:

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 or Computer Science Professor Zhigang Zhu at 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:

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:

BICsters Keep Rising

11/05/2019 Unknown 0 Comments

Bringing a wealth of experience into their new roles, BIC alumni are taking the marketing, media, and corporate worlds to new heights. Here are a few more alumni highlights:

Kelvin Morales BIC '19 is now an Integrated Media Planner at Essence, under Group M (WPP), working on the Google team, specifically Google Cloud. In his day to day, Kelvin supports his team as he works on executing multi-channel media plans inclusive of audience research, budget allocation across channels, tactical strategies, RFP development and reviews, program selection and reporting. He plays a key role in the budget and client billing process to ensure accuracy.

Clarissa Moses BIC '19 is now Senior Associate of Diversity & Inclusion at New York Life where she will be focused on developing campaigns around diversity and inclusion for the company as well as managing its Employee Resource Groups. Clarissa is also energizing the Black Public Relations Society in her role as a Board member.

Joseph Yoo BIC '18 snagged a job at American Express as a Marketing Analyst. He works specifically on the creation and design of select brand assets/communications across the U.S. Merchant Marketing team, where he updates and customizes existing marketing assets for a variety of partner needs.

From China to CCNY, Shandong Delegation Visits MCA

11/05/2019 Anonymous 0 Comments

On October 22nd, a delegation from Shandong Communication & Media College stopped off at the BIC space to hear more about the Media & Communication Arts Department at The City College of New York. Deputy Secretary Hu Jianjun and Professors Song Xiezhu and Ma Shusheng included CCNY on their itinerary based on the strength of its graduate programs in applied communications. The delegation is also exploring possible cooperation in the area of joint-education programs, co-construction of research platforms, and exchanging scholars and teachers.

MCA Chair Jerry Carlson and BIC Director Nancy R. Tag presented an overview of both the BIC MPS and MFA in Film programs as well as ideas for potential collaboration. Current BIC student Lu Lu '21 provided the student perspective as well as stepped into the role of translator -- doing an awesome job.

Located in Jinan City, Shandong Communication and Media College is a top college for media in Shandong Province. The college has three campuses with over 6,000 students studying here. It consists of six main departments, including Department of Broadcasting and Hosting, Department of Film and TV Production, Department of Journalism and Communication, Department of Information Engineering, Department of Animation, Department of Art Design, etc. As a professional college, it implements the open and internationalized development strategy, dedicating itself to promoting its capability on media education by visiting advanced universities and colleges all around the world.