It's GOLD (and BRONZE) for BIC at 2020 ONE Club's Young Ones

5/24/2020 Unknown 0 Comments

On May 13th, amid an epic show-stopping pandemic, The ONE Club announced its 2020 Young Ones finalists and, for the third time in five years, BIC won GOLD!

This year’s winners, Paul Bernabe, Marian Cuestas, Cynthia Rojas, and Ping Sun (all BIC '21) received the Gold Pencil for their North Face campaign “Nature Never Judges.” Their team, City Creative Studio, also received a Bronze ADC Cube. BIC’s effort this year resulted in The City College of New York / CUNY being ranked in the Top Ten among schools in the United States.

Two BIC teams also made this year's short list: The Vandereens: Raymond Sein, Carlos Matias, Carmela Vecchione, and Paulina Canalizo for "Vans Pro Classics Are for Skating" and The Pencil Sharpeners: Diana Arutyunyan, Liyi Ma, Amy Liang, Kenneth Medina, and William Howard for "Made to Protect Your Feet."

They were among six teams overseen by BIC Professors Jason Stefanik and Andy Currie in this year’s one-credit intensive course that began randomly in November and wrapped up — over the phone, in a bodega, and at various agencies — with the Young Ones deadline on March 10th. In addition to the 2020 Gold Pencil and Bronze ADC Cube, Jason has helped BICsters win two Gold Pencils (2016 and 2017) and a Merit (2017) as well as 2019’s Silver Pencil, Bronze ADC Cube, and two Merit Winners along with co-instructor Andy Currie.

According to The ONE Club, this year's Young Ones competitions — the Young Ones Brief, Young Ones ADC, and Young Ones Portfolio — attracted an especially talented group of students. When the dust cleared and the esteemed juries finished their scores, over 500 entries from 17 different countries made the Finalist list. In addition to North Face, 2020 sponsors included Vans, Burger King, and Spotify.
Competition for the top prize was stiff: only 19 Gold Pencils from the young Ones Brief were awarded. So a big BIC Bravo to Paul Bernabe, Marion Cuestas, Cynthia Rojas, and Ping Sun. While the pandemic may have cancelled the festivities, BIC was happy to salute you with its first-ever Zoom photo shoot. What an amazing achievement. Congrats!!!

Thanks also to the intrepid instruction of our instructors, Jason and Andy. Your expertise, passion, and good humor were instrumental in elevating the students submissions and making them "ONE Show Worthy." We owe you big time -- or at least a beer.

More about Jason Stefanik and Andy Currie: Jason is currently a Group Creative Director at mcgarrybowen where he works on the Audible, Manhattan Mini Storage, and Subway accounts. He’s worked at agency powerhouses such as Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal, TBWA\Chiat\Day, and BBDO. While at BBDO, he won and launched the popular Foot Locker “Approved” campaign, and created well-known work for Snickers, Fed-Ex and AT&T. During his 12-year career he has consistently created advertising that breaks into popular culture, having been featured on The Today Show, CNN, ABC News, New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix, Mashable, ESPN, Bleacher Report, TBS Funniest Commercials of the Year and in the print edition of The New York Times. And he’s been repeatedly acknowledged by the industry with Cannes Lions, One Show Pencils, ADC Cubes, Clios and many other international advertising awards. 

Andy's work has won at Cannes, D&AD, The One Show, the Clios, and even captured a Golden Drum - an award he neither submitted work for nor knew he won until receiving a fancy watch along with an esoteric letter written in Polish. More importantly, he’s been fortunate to spend most of the last 20 years working with a wonderfully odd and talented assortment of creative  people. Despite constantly preaching the value of simplicity, brevity, and outrageous creativity in advertising, he isn’t convinced that any person can be summed up in a paragraph.

More about The ONE Club: The One Club exists to champion and promote excellence in advertising and design in all its forms. It is the world's foremost non-profit organization devoted to elevating creative work in the industry. It seeks to celebrate the legacy of creative advertising and to use that legacy to inspire future generations. The One Club is the 'keeper of the flame' for advertising creatives. The One Show remains the pinnacle of achievement by providing a showcase of the world’s best work, and by inviting collaboration among individuals who are actively developing outstanding work.  Further, The One Club exists to educate and inspire students of the business and to benefit the next generation of creatives through scholarships, portfolio reviews and annual student exhibitions and competitions. 


Spring 2020 Client Pitch -- Pandemic Edition

5/20/2020 Unknown 0 Comments


One hundred-plus video frames on Zoom. Four tenacious BIC teams. Three pitch-ready clients from Diageo. One unprecedented pandemic.

Beyond that, it was business as usual for the Class of 2020's client pitch on Thursday night, May 14th as BICsters presented integrated marketing communications campaigns to this year's corporate client Jason Chebib, VP of Consumer Planning of Diageo, Olivia Kupfer, Senior Brand Manager, and Kristina Knight, Senior Innovation Manager.

This year's client brief asked BICsters to promote Seedlip, a non-alcoholic distilled spirit with zero calories and no artificial additives or sweeteners. As a new product in a relatively new beverage category, Seedlip's an ideal beverage for the health conscious individual in an upwards trending holistic and wellness world. Students instantly rose to the challenge.

But if the brief was challenging, the semester was more-so. As the coronavirus triggered a pandemic that closed the campus in mid-March, the capstone joined the virtual world and conducted the remainder of the semester online as well. Professor and Program Director Nancy R. Tag sought out new guidance on best practices in "Zoom World," including reaching out to Donna Dei-Baning, BIC '16, Associate Director of Insights at Carat, who shared advice with the team leaders about best practices for remote pitching, especially for a BIC capstone pitch. Once again, teams benefited from the insights of Javier Garcia, BIC '15, who joined May rehearsals to help coach teams in the home stretch.

As teams drilled down on the project, other issues seemed like just minor distractions, such as dealing with international time zones from China, Norway, Denmark, and Russia, video/audio lags on Zoom, and the disorientation of not being able to brainstorm in person. In the end, it was the pitch that mattered. And all four delivered...

PITCH ONE: Muv's "Seedlip Society: Master the Craft"

Team MUV's research lead them to conclude that today's convenience oriented consumer also craved complexity. Their campaign, "Seedlip Society: Master the Craft," focused on the skills, exquisite ingredients, and tools required to make sophisticated cocktails with Seedlip.


SECOND PITCH: Common Ground's "The Magic of Distillation."

Common Ground realized that what makes Seedlip uniquely magical is its distillation process. To tell that tale, their campaign allowed consumers to ponder whether Seedlip founder Ben Branson's wizardry was real magic -- or simply magical.



THIRD PITCH: Thumbprint's "Seedlip. Drink it Whenever."

Team Thumbprint believed that Seedlip's growth would be hindered if it too closely associated itself with non-alcoholic trends that have become too trendy, such as Sober Curiosity. Their multi-phase campaign to "Kill Sober Curiosity" encouraged non-conformists to drink Seedlip WHENEVER.


FOURTH PITCH: Rendezvous' "Deep Seeded Conversations."

In researching non-alcoholic drinking trends, Rendezvous realized that most people don't miss the alcohol as much as they miss the socialization. Their campaign "Deep Seeded Conversations" makes Seedlip a conversation catalyst where bonds become stronger with each sip.


Before announcing the winner and runner-up, Jason Chebib offered insightful feedback and tips to all the teams. Then the moment of truth: Runner-up went to the "The Magic of Distillation" by Common Ground. But the big winner of the night was Thumbprint's "Seedlip. Drink it Whenever" with its mission to kill Sober Curiosity. Although some aspects of the campaign were considered too risky for Diageo, Jason, Olivia, and KK noted that the emotion, research, and insight of Thumbprint's campaign demonstrated real marketing savvy.

Congrats to all the teams!! And special thanks to Diageo's Jason, Olivia, and Kristina, who created this assignment specifically for BICsters and supported us throughout the semester.

Each Spring semester, the BIC Corporate Capstone is led by BIC Professor and Program Director Nancy R. Tag who divides students into separate communications teams to fulfill the brief of a corporate client. Past clients have been Univision, Universal Music Group, and Heineken. In the Fall semester, BICsters focus on a non-profit organization. In 2018, BIC worked on behalf of Sandy Hook Promise to help stop gun violence by promoting SAVE clubs on high school campuses. Last year, the Class of 2020 helped CUNYArts increase student engagement with arts institutions throughout New York City.

BIC Alum Saves Internships

5/12/2020 Unknown 0 Comments


Just a few weeks shy of a year since obtaining her MPS from BIC, Rebecca Rivera BIC '19 is doing what she can as an Advertising Professor to "Save the Internships". Partnering with Mona Gonzalez Managing Director at Pereira & O'Dell, Rebecca has created an opportunity for CUNY professors to nominate students within the advertising and communications field to secure a summer internship amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to hosting the nominated student profiles on the "Save the Internships" website, they are calling on NY agencies to consider hosting 1 to 2 paid internships this summer.


Understanding the financial security and industry experience students need to support their families and propel careers, Rebecca quickly stepped up to the plate. It's not surprising to BIC, as a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience, she chose BIC to help her achieve her "passion for knowledge sharing." In Rebecca's letter of intent from her application she states,

"I’ve been teaching and learning as I teach one person at a time. With your help, I can learn from your fantastic faculty what I need to know to exponentially increase my impact, so that I might teach others how to become ethical, effective marketers." 

It's clear this BICster turn Ad Prof has substantially increased her impact on the industry's future movers and shakers. The joint initiative was just picked up this week by Adweek, you can read more about it here. BRAVA Rebecca!

You can read more about Rebecca's journey to professorship here.

THREE BICsters win The LAGRANT Foundation Scholarship

5/06/2020 Unknown 0 Comments


News flash: an amazing THREE BICsters have won the prestigious The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) scholarship: Paul Bernabe, Dimandja Utshudi, and Ayush Kumar.  In a powerhouse showing, they are among just 26 graduate students nationwide to receive a TLF scholarship whose winners share the foundation's mission of increasing ethnic diversity in the advertising, marketing and public relations industries. Paul, Ayush, and Dimandja will each receive $3,750 and join an impressive list of students from institutions such as Rice University, Georgetown, UCLA, Northwestern, and New York University.

Prior to enrolling in BIC, Paul Bernabe receive a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California-Irvine in 2012 where he was a member of Pilipino-Americans in Social Studies. He’s proficient in Tagalog. Originally from India, Ayush Kumar received a BS/BA in Journalism and Psychology in 2016 from Boston University. Born in Rwanda, Dimandja Utshudi received his BBA from Lehman College. 


Celebrating its 22nd year, TLF has generously awarded nearly $80,000 in scholarships to graduate students from the BIC program at The City College of New York — more than any other single college.  BICsters have been recipients of a TLF scholarship every year since our launch in 2013. Past BIC scholarship winners are: Fred Garcia and Amber Jackson, BIC '15, Donna Dei-Baning, BIC '16, Dalisbeth Galvez, Melissa Julien, and Priscilla Parra, BIC '17, Charisse Holder, Erica Lopez, and Sean Feol-Baugh, BIC’ 18, Jennifer Cuffari, LaToya Heron, Amera Lulu, Kelvin Morales, and Rebecca Rivera, BIC ’19, and Mohamed Amribet, John Holliday-Stewart, Carlos Matias, Carmen Quang, Raymond Sein, and Kamattie Singh, BIC ’20.

The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) has provided 643 scholarships and $2.7 million since its inception in 1998. Founded by Kim L. Hunter, its mission to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations is generously supported by its major donors and supporters. TLF provides students with career & professional development workshops, scholarships, internships, entry-level positions and mentors to African American/Black, Alaska Native/Native American, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students.

This year, its usual networking and professional development events have been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 health pandemic. As a result, TLF increased the number of total scholarship recipients in 2020 which includes 41 undergraduate scholarships of $2,500.

A BIG BIC Bravo to Paul, Ayush, and Dimandja!!


Master UP -- The BIC Application Deadline is Extended to May 1st!

4/23/2020 Unknown 0 Comments


Portfolio? Master’s Degree? BOTH… Supercharge your career. Get your master’s at BIC — the only grad program to teach Branding + Integrated Communications in an integrated way.

Become a culture catalyst and apply NOW: the admissions deadline has been extended to May 1st.

Here's the CCNY Graduate School application process made easy >>  CLICK HERE  Your ENROLLMENT INFORMATION is Matriculation. The SCHOOL OF INTEREST is College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Your AREA OF INTEREST is Branding + Integrated Communications. Your ENROLLMENT OBJECTIVE is MPS. And the ENTRY TERM is Fall 2020.

For more info on the BIC program: CLICK HERE   Or just email us directly at bic@ccny.cuny.edu


BICs 36-credit, portfolio-driven Master's in Branding + Integrated Communications (BIC) at The City College of New York let's you research, think, collaborate, create, and feed your curiosity in three interdisciplinary tracks:

Management & Planning | Creative | Public Relations

Here's how it works:

Enter curious.

From there, consider some questions: How do brands work? What is communication's role in building identity? In what ways are emerging technologies shaping our understanding of the world we live in? Is it possible to make new connections and develop ideas in ways that will positively impact the future?

Study. Research. Think. Collaborate. Create.

Leave with a Master of Professional Studies AND a portfolio. Real proof that you're no longer just curious; you've got credentials.


Awesome, right? BICsters are awesome, too.

They aren't just multi-talented, multi-cultural, and cross-disciplinary, but most are working professionals. Our classes are all held at night so you can come straight from work -- ask your boss about tuition reimbursement.


In the six years since BIC launched, our grad students have been named ADCOLOR Future honorees, LAGRANT scholars, and MAIP winners. Alums work at Apple, Droga5, Google, The NAACP, TBWA, BBDO, Ketchum, American Express, SS+K, Cohn & Wolfe, Rabin Martin, Circle Line, 360i, GREY, DDB, Tribal, SAP, Nestle, Ogilvy, VMLY&R...


And imagine this: a BIC MASTER's degree allows you to study (and work) in New York City for a total in-state tuition cost of only $30,000 (around $39,000 for non-residents and international students).

Give me a call. Apply now. And stay curious!
Nancy R. Tag
BIC Professor and Program Director

The 2020 BIC PiP goes VIRTUAL

4/04/2020 Unknown 0 Comments


Each year, the BIC PiP showcases the talents of soon-to-be graduates who present their portfolios-in-progress to a roomful of industry recruiters, talent seekers, and career catalysts. BICsters in the Management, Strategy, Public Relations, and Creative Tracks use the PiP to not only expose their thinking to recruiters, but use the feedback to elevate their portfolios for the rigor of BIC's Portfolio Thesis Defense in May. In anticipation of this year's March 20th event, the PiP was at full capacity with RSVP's from recruiters at companies such as Golin, TBWA\Chiat\Day, DeVries, Virtue, Vox Media, and Google. And then, on March 11th, an unprecedented global pandemic led CUNY to close down campuses across the city and prohibited large gatherings of people.

But BIC found a way to work around the misfortune. For the first time ever, the annual BIC PiP (as well as the weeklong Portfolio Bootcamp) went off-campus and online. Within hours of the university-wide shutdown, recruiters were replaced with 35 enthusiastic BIC Alums whose expertise and understanding of the process were deployed to evaluate the BIC Class of 2020 portfolios-in-progress virtually.

How did it work?  Students produced and submitted six-minute videos of their online portfolios-in-progress. In voice-over, students introduced themselves, stated their title, unique positioning and process, and then showcased examples of work that demonstrated their expertise. Videos were submitted to BIC Program Manager Marlene Leo who assigned three to five videos to each BIC Alumni Reviewer along with feedback guidance from the BIC Portfolio Evaluation Rubric, the BIC Virtuous Circle, and the BIC Portfolio framework.


Turning around in a little over week, BIC Alumni Reviewers submitted detailed feedback and offered students in the Class of 2020 suggestions on how to improve portfolios in the areas of content, storytelling, and showcase. In this way, the alums simulated the advice students would've received from PiP recruiters as well as from some of the experts who would've tutored them at the Portfolio Bootcamp -- which also got cancelled in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

On April 20th, track instructors will hold the final group session for portfolio classes via video chat where students will present updated portfolios to their classmates. With a range of external and expert critique in hand, students have the opportunity to further advance their work in anticipation of the May 26th Portfolio Thesis Defense where students will present to juries of professionals.

BIC is so grateful to be able to rely on a generous alumni community with professional expertise from companies across the country, such as Apple, Droga5, TBWA\Chiat\Day Raad, Ogilvy, Hunter, Google, IBM, Futurebrand, Unilever, The New York Times, Arnold Worldwide, RooneyPartners, and others. Thank YOU, BIC Alum, for being so substantive and generous with your feedback!!