Center for Branding Hosts Panel on the Future of Media and Brands in a Technology-Enabled World

“Now, more than ever, digital platforms have ushered in new ways of consuming, which are based on newer subscription models and call into question the role of traditional advertising,” said Vanitha Swaminathan, director of the Center for Branding and Thomas Marshall professor of marketing. “Against the backdrop of these changes, brands and brand management are undergoing a significant transformation.”

In an effort to bring academia and industry together, the Center for Branding hosted a panel discussion entitled, “Reimagining the Future of Media and Brands in a Technology-Enabled World.”

Co-hosted by the Katz Marketing Club and Business Technology Club, speakers included Mitchell Gubin, Vice President of Entertainment Brand Solutions at Disney Advertising Sales; Anne Rivers, Executive Vice President of Strategy at PSB Research; Ryan Johnson, Vice President at PSB Research; Andy Mecs, Vice President of Marketing & Innovation at StarKist Co.; James Restivo, Director of Client Development at AC Nielsen; and Rick Gardinier, Partner & Chief Digital Officer at BRUNNER.

“The panel discussion was a collaboration between academia and industry to spotlight and debate some of the key changes taking place in the worlds of branding and media, Swaminathan says.”

The panel debated a number of hot topics surrounding online developments displacing traditional forms of viewing content, including privacy in the social media era, brand crises management, the increase in niche brands competing successfully against their well-entrenched competitors online, and the future of advertising and technology.

“Realistically, it took us almost 20 years to get to where we are now, and with 5G already at the door, it’s hard to say we can predict where marketing will be in 20 years from now,” Johnson explained.

With new technology on the rise, panelists echoed the importance of not only possessing data analytics skills, but the ability to derive insights from data and influence strategy. For students, this panel provided an enriching experience hearing from industry leaders.

“At Katz, we have a great opportunity to work with world-class faculty, but I believe connecting with and learning from professionals at leading companies provide invaluable lessons outside the classroom,” Katz Marketing Club President Mauro Galus (MBA ’20) says.

To learn more about the Center for Branding or register for an upcoming workshop, visit:

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