A seasoned writer, producer and creative strategist, Mitch Baranowski co-founded BBMG in 2003 with longtime friend Raphael Bemporad to help clients reach and engage the conscious consumer. As Chief Creative Officer, he has overall responsibility for the brand innovation firm’s creative direction.
An expert in leveraging branding and sustainability to help clients save money and drive revenue, Mitch has developed creative solutions for Fortune 500 companies (eBay, Sprint, Target), pioneering sustainable brands (Seventh Generation, Clif Bar, Earthbound Farm) and mission-driven start-ups (Getaround, Madécasse Chocolate, Nuru Energy).
Prior to BBMG, Mitch served as managing director of public affairs for Burson-Marsteller, where his clients included Orbitz and American Airlines, and as vice president of corporate affairs for Edelman Public Relations. Earlier, he served as a director of corporate communications at AMR Corp./American Airlines, managing internal communications, marketing PR and crisis communications.
Fluent in French, Mitch has worked on assignments in more than a dozen countries. He got his start in communications working as a stringer for Texas State Radio Network and as a reporter for KUT-FM, Austin’s NPR affiliate. He received his MA in Radio-TV-Film and Bachelor of Journalism with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.
What was your first experience of branding?
As I entered fifth grade, I transferred to McCoy Elementary in Carrollton, Texas. It was a new school, without a logo. My artwork won the contest for branding the McCoy Cowboys. It was a total copy of Yosemite Sam, but it made a good T-shirt!
Any hidden talents?
At the height of Swingers, in the late 1990s, I used to teach swing dancing on the side in Dallas, Texas. I grew up two-stepping and later learned to Lindy Hop from the legendary Frankie Manning, who literally invented jitterbugging in Harlem. So when the craze hit, I was ready to hit the dance floor.
Tell us about your relationship with fellow principal, Raphael Bemporad.
Raphael and I go way back. In college, we were on such limited budgets that we’d sometimes split beans and rice for dinner or go to a music club and hang outside on the curb because we couldn’t – or wouldn’t – pay the $5 cover charge. We’re still great pals, and work-wise have this great gentle friction that pushes each of us to be better.
Do you have thoughts on illustrated learning?
As an only child, I read a lot, including a lot of comics. I was a Marvel boy. I still have over 3,000 in my archived collection. Comics teach you about flow, about measuring a story and about being economic with words and dramatic with visuals. They are fantastic storyboards for thinking about narrative, which is essential today.
Any big obstacles you’ve overcome?
The biggest challenge of running a company is getting to yes, especially when you’re dealing with creative work. It’s easy to shoot down new ideas. We work hard to get clients to tell us what they like about an idea – that’s much more productive.
How do you feel about where BBMG has come?
I’m very proud of this agency. The team is incredibly smart, incredibly passionate and working on incredibly important business. Our job is to keep blowing up the old models and keep pioneering new ways to help our clients stay true and responsible in this hyperconnected, hypertransparent world with all its urgent challenges.