Very few people embody their art and craft more completely than LL COOl J, and very few companies have reinvented themselves to successfully come full circle to a name like Yahoo.
By definition an icon as a famous person or thing that represents a set of beliefs or way of life. Some icons are preserved in history, some evolve with and shape cultures, and others express themselves in new ways as time passes. In a world that looks to its icons for inspiration and direction. We have a lot to learn from the icons who share this perspective with us.
“I feel like you have a God-given right to maximize your potential and an obligation to maximize your potential. So that’s really the right to win...you’re not here just the half do it.”
~LL COOL J at POSSIBLE 2023
Here are the 5 key takeaways from POSSIBLE’s Keynote “The Art of the Icon: In conversation with LL COOL J, Jim Lanzone and Michael Kassan” for marketing and advertising professionals to use in their own careers as they pursue iconic status.
The Definition of an Icon
An icon is someone or something that changes the world and makes a lasting impact. Icons can shape cultures and express themselves in new ways as time passes. This is a crucial understanding for marketers and advertisers when they are creating campaigns or branding strategies.
The Importance of Innovation
Companies can become iconic, but they must continue to innovate and do new things. Otherwise, they can quickly fall off. This is a reminder for professionals to always stay ahead of the curve and continuously look for ways to innovate.
The Shift from B2B and B2C to B2H
The conversation suggests a shift from thinking in terms of B2B or B2C to B2H (Business to Human). This emphasizes the importance of personalization and human connection in marketing and advertising strategies.
Learning from Past Mistakes
LL Cool J’s statement about not letting your past hold your future hostage is a reminder to learn from past mistakes but not to be hindered by them. This is relevant for professionals when evaluating past campaigns or strategies.
The Power of Vision
Having a clear vision and being brave enough to follow it is crucial. This applies to creating a song, a company, a business, or a product. This insight can inspire professionals to be bold and visionary in their work.
2023 Speaker Highlight
LL COOL J
Two-time Grammy® Award-winning Hip-Hop icon, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Kennedy Center Honoree, recording artist, actor, author, and Founder and CEO of Rock The Bells, LL COOL J has created one of the most multifaceted careers and enduring brands in entertainment.
Three decades after he first burst onto the scene, LL COOL J has remained a musical and cultural force. In 2018, LL launched Rock The Bells Radio on SiriusXM (Ch.43), garnering 7 million daily listeners. LL personally curates and programs the timeless Hop-Hop channel with music, interviews and in-depth retrospectives.
Rock The Bells has since developed into a global platform as the preeminent voice for timeless Hip-Hop. The company focuses on content, commerce and experiences that honor the timeless elements of Hip-Hop (MC’s, DJ’s, B-Boys and B-Girls, and Graffiti Writers) that drive mainstream culture today.
As CEO of Yahoo, Jim Lanzone oversees a global media and tech company that reaches nearly 900 million people around the world and is the third largest property on the Internet. He is focused on delivering trusted products, content and tech across finance, sports, news, gaming and e-commerce. Yahoo also provides a full-stack platform for businesses to amplify growth and drive more meaningful connections across advertising, search and media.
Jim draws from over 20 years of leadership and entrepreneurial experience in the technology and media space, driving growth and innovation. He is the former CEO of Tinder, the world’s most popular app for meeting new people. Tinder has been downloaded by more than 400 million people and is available in 190 countries and 40+ languages.
Prior to Tinder, Jim spent a decade as President and CEO of CBS Interactive, a top 10 global Internet company with brands ranging from CBS All Access to CNET. He joined CBS Interactive in 2011 when CBS Corporation purchased Cicker Media, an Internet video search and programming guide, where he was founder and CEO.
Before founding Clicker, Jim served as CEO of Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves), a top 10 consumer Internet property and leading search engine owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Michael E. Kassan is the founder and CEO of MediaLink, a leading strategic advisory firm. Described as the “ultimate power broker,” he is a trusted advisor on speed dial with every major executive in the media, marketing, entertainment and technology C-Suite. Kassan and his global team of more than 150 specialists provide counsel for navigating the age of digital disruption in areas including: marketing transformation, data and technology solutions, growth strategy, private equity advisory, executive search and talent advisory, and entertainment, sports and culture marketing. MediaLink is a part of UTA, which acquired the firm from Ascential pLc in 2021. In 2019, Kassan was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Fame, which is considered the highest honor in advertising.
Prior to founding MediaLink in 2003, Kassan was President/COO and Vice-Chairman of Initiative Media Worldwide, growing billings from $1.5 billion to over $10 billion. Before that, he was President and COO of International Video Entertainment (Artisan Entertainment).
In addition, Kassan has served on the Board of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society, the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy and the Cultural Affairs Commission – City of Los Angeles and has been Chairman of the State Senate Select Committee on the Entertainment Industry. Kassan currently serves as Chair of the UJA-New York Marketing Communications Committee and is a Board member of the American Advertising Federation, the Ad Council, the Paley Center for Media, Project Healthy Minds and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, whose Greater Los Angeles division named him the 2021 Walt Disney Philanthropist of the Year. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
POSSIBLE is a premier marquee event created by Beyond Ordinary Events, Inc., that is curated specifically for the greater marketing ecosystem, including brands, technology, digital, media, culture, and more. The inaugural event took place in April 2023 and just announced its return for April 15-17, 2024 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. POSSIBLE is directed to future-thinking marketers and offers innovation and emerging technologies and an opportunity to network with industry peers, share ideas, and discuss mutual challenges. POSSIBLE offers curated content including masterclasses, workshops, an exposition, VIP programming, and entertainment. The SMARTIES awards have been integrated into POSSIBLE to complete the immersive experience. Conceived and created by Christian Muche (Co-Founder, DMEXCO), POSSIBLE is a centerpiece for the entire marketing and media community.