Bernice Chao is the Head of Integrated Creative at Zambezi, the largest female-owned agency in America. Bernice has worked on campaigns for notable brands like HBO, Google, Chime, Nissan, and many others. She currently leads Zambezi's effort to grow School, the social division. Bernice is as dedicated to the advertising craft as she is to giving back to the community around her – as one of the few female Asian American creative leaders in the United States, she is helping shape the AAPI community as the co-founder of the non-profit organization Asians in Advertising and host of the AIA podcast. She has also created mentorship and scholarship programs for the AAPI community.
“Advertising has a huge responsibility for making a difference in changing public perceptions. For instance, it was a huge pain point growing up not seeing representation from the AAPI community or strong independent women,” says Bernice. “Now, as marketers, we have a chance to include them in the stories we tell, being considerate of diversity on camera and behind the camera.”
In 2022, Bernice was inducted into the AAF Hall of Achievement and featured on Forbes, Adweek, Nightline, AdAge, and The Muse. She has given more than 30 talks at SXSW, the 3% Conference, news stations, AAPI rallies, Fortune 500 corporations, and agencies. Bernice recently partnered with Adweek to curate a yearly month-long initiative, "Asian Talent Showcase," and co-wrote "The Visibility Mindset," a book empowering AAPI with strategies for career growth. Bernice's love for fueling new ideas led her to be a TEDxCulverCity chapter president, hosting nine sold-out events, speech writing workshops, and giving talks about how to make an impactful speech for large-scale conference workshops. She continues to inspire the next generation by teaching creative marketing at Loyola Marymount University, with her students receiving first and second in the 2022 Effie collegiate competition.
Bernice graduated with honors in graphic design from Art Center College of Design. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Matt, and their two young children.Find her on Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn