Dan

Dan Thorman

Managing Partner, Chief Financial Officer
Dan Thorman serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Thoughtful Media Group (TMG). Dan focuses on strategic business development, corporate structure, and finance. Dan has broad experience managing corporate business and legal affairs across a diverse cross-section of functional areas. Specifically, he has focused efforts in the creation of online and television advertising solutions as well as early-stage company finance, operations and evolution, and technical project specification and management. In recent years, he has assisted in raising millions of dollars in corporate financing. Dan co-founded TMG to capitalize on the global changes occurring in the Online Media and Advertising sectors.

Prior to TMG, Dan served as a Managing Partner at MR Holdings, a Los Angeles based branded entertainment company focused on the television market. Since its founding in 2003, he successfully deployed over $25 Million is brand dollars into television media from major global advertisers. Dan also served as the Chief Financial Officer of INNX, Inc., a venture capital financed convergent media company which provided television news, internet content, and targeted advertising opportunities to hundreds of network television affiliates and advertisers across North America.

Before his work in online and television advertising solutions, Dan was a founding partner of San Francisco-based Ignition, Inc., a leading design and engineering company of interactive products and data integration solutions for large corporations. Ignition clients included Hewlett Packard, the United Nations, and McKinsey & Company. At Ignition, Dan managed operations of the company, including technical, financial and administrative functions. Dan also managed large software and technical development projects for clients with a specialty in technical problem solving and specification of hardware systems.

Dan has a BS in accounting from George Mason University and has passed the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) examination.

 

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jakseverson

Jak Severson

Managing Partner, Chief Executive Officer
Jak serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Thoughtful Media Group (TMG). In that role, Jak focuses on strategic expansion, creative development, and core advertiser sales. Jak is an accomplished and award-winning television producer specializing in reality, news, and integrated advertising for large advertisers. Jak co-founded TMG to capitalize on the global changes occurring in the Online Media and Advertising sectors.

Prior to TMG, Jak served as a Managing Partner at MR Holdings, a Los Angeles based branded entertainment company focused on the television market. Since its founding in 2003, he successfully sold and deployed over $25 Million in advertising budgets into television media from major global advertisers.

Jak also served as the Chief Executive Officer of INNX, Inc., a venture capital financed convergent media company which provided television news, internet content, and targeted advertising opportunities to hundreds of network television affiliates and advertisers in the United States and Canada. There, Jak was responsible for corporate vision, execution and oversight of 50+ persons in three domestic offices. While in his roles as CEO, Jak has been responsible for securing millions of dollars in seed, growth and mezzanine stages of financing, while attracting prominent executives from the media community to join as investors, advisors and directors.

Early in his career, Jak founded Parador Television Productions, an international television production company, which served the NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, PBS, BBC and Discovery Channel Networks for nearly a decade. Clients include such notable and popular national programs as The Today Show, Weekend Today, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, CNN Travel Guide, World News Report, America’s Most Wanted, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly and Headline News.

While at Parador, in 1997, Jak served as Executive Producer of the British-based investigative series, “Earth Undercover” TV series, which exposed illegal and exotic animal trade in 13 parts. Parador’s corporate clients included The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Samsung Corporation, the governments of French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, The Cook Islands and Fiji which hired Parador to provide broadcast solutions and to generate revenue and awareness for their respective brands, identities and issues。

 

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scottpollack

Scott Pollack

Executive Vice President
Managing Director, Asia-Pacific
With 20 years of strategy, business development, sales, marketing, product and consulting experience primarily in the Internet, digital media and technology industries, Scott has been successful at developing businesses in the United States and Asia (including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore). Doing business in Asia since 1999 and living in Shanghai since 2005, his experience includes senior executive roles in public companies, start-ups, and global consultancies.

Scott joined Thoughtful in October 2013 to lead and grow the China business. Immediately prior, Scott was Senior Strategy Director, China for Wunderman | Agenda. In this role, he engendered innovation and strategic thinking in the development of B2B and B2C digital strategies, and he also led a major account team serving the agency’s largest global client. Earlier, as Partner in charge of Gallup Consulting’s Shanghai office and then as Director of McKinsey’s Insights China service line, he led organizations that helped Fortune 500 clients make key strategic decisions for their China businesses based on specific market and consumer intelligence.

Scott holds a BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and he received both an MBA in finance and a JD from UCLA. He is also fully conversational in Mandarin Chinese.

 

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Timothy Kwok

Timothy Kwok

Executive Vice President
General Manager, Asia-Pacific
Timothy Kwok is one of China’s leading digital marketing professionals with global experience at companies such as Sapient, Communication Central Group (now known as Digitas China), Lemon Asia and Shepherd Digital, which he founded in 2007. Timothy joined Thoughtful China from Great Works, an award-winning full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Stockholm, Barcelona, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Timothy has worked in diverse markets such as the U.S., India and Hong Kong, but has been based in Shanghai for the past eight years. He relocated to China with Lemon as director of operations, growing that business from 10 people in 2004 to about 70 people within 18 months, while also adding offices in Beijing and Shenzhen.

He has handled digital marketing for advertisers such as Audi, Agriculture Bank of China, BenQ, China Eastern Airlines, Electronic Arts, Forbes magazine, Goldman Sachs, Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Jin Jiang International Hotels, KFC, Nippon Paint, Philips Lighting, Lucent Technologies, Mercer Consulting, Sony Electronics, TOTO, Jelly Belly Candy Company and Jardine Schindler.

Timothy’s project portfolio ranges from digital marketing campaigns to complex enterprise architecture solutions, such as word-of-mouth marketing, mobile and CRM campaigns, CMS development, large-scale data migration and system integration projects, as well as other mission-critical applications development.

Timothy is an active member of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and he serves as a commissioner of the Anti-Spam Committee of Internet Society of China (ASISC). He received a bachelor’s degree in economics as well as computing and information science from Queen’s University in Canada.

 

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Mark_Ingrouille

Dr. Mark Ingrouille

Executive Vice President
International Operations
Described by Campaign magazine as “one of the great personalities of our industry”, Dr. Ingrouille has headed major agencies in Asia Pacific, including McCann and Publicis. Hailing originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, he has worked and lived in the United States, Germany, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. He studied at Exeter University and holds an MBA and PhD in Sociology.

 

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Normandy

Normandy Madden

Senior Vice President,
Content Development, Asia-Pacific
Normandy Madden is an expert in the challenges and opportunities facing marketers across emerging markets in Europe and Asia, particularly in China.

In addition to her work developing new online concepts for China’s largest marketers and agencies, she is executive producer of “Thoughtful China.” A weekly online advertising affairs program, “Thoughtful China” features trend-setters and opinion leaders discussing the latest trends and issues facing China’s burgeoning advertising market, while also generating awareness of innovations taking place within the region.

Before she joined Thoughtful Media Group in February 2011, she was the Asia editor for Advertising Age, the leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities, a role she held for 13 years. Normandy arrived in Hong Kong just as a debilitating currency crisis struck Asia and her reporting tracked a recovery marked by a boom in dot-com spending, the SARS health crisis in 2003, and China’s evolution over the past decade into the world’s second-largest economy.

From 2005 to 2010, Normandy was also managing director and editor of Ad Age China, the group’s weekly digital newsletter about marketing and media in Greater China, which has experienced unprecedented growth in media spending and middle class affluence in recent years.

Normandy has extensive knowledge of Asian consumers through interviews with top-level executives at global creative and media agencies and CMOs at multinationals like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, General Motors, KFC, Adidas, Kraft Foods, Nokia, McDonald’s, Hewlett-Packard, Volkswagen, Apple, and Nike. She has also covered the rise of Chinese companies hoping to create a global brand footprint such as Li Ning, Haier, Lenovo, Anta and China Mobile.

Normandy covered central and eastern Europe from Prague for publications such as Advertising Age, The Hollywood Reporter and Media International from 1992 to 1997, a period of tumultuous change in the former Soviet bloc. She also penned a column on marketing for Prague Business Journal.

 

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FAFSA
Targeted Pre-Roll Campaign

• Thoughtful teamed up with creators Katers17 and SMPFilms to create a highly successful pre-roll campaign for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

• The pre-roll ads targeted 15-18 year olds.

101,927 Total Impressions
16,422 Total Views
982 Total Clicks
5.97% CTR

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Sanyo Xacti Cam
Endorse Pre-Roll Campaign
• Thoughtful gave 6 content creators the Sanyo Xacti to record 2-minute videos, which were placed as pre-roll on targeted channels.
• The content creators encouraged other users to film their own unique videos, which set off an organic, viral marketing campaign that improved market awareness of the camera from 8th to 1st.
• Approximately 70% of the market indicated a strong likelihood to purchase the Sanyo Xacti.

18 Million Total Views
94% favorable sentiment
2285 Coments Generated
5.97% CTR

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Clairol’s Nice ‘n Easy
Brand Integration Series

Thoughtful partnered with Clairol’s Nice ‘n Easy for a three-episode arc on the popular “Meet Zoe” channel, exposing the product to a loyal market of 11- to 17-year-olds. • The first episode featured Zoe at a trendy hair salon, realizing she couldn’t afford to get her hair colored. The second episode featured Zoe at a store looking at all the different Nice ‘n Easy products. She then asked her audience to help her choose her shade. In the third episode, we saw Zoe using the product at home. • When the episodes were released, a digital display ad campaign featuring Zoe with the Nice ‘n Easy brand was targeted on Zoe’s channel’s adjacent media space and retargeted to all visitors of her channel.

400,000 impressions
95% favorable sentiment
2.5% CTR

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Gillette
Custom Brand Content

Thoughtful teamed up with Cory of SMPFilms to create a brand-integrated video for the new Gillette Fusion ProGlide. Cory spent the first 2 minutes of the video going through the talking points of the razor, and the final 2 minutes were the reward to the viewer as he waxed his face.

350,000+ video views
94% favorable sentiment
982 Total Clicks
5.97% CTR

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Michael Todd – Soniclear
Case Study

Thoughtful partnered with Michael Todd True Organics to promote their new face-cleansing brush called the Soniclear. The campaign was to target teen girls for better ways to clean their faces to help diminish breakouts at a more affordable solution than the market leader Clearisonic.

174,396 impressions
15,938 views
550 clicks
5.45% CTR

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Unilever announces outcome of Go Global initiative

London/Rotterdam/San Francisco – Unilever announced today that it has selected the seven winning companies that will take part in Go Global, a program that aims to partner innovative digital companies which are ready for international expansion, with seven of Unilever’s global flagship brands.

Some of the winning compnies include: Africori, NewAer, Songza, LifeSum, and Thoughtful Media Group. These companies and two others will partner with CLEAR, Hellmann’s, Magnum, Pro.Activ/Flora, Surf, Vaseline and Unilever Project Sunlight to develop groundbreaking digital marketing campaigns.
Unilever will give each of the companies selected US$100,000 in cash, mentorship, and a range of services in exchange for a customised digital marketing pilot in the area of content, mobile, or connected devices. These campaigns will take place in markets across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America by leveraging Unilever’s global reach in more than 190 countries.

“We are delighted by the response received to the launch of Go Global with Unilever. Several hundred companies applied to the program from 46 countries across six continents. After a very careful process of assessing a high calibre of proposals, we have chosen the companies that we feel are the best fit for our brands,” says Olivier Garel, Head of Unilever Ventures.
New initiative offers tech companies cash & mentorship to work with Unilever brands & expand to new markets

Marc Mathieu, SVP Marketing, adds, “It is important as marketers to constantly adapt and get ahead of the world we live in. With technology – and even more so with mobile technology – the pace of change is accelerating exponentially. Working with young, high-growth companies that are partly inventing the future will enable us to continue to pioneer new technologies and platforms which can help our brands engage more meaningfully with people around the world.”

The aim of Go Global with Unilever is to work with small to medium-sized, established businesses to expand their global reach. The program focuses on three spaces: Content, Mobile, and Connected Devices. ‘Content’ includes technology that can help brands create, curate, and distribute content that informs and inspires consumers. ‘Mobile’ includes both advanced mobile solutions for developed markets and innovative ways to connect with the billions of people in emerging markets who are typically using feature phones. The third area of ‘Connected Devices’ explores opportunities which help people track and leverage their personal data, to improve their livelihoods.

Read Full Article at Unilever.com

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KLM Watches Traffic Take Off

By Becky Ebenkamp

KLM Airlines is harnessing the influence of YouTube star “Mr. Safety” to fuel a promotion touting the airline’s reach to exotic destinations.

The promo, designed by branded entertainment studio Madison Road Entertainment, is the latest to link a brand to an “Internet famous” star with a built-in audience.

Forget E.F. Hutton: When the Chocolate Rain dude says, ‘Go do this,’ his people listen. “Web stars have an uncanny ability to drive action because of the rapport an audience feels with them,” Madison Road Entertainment’s managing partner Jak Severson said. “The cost to have 8,000 people do anything on TV? It wouldn’t be worth it.”

The driver for the Dutch airline’s promo is for viewers to help Mr. Safety (aka Cory Williams) pick a honeymoon destination. KLM gave him a trip to any of its destinations as a wedding gift but will upgrade it to business class if fans go to its Web site and choose one for him. Three days after it went live last month, the YouTube teaser had 150,000 views, and 10,000 people rushed to KLM’s site to help him plan his trip. In its first experiment in social media, KLM’s traffic has already jumped 19 percent.

The contest goes live Oct. 13, when Mr. Safety posts a follow-up video from his vacation spot. This clip directs fans to the KLM site to participate in the “Picture Me” promo, where they will have the tools to Photoshop their image—much like that popular Internet squirrel meme—into a travel poster featuring sights in Africa, Europe and other destinations and forward to friends and family. The top five vote getters win prizes; one will win two tickets anywhere KLM flies.

The promo targets young, savvy, international travelers who buy online to introduce them to KLM’s routes and its new sales channel, said Tjalling Smit, director of acquisitions for KLM. Smit expects consumers to share the news virally via the postcards with friends who have similar economic traits.

So far, he’s impressed. In one week, 14,000 people connected the site and 4,000 left their e-mail addresses, Smit said. “These customers chose to engage in a relationship with us and to be informed of our activities. There’s no contest yet,” he added.

Severson said the promo isn’t just about buying access to a YouTube star. “This is about building a system to get people to share info with everybody they know,” he said. Mr. Safety may film out of his lowly apartment, but he has more than 350,000 subscribers.

Erik Nielsen, evp, strategy at Trailer Park Studios, says this “Celebrity 2.0” phenom is a natural evolution. Harnessing the power of new media is still a mystery to companies, he said, so brands are leaving the marketing to the experts: Webcam-enabled civilians with a lot of free time and a little ingenuity.

“This is their medium, they embody it and they know how to use it,” said Nielsen, whose full-service agency and production house called on Web celebs in a viral Valentine’s Day promotion for client Netflix that moved the needle. “It’s the next generation of getting Paris Hilton to wear your brand [in hopes that she’ll be] photographed at a party in it for US Weekly. And from a ROI standpoint, there’s little out there that can deliver so much interest and involvement.”

Meanwhile, Madison Road created a Web celeb-centric program for client Sanyo in March. It was so successful, Sanyo came back for seconds in June. These types of deals, which cost very little and can have much measurable impact, have changed the entertainment marketing business, he says.

“You can watch the numbers change by the minute,” said Severson, who calls the concept engineered virality. “What other media exists that can do this? A [true] viral sensation is really hard to create, but if it’s properly engineered, it’s practically guaranteed.”

Read More at adweek.com

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TMG Originals’ creators drive awareness for Green Tree Inn’s new brand

Background:

Green Tree, a budget business hotel brand, has launched a new brand “Vatica Hotel” in China – targeting a new demographic for their brand: young and hip travelers
The challenge for the brand is building awareness, when they have only a few physical locations currently open
How to get the word out creatively?!

Solution:

Five of our creators were engaged to make videos that entertain the target audience using the backdrop of the Vatica Hotels.
By using creators that are themselves part of the target audience, we were able to come up with topics that resonated with the audience, prompting organic sharing and conversation around the videos.

Results:

ORGANIC IMPRESSIONS DRIVE AWARENESS
Videos launched and promoted on video platforms generating over 4,000,000 views in the first week, exceeding client’s KPI by more than 10X

OUTSTANDING CLICK THROUGH RATES
A digital engagement—a pop-up annotation on one of the campaign videos inviting users to participate in a contest to win hotel vouchers—was also highly successful. The click-through rate (CTR) from the video was 8.85%. Compare this to an average video platform CTR of 0.2-0.3%.


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TMG Thailand

Background:

Green Tree, a budget business hotel brand, has launched a new brand “Vatica Hotel” in China – targeting a new demographic for their brand: young and hip travelers
The challenge for the brand is building awareness, when they have only a few physical locations currently open
How to get the word out creatively?!

Solution:

Five of our creators were engaged to make videos that entertain the target audience using the backdrop of the Vatica Hotels.
By using creators that are themselves part of the target audience, we were able to come up with topics that resonated with the audience, prompting organic sharing and conversation around the videos.

Results:

ORGANIC IMPRESSIONS DRIVE AWARENESS
Videos launched and promoted on video platforms generating over 4,000,000 views in the first week, exceeding client’s KPI by more than 10X

OUTSTANDING CLICK THROUGH RATES
A digital engagement—a pop-up annotation on one of the campaign videos inviting users to participate in a contest to win hotel vouchers—was also highly successful. The click-through rate (CTR) from the video was 8.85%. Compare this to an average video platform CTR of 0.2-0.3%.





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Thoughtful Thailand Launches Rocket Ship

After only three months since its inception, Thoughtful has become the leading multi-channel network in the Southeast Asian Kingdom.

It started with an idea. Gather together a few like-minded people from Thailand in their Los Angeles headquarters. They could be recent graduates, business people or merely on-line video enthusiasts. The main qualifications needed were passion and an understanding of the digital video environment in their country. Word spread. Soon the few became a sizeable group. They were studying the market, calling friends and relatives, undertaking detailed analytical studies. And calling the leading YouTube creators based in Thailand.

The result? A rocket-ship. Over 250 talented channels signed up to the Thoughtful Media network in Thailand, delivering over 45 million views per week to people all over the country of 65 million people.

Blast-off.
With things moving swiftly in Los Angeles, it became rapidly apparent that demand was

high in the market for a high quality multi-channel network, with operations based on the ground in order to provide a full-service operation not just for the talented creators, but to help marketers in the country harness their appeal.
Leading adman, Somyot Chairat, formerly head of McCann and Starcom in Thailand has been hired as managing director of the new operation. New offices have been located in the heart of the creative district of Bangkok. Staff have been hired both locally and transferred from ‘the few’ in Los Angeles.

From today, Thoughtful Thailand opens its office doors for the first time. Now with over 280 high quality channels delivering over a million hours of viewing (and half a million shares) every day, an average of 125,000 Thais will have watched a ‘Thoughtful’ video within the next hour. Making Thoughtful the market-leading MCN in this critical market, with over twice the channels of its nearest competitor.

As Thoughtful’s EVP for International Operations, Mark Ingrouille states: “Normally, I’d say it’s been a roller-coaster ride achieving this level of activity. But it hasn’t. It’s been a rocket-ship ride, so fast has been our development in the market. And it’s accelerating. Serious marketers are demanding ever more efficacy from their stretched budgets. With our endorsed and integrated products delivering at least ten times the value of standard advertising, our biggest problem is going to be keeping up with demand.”

The opening of the new Thailand office is the latest news in the expansionist programme for the US-based Thoughtful Media Group.
With successful operations already well-established in China, new market openings are planned in the near future, with operations already approaching lift-off in Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. With the UK and Australia not far behind.

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CHINA’S FIRST AND BIGGEST MULITI-CHANNEL NETWORK (MCN) OF ONLINE ORIGINAL VIDEO CREATORS
Every minute, every day, China’s advertisers are paying to get their messages out to their target audiences who are watching user generated content. And our online video creators get a share.
TMG Originals, Thoughtful China’s MCN, is focused on making online video content more valuable for creators, marketers and viewers. We believe that every video on every player platform wants to find its perfect audience. And when it does, everybody wins.
In our first year of operation through October 2014 we have grown a handful of online video creators into a community of over 450 creators, with viewership exceeding 50 million views per month!


“WE BELIEVE THAT CHINA WILL HAVE THE MOST VIBRANT ONLINE VIDEO COMMUNITY IN THE WORLD” WANT TO BE A PART OF IT?
Join us!

TMG Originals first recognized by advertising industry media in November, 2013 (Read More Here)

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An Xiaoqi for Kotex
CHALLENGE
Kimberly Clarke brand Kotex wanted to introduce a new product, an improved pad with technically advanced features to the China market. They wanted to do this digitally, through social media. The challenge they were faced with – most women in China didn’t want to talk about sanitary products on social media. Kotex had fans on their own Weibo, however the reach was limited.

SOLUTION
Work with an online video creator who already had a large following of young girls from around China (1st-3rd tier cities) – someone that the Kotex target audience looked up to as a big sister. Kimberly Clark engaged Thoughtful China to work with video creator and influencer An Xiaoqi who had her own show discussing issues of everyday life and situations with her audience “Wo Shi An Xiaoqi”.

RESULTS
In a collaboration launched over 8 weeks, together An Xiaoqi and Thoughtful produced a series of 5 videos which were supported by social media The first video set the scene using scenarios that would be very familiar to young women around that time of the month together with light-hearted humor. This very sharable video gave Xiaoqi a reason to continue talking with her audience of fans and their friends about other topics that surround girls and their periods. The engagement and conversation around a difficult topic was outstanding!

THE NUMBERS

  • 5 Videos – 1.2 million views
  • 60 Branded social media messages – 50,000 retweets and comments
  • Total Branded Impressions – 265 million
  • 13 minutes of original branded video content for Kotex

*This project was also managed by WPP’s MindShare.





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Huawei

Huawei
Case Study

Activating a youth campaign connecting Huawei with ideas that are Young, Fresh and Active, we used 15 creators from TMG Originals’ Brand Integration. In just 2 week from brief to launch, our video influencers created 15 videos and launched them. Successfully seeding this initiative for Huawei.

370,000+ views
30,000+ Re-Tweets & Comments

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Xiaoqi_flat

Kotex
Case Study

Kimberly Clarke brand Kotex wanted to introduce a new product, an improved pad with technically advanced features to the China market. They wanted to do this digitally, through social media. The challenge they were faced with – most women in China didn’t want to talk about sanitary products on social media. Kotex had fans on their own Weibo, however the reach was limited.
2 week from brief to launch
15 TMG Originals Creators

265 million impressions
1.2+ million views
50,000+ Re-Tweets & Comments

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greentree

GreenTree
Case Study

Green Tree, a budget business hotel brand, launched a new brand “Vatica Hotel” in China – targeting a new demographic for their brand: young and hip travelers and wanted to get the word out. Five of our creators were engaged to make videos that entertain the target audience using the backdrop of the Vatica Hotels.

By using creators that are themselves part of the target audience, we were able to come up with topics that resonated with the audience, prompting organic sharing and conversation around the videos.

4,000,000 views (first week)
8.85% CTR

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