24 Hours With… Thoughtful Media international head Mark Ingrouille

Mark Ingrouille24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella Asia’s world. Today, we hear about a day in the life of Mark Ingrouille, the EVP for international operations for Thoughtful Media.

5:00am. My alarm clock is hitting my nose. My alarm clock is a black cat, whose wisdom surpasses all human understanding. Mark IngrouilleHe knows that today is one of the twice-weekly days when I have a global management conference call. That’s held at 6:00am London (my) time. I could complain, but it’s just as bad for my colleagues at our Los Angeles headquarters who have to call at 11:00pm their time.

It’s our Asian colleagues who get off lightly. For the guys in China and Southeast Asia the twice weekly calls are at 2:00pm or 3:00pm. We plan the call times around our Asian colleagues because they are so important. Cosseted. Precious, even.

I work with a global multi-channel network. A new type of business that has exploded over the last couple of years. For an old(er) adman, such as myself the pace is both exhilarating and exhausting. The first thing to do before I get on the early morning call is to check how our networks have fared.

Ingrouille and Thoughtful's starsAbout 40 channels have signed up to one or other of our networks overnight, joining the thousands of creators and wannabe superstars making waves in the digital video world. Am intrigued to see that a guitar-playing guy from Chile has applied to join the Vietnam network. No problem there, just hope he’s checked out the Dong to Peso exchange rate.

9am. My plan was to go back to bed for a couple of hours after global con-call is finished. But there are too many follow-up discussions to be had with individual markets. Damn. That means that I’m still at my home office, still in my pyjamas and still on the Skype video by late morning, finishing off a call to our Man in Havana, Tony. I’m looking at my pyjama top in the small video window and am impressed by how much it looks like a Hawaiian shirt. Tony is having problems with the country’s president’s son, who is annoyed with us as he has only garnered 378 additional views on his videos since joining our network. Well one problem with the internet is the democratisation of talent.

1pm. It’s afternoon and the real work begins. I get into the office after a short drive. Receptionist Tracy gives me a dirty look. Maybe she doesn’t like my Hawaiian shirt.

This is the part of the day that is not so different from the advertising agency life I thought I’d left behind [Ingrouille has worked for Ogilvy, DDB, McCann and Publicis, and started his own agency, Fuel Communications]. Client meetings. Two of them planned for this afternoon, both multinational FMCG companies.

I tell a lie. These meetings are not really like the old advertising agency meetings of old. They’re far more joyous. There is much more nervous excitement from the clients, who want to see how their video campaigns are doing. Thanks to some brilliant tech capability embedded into my presentation deck, they will be able to watch the videos our creators are putting out and see the numbers climb in real-time. The great thing about this is that the numbers can only go up. So the only criterion for judgement is how fast they climb.

2:30pm. We’re at the office of a global consumer goods company. There are four screens on the go, three of them showing videos from different countries, all showing the same product. A dandruff shampoo. On the fourth screen is a view-counter ticking up nicely. Their CMO had put her head around the door at the beginning of the meeting and by the time she had re-joined us for tea and biscuits an hour later, 67,000 more people had seen her campaign.

4:00pm. The story is repeated at the second client meeting. Except this time we begin with tea and biscuits. There is only one large screen and projector at this client’s office, which means we have to review everything in a more traditional linear format. It works, but it’s not quite so buzzy. It’s also a little trickier because whilst the product is the same for all markets, a condom, the differing laws and cultures of each market make a big impact on what the video bloggers can actually say. Or show.

6.00pm. It’s been a long but typical day. Time to get home in the rush hour. So the pub may be a better option. But as Los Angeles is just starting its day, it’s a good opportunity to give them a quick call and tell them that all is well in Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and Shanghai and that I’m am signing off for the day.

My only hope is that my cat realises that tomorrow is not an ‘early con-call’ day and doesn’t start hitting my nose until after 8:00am.


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