X

About Me

Let Me Tell You a Little Bit About Myself ...

Who am I?

If I spoke "Linked In speak" I would probably say "I'm an award-winning Media executive with over 20 years of experience managing sales, publicity and marketing efforts for diverse companies and industries. I have a proven ability to maximize sales and transform market share through relationship building, business analysis, training top-performing teams, developing strategic alliances, creating effective marketing collateral, and negotiating deals with top level decision makers. I've held management responsibility for as many as 45 employees, $5 million budget administration, and $500 million in annual revenue. Extensively internationally traveled."

Or we could talk like human beings and I could tell you that I'm a hockey loving, comic book reading, Steve Jobs worshipping communications and technology geek who loves to tell stories and create stuff. For me it's all about figuring out what's next and having fun doing it. If you feel the same way, let's get together and talk like human beings (that recruiter stuff hurts my head).

Reach out to me on one of the oodles of interweb platforms on my contact page.  And let's figure out what the next big thing is going to be -- together.

Bio

Who I Am and How I Got Here ...

Getting Started

Despite the Viking sounding name, I was actually born in England and moved to Canada when I was three years old. There I developed a lifelong passion for hockey and saying "Sorry" when someone bumped in to me. I attended the University of Toronto, one of five Canadian universities that calls itself "the Harvard of the North" where I studied Physiology. I loved science & technology but realized I also had a passion for art & design. A desire to indulge that passion soon presented itself.  I entered the retail world and a short time later was offered a job in Marvel Comics' Sales Department.

With the job came a move to New York City, my on and off again home for most of my adult life. I started in Sales at Marvel but quickly moved on to found the company's first Marketing department. I also headed up their Creative Services department and was a major part of Marvel's publishing management team at the time. Heady stuff for a guy in his twenties. It was an amazing time and I probably learned more in six years there than many people learn in their careers. I treasured my time at the "House of Ideas" but knew there were other things I wanted to try and a big world I wanted to explore.

Going International

For me that meant a move in to "real book publishing" and shortly thereafter a move to London, England. It wasn't long before I found myself working for Time-Warner books, heading up their international sales operations across numerous territories around the world. It was a great job for a single guy in his thirties, being paid to see exotic climes like India, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand as well as closer markets like France and Spain. After two years, I was recruited to do a similar job at Penguin UK. The Penguin job also had me spending a lot more time in Canada and the US and it fueled a desire to return to North America. Luckily, Penguin offered me a role in New York and I got to return to my "adopted hometown" of NYC.

I worked with Penguin for a couple more years before leaving to join my old friend (and former Marvel Editorr-in-Chief) Tom DeFalco on a revival of CRACKED magazine. The main investor in CRACKED was a gentleman by the name of Naif Al-Mutawa who wanted to make superheroes for the Muslim world. So before I knew it I was headed to Kuwait to help him realize his dream. The company we built, Teshkeel, and our characters, THE 99 would prove to be an international media sensation. I spent 14 months 'in country" before returning to New York to open up a US office for Teshkeel.

Being Digital

After two more years of working on THE 99, my old friend DJ Edgerton offered me a unique opportunity to come and help his digital agency grow to the next level. I joined Zemoga as Chief Marketing Officer in 2008 and worked on almost every aspect of the business. . I spent four and a half years at Zemoga, heading up marketing but also getting my fingers in a lot of different pies. By the end of my time there I'd spent numerous hours on digital strategy, UX & UI design, project management and social media. Working at a "boutique" shop that serviced FORTUNE 500 companies like SEARS, A & E, HBO, PFIZER & TOYOTA let me be involved in all aspects of the development cycle and it was a tremendous learning experience for me.

The Future

In October 2012, I left Zemoga and started Infinite Monkey Studios, a unique network of digital professionals that aims to "democratize digital" by focusing on startups and small to medium sized businesses. In addition, to serving as Head Ape for IMS, I also consult for Toronto-based agency Normal and New York based transmedia pioneers, Starlight Runner. I even manage to fit in a little ice hockey coaching during the winter.

It's a busy and fulfilling life that meets my three requirements for personal fulfillment:

1) Always be learning 2) Always try to have fun 3) Help people out whenever you can

It's been a great ride so far. I can't wait to see what comes next!

Career

A Brief Overview

Career Highlights

Key Accomplishments

Career Highlights

Where I've Worked ...

Infinite Monkey Studios 

A Collective of Digital Professionals

Founder/Head Ape, 02/12-Present

Zemoga 

A Digital Innovation Agency

Chief Marketing Officer, 8/08-10/2012

Teshkeel 

Middle East based Children’s Media Company

Chief Operating Officer, 11/05-08/08

Cracked

Humor Magazine & Website

Chief Marketing Officer, 02/05-11/05

Penguin 

Multinational Publishing Company

Director of Intragroup Projects 06/03-12/04

Director of Group Company Sales 07/01-06/03

Time Warner Books

Multinational Publishing Company

Director of International Sales 12/99-07/01

Marvel 

Multimedia Entertainment Company

Director of Marketing 09/89-07/95

 

Key Accomplishments

Some of the Things I've Done ...

Zemoga

- Chosen by Al Gore as one of the three winning concepts for PSFK’s Gaming For Good/Future of Gaming Report – Climate Trail Game

- Finalist in PSFK’s Future of Health Report benefitting Unicef http://bit.ly/xX3Ic1

- Created complete suite of branding materials including over 100 case studies

- Responsible for marketing campaigns that grew company billings by 70%

Teshkeel

- First COO of company and co-creator of the world’s first Muslim superheroes, the 99. Recognized by President Obama for contributions to peace 

- Developed and successfully presented private placement memorandum resulting in raise of $15 million in second round investment financing

Cracked

- Helped revive classic brand and turn it in to the most visited humor site on the web (7.4 million uniques per month)

Penguin

- Key liaison for joint development project that generated over $150 million in new and retained business for Penguin’s parent company

- Led project team that developed 20,000 title commerce website that was marketed to over 100,000 education professionals. Generated over $250,000 in revenues in Year 1

Marvel

- Designed marketing campaign for best selling comic of all time. Over 8 million units sold.

- Created “special covers” product category generating over $25 million in sales

Portfolio

A Bunch of Stuff I've Made

Marketing

Helping Businesses Tell Their Stories ...

How did I get in to marketing? I actually created my first job and founded Marvel Comics' marketing department. It was an amazing hands on learning experience and I worked on some incredibly successful campaigns (including the marketing campaign for X-MEN #1, which sold 8 million copies of a single comic book). I also created Marvel's "special covers initiative" an innovative series of packaging design campaigns that generated tremendous consumer excitement and sold literally millions of units (to this day I hold the record for the largest hologran order in Polaroid's history).

After Marvel, I moved on to the international stage where I developed worldwide campaigns for both Time-Warner and Penguin, working in diverse markets like Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and Continental Europe.

At CRACKED and Teshkeel I handled all the marketing responsibilities for two fledgling companies. Both have since become very well known in their respective categories. CRACKED remains a top 10 humor site on the web and Teshkeel received a shoutout from president Obama. You can't ask for better validation than that!

At Zemoga, I've worked on literally dozens of marketing campaigns both for clients and for the company itself. Our innovative promotion of our own brand using everything from viral video and humor sites to ice cream trucks and branded video cameras has won us awards, press coverage and the accolades of numerous industry partners and peers.

I live by the mantra that great marketing should surprise and delight. There's no bigger thrill than seeing your message show up in an unexpected place or seeing that you're really altering people's perceptions of a brand/product/service/cause. In the end all marketers are storytellers. And every storyteller wants to get positive feedback from his audience.

Let's sit down and swap stories together.

Here a some links to a few of my favorite Marketing projects:

Zemoga Ice Cream truck
X-Men #1 Launch
Cheez Dudes "Rock the Cheez" Campaign
 

 

 

 

Digital

A Pixel is Worth a Thousand Words

 

Like a lot of other things in my career, I started in digital at Marvel Comics. I was an early business partner of Compuserve, Prodigy and AOL in my role as Head of Marketing for Marvel. I also launched the first major comic book online, GENERATION X#1. Cutting edge stuff or 1994 (so much so that the colorist wanted to own the digital files!).

These early experiences were the beginning of a career long love affair with digital. I helped launch Little Brown UK's first website, helped them convert all of of their international marketing materials to digital formats, and helped them in some of their earliest dealings with a little company called Amazon. At Penguin, I spearheaded a similar push to convert marketing materials to digital formats and set up a number of online bookclubs, microsites and digital product initiatives with company authors like Suze Orman, Tom Clancy and Jean Chatzky and business partners like the Economist and the Financial Times.That experience helped me with the relaunch of CRACKED, a magazine property that we managed to convert in to a high traffic humor website before selling to Demand Media. Digital also played a huge part in the success of Teshkeel as we used the web to spread both our message and our actual products around the world.

In 2008, I took the plunge and went in to digital full time with Zemoga. Since then I've worked on almost every type of product and platform imaginable. From building Facebook pages for Jamie Oliver or concepting climate change solutions for Al Gore, it's truly been a pleasure to work with some of the best and brightest minds in the digital space.

You can find a link to some of my favorite digital projects below:

Climate Trail Game
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Facebook Page
Lexus Alternative Energy Twitter Aggregator
Hungry Ghost Website

 

Design

The Beauty is in the Details ...

I've always had an enthusiasm for design and that enthusiasm turned in to a profession when I was tapped to head Marvel's Creative Services department in the early '90s. It was an exciting challenge that allowed me to learn the principles of multimedia design from some of the best in the business. Since that time I've expanded my knowledge beyond print and package design in to the digital realm.Working with some of the top brands and visual assets in the world, I've designed and creative directed everything from logos and corporate identity materials to books, blogs, websites and more. I've even designed luggage tags and coffee labels.

Today, design is more important than ever (just ask the folks in Cupertino). I bring a design based sensibility to everything I do and my years of experience have taught me two things:

1) Presentation is the key to success. If you don't take the time to make your product or service look the best it possibly can, you're sending the wrong message to your customers.

2) The Adobe CS is damn expensive. Always has been, (probably) always will be.

Here are a few links to some of my favorite design projects.

From Bogota With Love Travel Kit
Ghost Rider #15 Cover
Zemoga Flip Video Cameras
The 99 Amusement Park

Writing

What I Write About ...

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard on writing was “Don’t try and be a (novel/film/TV/fill in the blank) writer, try to be a writer who works in (novels/film/TV/fill in the blank).” It’s advice that’s served me well and allowed me to write everything from advertising copy to comic books, blogs and articles to websites and even annual reports.

I used to not think of myself as a writer (writers were those guys who sat in their home offices and turned out the Great American novel) but after two decades of being paid to put down words on paper on an (almost) daily basis I’ve accepted the reality that I am, indeed, a professional wordsmith.

Guess I better get going on that novel, huh?

 

Writing Samples

 

I write every week at btsh.org, the website for my street hockey league. I'm Ediotr-in-Chief or the site so anything that doesn't carry a byline is written by me.

Here's a link to an article I wrote that's one of my favorites : "Everything I Needed to Know About Social Media I Learned From Spider-Man"

I've written a lot about digital health and pharma for the PIxels & Pills blog (which I also edit). Here's one of my favorite pieces from the blog: "Why Aren't We Talking About H-Commerce?"

I also contribute to numerous industry sites and reports. I was a section editor for the "Emerging Consumer" section of this year's Society of Digital Agencies Report and contributed an article as well. You can see the full report here.

 

 

Resume & Referrals

 

You can download a PDF copy of my resume here:

PDF of Sven Larsen's Graphical Resume

 

What They’re Saying About Me

“I met Sven a few years ago and found immediately that not only does he possess solid marketing chops (both for the previous world of slightly more traditional marketing, but also for the new and emerging worlds of digital and mobile), but he also has a very large and well-tended network of people who appreciate and buy into what he does. Why does this matter? Because Sven has not only HIS smarts and abilities at the ready, but a network of brilliant people who he can tap for even more assistance.

On top of all this, I’d work with Sven on any project. He seems to gravitate towards exciting projects that are both interesting and helpful to others. I strongly recommend him.”

Chris Brogan, President and CEO, Human Business Works

 

“Sven is a highly creative and very easy-going person to work with. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him on various projects, and am always impressed by the professionalism and diligence he exhibits. While a notable value to Zemoga’s creativity and growth, I cannot stress how highly I recommend Sven for anything as I know he will prove to be a merit to any company he’s a part of.”

Brett Petersel,The Next Web,Former Audience Manager, Mashable

 

“Sven is one of those rare talents who elevates your game often without you even realizing it yourself. He has a quiet, confident demeanor that’s backed up by his drive to make things happen. Sven surprises you because he makes it all look effortless. Strong on strategy and equally strong on execution, leveraging all assets to achieve the desired outcome. He’s a keen marketeer.”

Guy Mastrion, CCO,Palio Communications

 

You can read more about what people are saying about me on

my Linked In page.


Contact Me

Use the contact form to send me an e-mail message

Keep in touch with me

You can use the form on the left to send me a message.

Name: Sven Patrick Larsen
Phone: 347-967-9010
Skype: svenplarsen