Mike Thomas, former VP Brand Creative at Basic Research, has more than twenty five years of experience working for many industry-leading firms. He has managed creative operations for high-profile companies and has established himself as a Creative Director who consistently meets all organizational expectations.
A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Mike began his professional career in the entertainment industry as a Theatrical Public & Talent Relations Coordinator at Dennis Davidson and Associates where he managed talent and publicity for international feature film campaigns. From 1995-1996, Mike was Theatrical Publicity Coordinator at Walt Disney Studios, where he assisted the Director of Publicity with major domestic theatrical campaigns for all three of Disney’s production arms. He then served as Senior Coordinator – Digital Photography from 1996-1997 where he assisted in assuming all on-set photography responsibilities and converted the studio and it’s photographers to a digital format.
In 1997, Mike was hired as Manager, On-Set and Gallery Photography at Paramount Studios (Television Publicity), where he managed all on-set photography and photo publicity, which encompassed the network’s entire line of shows. Mike then moved on to the United Paramount Network, where he served as Manager – Publicity and Creative Services. In this position, he directed on-location photo galleries and on-air promotional campaigns.
In 2000, Mike was hired on as in-house graphic designer for Twentieth Century Fox’s Home Entertainment division where he designed key art and collateral for all of Fox’s new releases and their catalog of feature films. In 2006, he was promoted to Creative Director – Acquisitions and in 2008, Executive Creative Director – International New Release. In this position, Mike handled all aspects of creative direction, which included creative materials development, overseeing support personnel, managing branding initiatives, campaign management, securing major licensing agreements, and special event planning and coordination, among others. This position also saw Mike direct the creation of dynamic key art, packaging, advertisements, brochures, and other media.
Then, Mike joined Guthy-Renker in 2012, where he managed daily creative operations. Mike piloted countless, successful, high profile initiatives and managed a team of over 25 employees including art directors, designers, production artists, editorial and video content strategists, video producers, copywriters, project managers, digital asset managers, and front-end engineers. Working closely with all business channels, Mike has consistently met all company expectations. He presided over tremendous growth in the department during his tenure with the company.
Mike joined Cricut in 2015, where he was directly responsible for managing the organization’s daily creative operations which include; overseeing creative team, managing the development of digital, print and handmade creative elements, supervising creative campaign/programs, producing and managing product and lifestyle photo shoots which includes developing concepts, shot lists, location scouts, wardrobe looks and providing on-set art direction. He led a creative team of over 25 people including visual designers, project designers, illustrators, copywriters, front-end engineers and project managers as well as the video and still photography teams. He oversaw the development of all creative elements across all of Cricut’s cross-functional teams including Channel (Retail) and Product Marketing, Sales, Product Development, Content Creation, DTC, Social and Affiliate.
In 2017, Mike joined the new marketing team at Basic Research. Eager to get back into the beauty industry, he immediately took on all creative touch points from branding, packaging, collateral and retail environmental design to broadcast television (DRTV) spots. He was instrumental in developing an updated business strategy that focused less on late-night infomercial and print ad to phone tactics and focused more on the power of brand building, customer outreach/journey and digital media.
Throughout his career, Mike has continuously been at the heart of innovative and compelling design that has been successful in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. He ensures relevant consumer experiences, and has worked extensively within the print, broadcast and digital mediums.
“Michael Thomas is one of the strongest Creative Directors I know. He thoroughly understands the objective of any project and with effective communication and detail-oriented management guides his team and agencies to outstanding results. He has vision, he is articulate, he is thorough and he is a true pleasure to work with. He is an asset to any team he choses to join.”
Shelley Sonnentag – Owner/Creative Director Sonnentag Creative Design and Advertising