Employee spotlight: Mark Kelly

Mark Kelly

Mark Kelly is a former musician and chef turned fulltime Senior Creative and comedian on the side. Get to know Mark below…

What are your pronouns?

What type of work experiences did you have prior to joining tms?
Before I got into this industry, I spent about 6 years as a moderately unsuccessful musician, playing and teaching guitar in Dublin. Then I trained to be a chef, but I found head chefs to be too controlling (this was before I met a Creative Director).

After finding out I could get paid to write puns, I spent a few years at Ogilvy and Y&R Dublin, where I worked on more traditional ad campaigns, before moving to London and into the digital engagement space at agencies like LIDA/M&C Saatchi and Stack.

Since moving to London I have also started dabbling in stand-up and comedy writing and have even managed to convince people to pay me to write jokes from time to time.

So my career path been pretty varied honestly, but it seems to suit my ever-shortening attention span quite well.

What’s in your headphones currently?
1) The Always Sunny Podcast — video essential

2) Love goes to buildings on fire — a Spotify playlist to go with the book of the same name by Will Hermes, a musical history of New York from ’73-’77

3) La Luz – La Luz — psychedelic surf pop…I think

4) Mo Gawdat on Secret Diary of a CEO — even if you find Stephen Bartlett a bit much, this is worth a listen. Mo Gawdat is ex-Google X and has plenty to say on both happiness and how we’re training AI to be awful every day on social media.

Describe tms in one word.

During your time at tms, what work are you most proud of? 
There’s been loads. I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in the adidas Football Collective, which has definitely been a highlight. aFC is global platform dedicated to preserving and celebrating grassroots football. Most recently, we launched a 3-year support program for struggling teams and in year 1 gave away €300,000 in support packages to communities all around Europe who were using football to improve lives.

I also once convinced Andy Taylor to let me use a pun in a headline. A perfect Venn diagram of salesmanship and wordsmithing that I’ll likely never be able to repeat. He’ll say he doesn’t remember it, but it definitely happened.

What would the title of your autobiography be? 
“Sure, Bono is a good person. But if you’re Irish, you’re still legally required to hate him.”

Which person (dead or alive) would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with and why? 
As a parent of two insanely noisy children, anyone who’s willing to climb out the roof hatch and give me 30 mins of peace.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
I’ve received lots of advice over the years, mainly by pestering creative leaders to meet me and tell me what they’ve learned so that I can share it on Instagram (you can read them all at http://instagram.com/creativeTLDR).

My favorite though, was probably ‘if you give a f*@k, it’s infectious’. Not because of the intentional swearing (which is a bit much, really) but mainly because I’ve seen it proven true time and time again.

What’s your current side hustle? 
Crypto ponzi scheme — it should pay off some time in 2032.