Ocean Waves: Meet Lauren Dunn


Ocean Waves is your behind-the-scenes look at the people who make Ocean Media a leading independent media planning and buying agency. We chat with the employees who make our agency so great, ask them a number of questions and then share their answers with the world. Today we are spotlighting Account Director and creator of Ocean Waves, Lauren Dunn. 

Name: Lauren Dunn
Position: Account Director

In a nutshell, my job at Ocean Media is to:

Stop, collaborate and listen. In all seriousness though, I think of my job as one-third facilitator, one-third collaborator or relationship manager, and one-third detective. Yes, I work in advertising with a focus on the media side of things. Yes, it’s incredibly interesting. But if listening and being a seeker of information aren’t always top of mind each day, the job isn’t getting done to the best of my ability. I love solving clients’ business needs and working with the rest of the team to maximize clients’ ROI and grow their business, but I also love the part of my job that’s focused on developing, maintaining and fostering new relationships

What sets Ocean Media apart from other agencies?

For me, a ton. I think most of us have all worked at great places, and so-so places—with great people and challenging people. Of the times that were trying, professionally speaking, I like to think that they were there for a reason: they taught me about the kind of people I want to work with, and about the kind of agency I wanted to seek out and call home. I found that home here at Ocean Media. The people are smart, fun, there’s an amazing work-life balance thing going on here and, as a whole, the agency is nimble and set on making things happen—which they do. Consistently, and efficiently.

What’s your favorite thing about Ocean Media?

From the moment I first set foot in the agency, I’d have to say the people—they’re first-rate. They’re real, they’re approachable, they’re candid, and they have a great time doing what they do—which makes the atmosphere a real joy to be in each day. Nobody is ever too busy to help or take time out to trouble-shoot a situation; it’s a trait that feels like it’s embedded in everyone’s DNA.

When it comes to working in media, what skills or traits would help someone go far in the industry?

I think they’re the things that would help someone go far in any industry: have passion, and have an innate curiosity. Find a career that is of immense interest to you, and you’ll go far. I think it’s also really important to have things outside of work that are energizing. Personally, making time for hobbies and the extra-curricular stuff makes for a happier me, and I feel it allows me to give that much more when I’m here in the office.

Any advice or words of wisdom for someone getting into this side of the business?

You’d better like having a good time, because there will be a lot of them in an agency! Enjoy learning about people, about what they do, about what makes them tick. At the end of the day, knowing as much as you can about someone’s role and where they’re coming from will help you navigate certain situations that much better. Have patience. Take time to understand why something is the way it is. If you don’t understand it, ask.

If I wasn’t working here at Ocean Media, you’d most likely find me…

…writing 24/7, or recording my own music. I love creating, and I’d love to know what it’s like to be able to take a few years off and dedicate myself to seeing how far I could take those things.

The movie I’ll watch over and over again if I see it on TV is…

…there are two: Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail—I absolutely love them. Nora Ephron was such a contributor to Hollywood and the world of romantic comedy, and she’s probably single-handedly responsible for instilling a sort of “hopeless romantic” quality in me. Those movies get under my skin because they’re full of hope and happiness—two things we could use more of in the world.

My favorite artist is:

I have a ton—everything from Tom Petty to Robert Plant, from Dido to Yanni (yep, you read that right). But I’d probably have to say Sarah Brightman—her voice has a really dreamlike quality to it, and there’s just an ethereal feeling to her albums. They’re really peaceful. I think a lot of people know her as Andrew Lloyd Weber’s former love interest and lead as Christine Daaé in Phantom of the Opera, but after her Broadway, opera-centric years, she teamed up with producers of Enigma’s music and did the crossover thing. It’s all really, really good stuff. She’s also currently training to go to the International Space Station in 2015, so I’m completely jealous.

My nicknames are:

I have a few. My family called me Yoyo when I was little because I wasn’t able to say my name clearly (you know how those L’s can be). The story is that my mom and older brother were driving somewhere one day—I might’ve been 3 years old or so—and my brother said something that made my mom chuckle and say, “Oh, poor Lauren.” I didn’t talk much at that age (I was an observer of life, naturally), but when I heard my mom say that, I mimicked her and said quietly from the back seat, “Oh, poor Yoyo.” I also go by and answer to LD, a nickname that came about in my past life since there were five other Laurens at my last agency. And “Rar” was a high school nickname that I gave my then-boyfriend, but which I also somehow inherited. He’s one of my best friends to this day, and when we talk on the phone, it probably sounds pretty ridiculous: “Hey, Rar, how’s it going?” “Good, Rar, what’s going on with you?” Yeah. Awesome.

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want to have with you?

A never-ending mountain of burritos would be pretty sweet—as long as there was a way to make sure they didn’t go bad. I love burritos, specifically the small red burritos from Del Taco; the half-pounders have a weird tortilla/beans/cheese/sauce ratio. Besides, who needs a half-pound of beans in their stomach? Anyway, a Snuggie could be cool (said nobody ever), because it could be clothing, a sleeping bag, maybe even shelter—like a tent. Oh, and a radio—one that works. And by works, I mean it never dies and gets more than just AM stations.