Lauren Dykes on the joy of ads that entertain

After joining TBWA\Media Arts Lab in Los Angeles, art director Lauren Dykes has already landed a role working with one of her dream brands: Apple. Here, she talks about why brands need to be entertaining to have a chance of cutting through

“When I first got into advertising, the ad I was showing everyone was the Bounce ad for [Apple’s] AirPods,” says art director Lauren Dykes. “I was so obsessed with that; on literally every single date I went on, I’d force them to watch that ad and I’d be like, ‘I’m going to be doing this. Eventually.’”

There’s a certain serendipity, then, that Dykes landed a junior art director role at TBWA\Media Arts Lab on graduation from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah, after she was spotted by a recruiter at a university jobs event earlier this year. “It’s crazy being able to work with the people that have created the work I’ve looked up to for so long,” she tells CR. “It’s wild being there, and I have to remind myself that I feel very lucky to have the mentorship that I do.”

Top: Stills from a spec TV spot for Facebook Marketplace. Copy by Cody Weidner, directed by Patrick Allred, art direction by Lacey Tobler and Lauren Dykes; Above: Miracle-Gro spec ads, with copy by Dillon Hansen, and art direction by Dykes and Aubrie Cardon

It’s not hard to understand why TBWA hired Dykes. Her work is playful yet polished – with her portfolio showing spec projects created at uni for brands including Miracle-Gro, the North Face and Facebook Marketplace. Vintage horror movie-style posters advocate for better plant care, puffer jackets are turned into grassy and snowy landscapes, and photos of drawer handles celebrate the chaos of much-loved furniture.