Q+A: Alyson Warshaw, Laundry Service + Cycle Media
DUMBO is home to many creative marketing agencies, one of which is Cycle Media, home to its two core brands of Laundry Service and Cycle. Cycle Media has created digital marketing campaigns for such global brands as Amazon and Nike, and they're only just getting started -- their business has grown to have offices around the world! We sat down with Alyson Warshaw, Chief Creative Officer of Cycle Media, to chat about the innovative and ingenious work that the agency creates.
Can you tell me a little bit about Cycle Media -- as well as Cycle and Laundry Service?
Sure! Cycle Media is made up of two companies, Laundry Service and Cycle. Laundry Service is a full-service advertising agency that provides creative services, in-house production, media buying, and talent management for global brands like Amazon, LVMH, and Nike. Cycle is a media company that creates high quality entertainment for internet audiences. Cycle work generally lives on the company’s social channels (FB, TW, IG) and often reaches global audiences thanks to programming partnerships with other media brands like ESPN and Discovery Communications.
What is it like seeing a company grow from 3 employees to 80+? What has been the most exciting part of that growth?
It's amazing. We are now over 400 people. It’s a challenge growing so quickly in multiple offices and maintaining the work, values and culture from when we were a start up, but its very exciting to see how the people we hire are so eager to do good work and be part of the company. It’s thrilling to see a new generation of employees leading the way for the company.
Can you give us an example of a project you've worked on recently, to give us a sense of what the agency offers/does?
One great example is the Lincoln Navigator campaign we made earlier this year with Serena Williams. That project really showed off our capabilities from A to Z—talent negotiations, creative development, beautiful production, and media strategy. I also think the Serena campaign really embodies our values as an agency, and gave us an awesome opportunity to celebrate this incredible woman who has become such a role model for women and girls around the world.
I have to ask: why "Laundry Service"?
The name originally came from Jason [CEO of Cycle Media] and our former head of production. They were hanging out at a coffee shop at some point in 2011 and had come up with a long list of potential names. They narrowed it down to three (I don’t even remember what the other options were) and later asked me to pick the best one. I guess I’d say that the answer to your question is: Why not?
You come to the agency world with a background in sculpture and motion graphics. How has that informed the work you do here?
Having a lot of experience in creating different types of art is very helpful when managing creatives, whether it's understanding how to relate, how to motivate, or how to approach a creative challenge from a different perspective.
What prompted the agency's move to DUMBO? How has being in DUMBO been good for business?
After years in Midtown and Flatiron, we were looking for something new, fresh and more tranquil. Fortunately we found an amazing space right on the water with a wrap around terrace and iconic views which give our employees the best environment to be creative and productive. Whenever we have client meetings here, people are astounded by the views—they never want to leave!
You live in DUMBO, too, right? What's your favorite thing about being a DUMBO resident?
I do! I've lived here for about 6 years now. I used to love coming home from work in the city and being in a neighborhood that was tranquil and felt like it was a ways away from the bustling city. Now I love how the neighborhood has really become a community that my family and I feel like a part of. From seeing people at work on the streets to running into our friends and our kids’ friends wherever we go, it feels very comfortable.
What's your favorite place in DUMBO?
Tough choice. It’s between Almar and La Bagel Delight. Almar hands down best food and atmosphere in the neighborhood....but you really can’t beat those egg sandwiches and corn muffins at La Bagel.