Dallas Lawrence, a veteran of tech and politics who most recently had a senior-level stint at Roku, has joined Samba TV as SVP and head of communications and brand.
Samba is an advertising and analytics firm known for its insights into smart-TV viewing. The company is among several emerging players looking to champion a new universal currency in order to enable the buying and selling of ads in the streaming era.
At Roku, Lawrence steered communications for the company’s platform business. Central to that part of the company is the Roku Channel, a hub largely devoted to free streaming services, aggregated via both live channels and on-demand offerings. Lawrence led the communications efforts around the channel’s acquisition of Quibi programming, as well as its launch of an original programming banner and more than 50 new titles in 2021.
As the company faced distribution battles with YouTube and negotiations with NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia for carriage of their new streaming services, Lawrence ran point on PR. He also helped launch the company’s brand studio.
“As we continue to grow our market leadership in omniscreen advertising and measurement solutions, we are thrilled to welcome an industry veteran like Dallas to lead strategic communications and brand marketing for the company,” said Samba TV Co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin. “Dallas’ deep experience in the media business, supporting many of the biggest global marketing programs of the past several years, will play a key role in our ability to influence change and accelerate the adoption of our CTV innovations globally.”
Lawrence saluted Samba’s “differentiated leadership position as a truly independent first-party data provider.” As connected TV “continues to accelerate its share of overall consumer attention and global advertising revenue,” he added, “I’m thrilled to be joining Samba TV as we continue to deliver market innovations that differentiate the unique value of our technology and services to help partners move beyond legacy measurement and ad buying practices in today’s streaming-first world.”
Before Roku, Lawrence worked in advertising technology, leading communications and marketing for major independents OpenX and Rubicon Project, which is now known as Magnite.
A former officer in the U.S. Navy, Lawrence began his career in politics, holding positions on Capitol Hill and on the communications team during the presidential terms of George W. Bush.