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Meet the Trulian: Chris Unno

A Series to Connect You to the Trulians Behind the Magic

This Meet the Trulian features Chris Unno, senior marketing manager, paid media and distribution, at Trulia. Chris has worked in media planning and digital strategy for his entire career and joined Trulia in 2017. Read on to learn more about him.

What’s your role at Trulia? 
I’m a senior marketing manager for paid media. Essentially, I plan and execute Trulia’s advertising campaigns across TV and digital, which means that I decide where our ads should show up, like which TV networks or digital platforms (Facebook, YouTube, etc.), and at what times.

My key partners in this role include the Trulia’s brand marketing team, who develop creative (TV and digital spots), our performance marketing team (search, social, and mobile), and, of course, analytics, who help us to ensure we are as impactful as possible.

What inspired you to get into your role?
My entry into advertising and marketing was a happy accident. I started my career in hospitality and found that it wasn’t right for me. I lucked out by getting an entry level advertising job during the middle of the original dot-com boom. Technology was booming, and brands with sockpuppets were the toast of the town. It was a seductive time to be in San Francisco, and the promise of technology to disrupt everything was very appealing to me. My career trajectory took me in the direction of being “the digital guy,” which allowed me to stay at the forefront of innovative and lasting technologies like the portal wars, Second Life, Friendster, QR codes, and Napster.

What was your dream job growing up and why?
I watched and played a lot of tennis as a kid, so being a professional tennis player was the glamourous career for which I had neither the skill nor patience to succeed.  John McEnroe was my childhood idol, but Roger Federer will go down as the GOAT.

If you could have drinks with one tech luminary – dead or alive – whom would it be and why? And, what would your first question be?
My instinctive answer would be Steve Jobs, even though every book I’ve read about him makes no bones that he could be an unapologetic jerk. So instead, my choice would be Albert Einstein. My first question to him would be about the role ethics should play in today’s technology race.

What’s the one gadget or personal tech item you cannot live without and why?
Whatever gadget is connected to my headphones. In my younger days, this was a Walkman blasting way-too-loud music into my ears—oh, the lost art of the mix tape… These days, I am more likely listening to the soothing and melodious voices of NPR hosts.

What was the last movie you saw or book you read and what – if anything – would you change about the ending? 
The book “Midnight in Broad Daylight” is a true story of a Japanese family that is caught on both sides of WWII. One brother volunteers to be an interpreter for the U.S. army while his younger brother is conscripted into the Japanese army. Neither is aware of the situation until well after the war is over. Woven into the whole story are complicated experiences of racism, xenophobia, and patriotism on both sides of the Atlantic. Since this is non-fiction, I wouldn’t change the ending (life is messy after all).

If you could master one talent or skill that you don’t have now what would it be and why?
Singing. I am a very mediocre guitar player, but I’d be incrementally less mediocre if I could sing on key on top of some simple finger picking. I can tune a guitar, so I know I’m not totally tone deaf, but I have no ability to find the right tone in my voice. It’s safe to say that I regret my 10-year-old self rejecting music lessons of any kind.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Flying or teleportation would be supremely convenient and personally satisfying. But what if I had the ability to make one person empathize with another person they were arguing with? It might not solve all the world’s problems, but I predict there would be less vitriol in our culture and politics, and definitely less in my newsfeed.

If you could time travel, would you go into the future or past and why?
I’d go to the past so I could see if the actual experience measures up to the historical record (prediction: probably not, especially if your life was among peasants or the proletariat).