Last night, Launchers headed to The Grill on the Alley for the annual Launch anniversary dinner. 2014 commemorates 11 years for Launch Agency, which was founded in 2003 after spinning off from Temerlin McClain to become an independent full-service advertising agency.
The annual dinner is always a much anticipated agency event full of laughter and story telling, but it comes with a price, or rather, an assignment. This year, Launchers were challenged to take at look at the marvelous milestones of age 11, which includes changes to the body, brain and social nature, and to apply the key learnings to agency life with new innovative, interruptive and interesting ideas. View Flickr Photo Gallery
So here’s a little more on the age 11 milestones and key learnings:
Body: 11 year olds grow at a faster rate now than at any time except birth. This period will be also accompanied by a series of major hormonal swings, which can occasionally cause unintended interpersonal drama. It is a time of exciting transition but also of rapid and sometimes confusing change.
Key: Nurture and maximize the growth spurt without sacrificing relationships.
Brain: At 11, the capacity for learning increases almost 100-fold. Life is full of possibilities and “What ifs.” Ideas flow freely, inventions are crafted joyfully, problems are solved through innovative thought – unfettered by negativity or fear of failure unless intercepted by outside forces or factors.
Key: Cultivate an environment where people can create, ideate and express possibilities without fear of criticism or failure.
Social: By now, 11 year olds are responsible for themselves and accountable to others. They are energized by performing tasks for the collective good, and are competent at organizing their time. They will naturally generate their own set of rules and procedures to facilitate harmony among peers. Humor and calm discussion are also used to help smooth the occasional wrinkle between sparring parties.
Key: The “‘Tween Team” has all the ingredients of a Dream Team – without the cynicism, past disappointments, mistrust, stress, family pressures and other grown-up yuckiness.
Keeping the key thoughts of these milestones in mind, Launchers presented a wide variety of ideas to foster our 11th year. Ideas ranged from an annual staff retreat to “Re-fuel”, to the creation of a Launch “Academy” of branding presentations and training modules, to a revised structure for estimating client projects and agency compensation.
The backdrop for this evening of sharing was a wall of photos of current Launchers from their “tween” years, and oh boy, was that a sight to see!
Thank you to all our fellow clients and agency friends for all the support and love over these past 11 years. We look forward to growing into our tween years with you.
Members of Launch met with entrepreneurs in the SMU Executive MBA program last Saturday to advise them on their new business ideas and marketing plans. Launch partners Michael Boone and David Wilgus gave a brief lecture followed by one-on-one time with each EMBA new business team. Other Launch members participating in the consulting sessions included Jason Giles, Ellen Giles and Josh Stewart.
“We allowed each SMU team 15 minutes with one of the Launch experts. Imagine Shark Tank combined with Speed Dating and you get the idea,” said SMU adjunct professor John Terry. “The Launch team listened to their ideas and provided counsel on everything from targeting and positioning to messaging. It was highly valuable for our folks to get input from professional marketers with experience in launching and re-launching brands.”
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Just because the Launch offices close at 5:30 doesn’t mean the creative juices stop flowing.
Recently, Launch senior copywriter Alex Slotkin traded in his computer keyboard for a synthesizer after hours in order to compose and record an original musical soundtrack for a high-profile theater company production. The play, titled The Secret Origin of Dr. Frankenstein, and written and directed by local playwright Brandon Cunningham, had its debut run this February at the award-winning Fun House Theatre in Plano, Texas.
Alex’s score, released under the pseudonym “Mood Museum,” featured prominently throughout the show. He says it was inspired by classic horror soundtracks, ’70s prog-rock and “hauntological” electronic music from Boards of Canada, Moon Wiring Club and various artists on the Ghost Box label.
“Music has always been a passionate side interest of mine, and It was truly gratifying to get to work a different set of creative muscles,” Alex said. Previously, he loaned his musical and voice-over skills to the Launch-produced iPhone game Consonant Pain, as well as to Launch client Texas Power.
Just another example of how, at Launch, creativity often comes in unexpected forms.
Stream or download Mood Museum’s The Secret Origin of Dr. Frankenstein (Original Soundtrack Recording) now at http://moodmuseum.bandcamp.com
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Launch Agency’s latest TV commercial for client Children’s Medical Center began airing last week on local stations. The spot, titled “Trust,” builds on the chalkboard visual concept Launch developed for Children’s in 2013, as seen in magazine ads and on billboards around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Using a distinctive time-lapse/stop-motion approach, “Trust” features a doctor, nurse and young patient, whimsically illustrating Children’s points of difference on a giant chalkboard.
It’s the latest attention-getting execution by Launch creative director/art director David Wilgus and senior copywriter Alex Slotkin. They worked with Launch account executive Jason Giles, as well as Children’s Senior Marketing Specialist Ashley Young and producer Paula Jarrell. The spot was directed by Kevin Aithans, produced at Reel FX and scored by JSM Music.
Watch the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas “Trust” TV commercial.
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Launch Agency was awarded two gold awards and one silver by the Dallas chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) at the Addys Award Show on February 26, 2014.
The Addys Award Show is an annual event where advertising industry professionals in Dallas gather to enjoy the year’s best creative work. The celebration was held at the Hyatt Regency to honor work developed in 2013.
Launch Agency picked up three trophies at the Dallas Addys. The award winning work was for long-time client Sam’s Club. The “Fresh, Fast and Fabulous” cookbook won Gold in the Sales Promotion POP Free Standing category. The “Grill” spread magazine ad won the Silver award in Consumer/Trade Print Spread/Multi-Page/Insert Four Color category. “Grill” was part of a series of magazine ads that won Gold for the Consumer/Trade Print Campaign Four Color category.
Congratulations to our team:
Ellen Giles, Art Director
Jason Giles, Account Service
KC DeFranco, Account Service
Heidi Porter, Art Director
Brooklynne Peters, Copywriter
Diane Seimetz Duncan, Creative Director
David Wilgus, Creative Director
Award-winning work can be viewed here.
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Every year, Launch receives extraordinary gifts from Santa during the Christmas Lunch. These are presents we look forward to and discuss all year long. The long awaited day rolled around and we all unwrapped the packaging as quickly as we could to discover Jawbone UP bands and Apple TV! One gift to get us active and another to help us veg out.
We immediately began wearing our Jawbone UPs and learning the ins and outs of our new gadget. The bracelets use Bluetooth to sync to your phone and give you updates on your number of steps walked, distance traveled, number of active minutes, along with lots of fun facts about your sleep. The bracelet is so freakishly smart! It can tell you how quickly you fell asleep and how much deep sleep along with a bunch of other statistics.
These bracelets were definitely a wake up call for some of us. We were embarrassed by how few steps we took compared to the daily goal. They naturally helped us become more active while at work. Not soon after, they quickly because the topic of our lunch conversations. We’d talk trash about who had the most steps and who needed to take the long way to the bathroom to get some steps in. It didn’t take long for us to realize we really needed to make a legitimate competition out of this.
We started a competition to encourage everyone at the office to get their steps and work outs in. The game cost was $10 and 19 people decided to play. A chart was placed in the kitchen as a game board. Every time you got your 10,000 steps for the day you got to add a sticker. Every 45-minute workout earns you an additional sticker. After the eight-week competition, the competitor with the most stickers wins $100. Three others can win $30 each by having their name drawn. Those winners’ names will be drawn from a bowl filled with raffle tickets. Each competitor gets a raffle ticket for each sticker on the board.
The Partners at Launch have invested in a variety of initiatives to encourage employees to maintain a healthier lifestyle. The office received a Fit Desk as a Christmas surprise. Anyone can now go back there to bike and work at the same time. With the Fit Desk being such a huge success, a desk elliptical and stair master have also been added. Another great addition has been Yoga Tuesday. Each Tuesday Debbie Boone comes up to the office at 6 for an after work yoga session. These have been incredibly popular and are a great stress reliever.
Six weeks into the competition and everyone is still going strong! There has been weight loss and an increase in healthy eating. Apples and oranges now replace chips as snacks and encouragement to stick to our goals fills the office. Three cheers for a healthier work place!
New Year’s Resolutions. We all make them late December or early January with the earnest hope not to break them. At Launch Agency, we made a list. Hopefully, we can all keep each other accountable. Some are funny, some are thoughtful but we hope you enjoy them.
Laura C. – Retire the superhero cape and embrace a slower paced, more relaxed lifestyle to restore balance in my life.
Diane D. – Give away less of my time.
Lauren F. – Pay off my credit cards! Debt free.
Ashley M. – Writing my massive to-do list at the beginning of each morning vs mid-day to avoid writing down things I’ve already done just to cross it off.
AdeDoyin A. – Attempt to only mention Beyoncé every other day, not be so punny (Yeah, right.) and actually get up when my Jawbone buzzes to remind me I haven’t moved in 30 minutes.
Josh S. – To spend the first year with my soon-to-be wife reading the Bible from start to finish!
Valerie L. – To de-clutter my life.
Katie A. - My Resolution for the New Year is to…….. compliment at least one stranger every day.
Jason G. – Mine is to have more fun; overall.
Michael B. – Personal (with my family) — more patience. Professional — make better use of time for Launch and our clients.
Alexandra W. – 1. Balance my time better to include important things that aren’t urgent (like bible reading, and the two following); 2. Move more each day; 3. Work on my own social presence/authorship and Launch’s – not just clients .
Lee J. – Drink more water and get more sleep! Thanks to this handy little wrist band, I have found out that I am not getting nearly enough sleep and most of it is light sleep instead of deep sleep.
Richard W. – I plan to participate in more active transportation: cycling and walking. I also plan to be a better activist for cycling through action and education.
Alex S. – To be more mindful and goal-oriented, thinking three steps ahead and working toward a long-term vision versus always reacting in the moment to whichever screaming-white-hot emergency might come along to steal my attention. I sometimes have to remind myself that, in advertising a true “emergency” is rare. After all, no one ever lost a limb over a missed deadline.
Lindsay S. – My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is to slow down, and experience and enjoy life. Since I will have a new baby in 2014, and because I hear every parent say that their babies grow up in the blink of an eye, I want to make sure I savor as many moments as possible. And focus more on what really matters, rather than small, insignificant stuff. Oh, and to use my new camera to take lots of pictures!
David W. – This sounds like a stock resolution but I’m going to try to get more exercise and better sleep. I won’t fail this year thanks to my new Jawbone fitness bracelet. It’s going to be my 24-hour accountability buddy!
Rebecca L. – My New Year’s resolution is to stick to one of my New Year’s resolutions.
Carolyn S. – To bring my lunch 3 times a week.
Ellen G. – To have more fun!
Lauren C. – I will better discover my strengths and weaknesses by further exploring my creative facets. I plan on finding more creative courage by worrying less about the mistakes I might make, and actually making some mistakes that might make it.
Whether we achieve these resolutions or just make tiny steps of progress toward them, here’s to the launch of all these goals, hopes, and dreams in 2014!
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This year, Launch Agency was included in the 2014 Advertising Annual for its magazine print campaign for ViewPoint Bank. Since 1944, The International Journal of Visual Communication has been publishing significant and influential work of fine artists, illustrators and advertisers in the Graphis annual publication.
ViewPoint Financial Group, Inc. is the holding company for ViewPoint Bank, N.A. ViewPoint Bank, N.A. operates 31 banking offices in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area, including two First National Bank of Jacksboro locations in Jack and Wise Counties. For more information, please visit http://www.viewpointbank.com.
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