Launch had an impressive showing February 20th at the 2013 Dallas ADDY awards. The 2013 awards, which highlighted the best individual ads and campaigns created by Dallas-Fort Worth area agencies and companies in 2012, were determined by a group of industry experts outside the Dallas-Fort Worth market. After long valet lines, a “major country music star” performance and a stand-up comedy routine, Launch managed to take home six trophies—three times what the agency pulled in the prior year. Here’s the breakdown:
- Nature Nate’s Website
- Launch Christmas Card (2011 edition)
- Nature Nate’s Press Kit
- Sam’s Club Cookbook
- Consonant Pain App
- Boston Terrier Rescue of North Texas Logo
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After developing a new brand identity earlier in the year for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, the creative team at Launch was thrilled to bring it to life in an emotionally engaging print ad. Fortunately, our non-profit client scored some low-cost media opportunities thanks to the Dallas Ad League’s charity media auction.
Launch was tasked with introducing the new brand look, soliciting donations, and building awareness for the Center’s mission – providing safety, healing and justice to abused and neglected children throughout Collin County, which covers many of Dallas’ northern suburbs.
Agency Partners and co-Creative Directors Diane Seimetz and David Wilgus created the print ad, which calls on one’s instinct to protect a child in danger and defines the team of specialists that make it happen at the Center. The full-page ad is running in the October issues of Texas Monthly and Dallas Child.
Special thanks to the friends of Launch who made it happen. Photographer Brian Braun and beautiful young model Sydney Coon graciously donated their services for the ad.
View a PDF of the print ad:
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To get an insider’s view of the exploding mobile gaming market and the role advertising is playing in it, Launchers Alex Slotkin and Kevin Byrd attended the Dallas Ad League’s September luncheon featuring Paul Bettner. As co-founder of McKinney-based mobile game studio New Toy, he’s responsible for the incredibly addictive iPhone app Words With Friends.
Paul and his brother started New Toy a couple years ago after building their design and development experience at big firms like Microsoft-owned Ensemble Studios where they worked on the $50 million launch of Halo Wars. Their “aha” moment came after watching a young girl play Nintendogs on a Nintendo DS. There was huge potential to tap this market of non-traditional players with casual games that didn’t require monster budgets or long development cycles. Games that relied on social aspects to hook players and get them evangelizing to friends and family. The iPhone provided a killer platform to make it happen.
By following this “blue ocean strategy” of game niches that aren’t crowded with competitors, New Toy has made a name for itself. Words With Friends has a user retention rate twenty times that of the App Store average. Player engagement is thirty times longer. Their free, ad-supported version of the game pulls in one billion ad impressions per month. As Bettner emphasized, consolidation in the mobile advertising market (such as Google AdMob and Apple iAds) is leading to higher quality, more engaging ads that bring better results. Moving forward, New Toy is looking for innovative ways to integrate advertising into games, such as partnering with Skittles to turn all the game’s tiles into colored candies for a month.
According to Bettner, we can look forward to a new Farmville-like game from New Toy later this year, and another “____ with Friends” game he wouldn’t reveal, but it will no doubt be on everyone’s mind before too long. We at Launch can’t wait.
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A table of Launch Agency staffers, along with Park Place Marketing Director Rob Sumner, attended the Dallas Ad League’s 2010 Addy Awards, hoping to bring home plenty of trophies, just like we did in 2009. The Addy Awards recognize excellence in advertising across a variety of categories, and Launch proudly took home seven awards for our work over the past year.
Our first two wins of the night were for Park Place’s smart center Dallas/Fort Worth. The smart “Fit In Anywhere” TV spot took silver in the Local Television category, and the animated smart holiday email/screensaver took gold in the Interactive Media category.
View the winning smart center tv spot.
In the category of Public Service, Launch cleaned up with five wins. The “Warning Signs” poster campaign for The Voice Foundation won four individual awards (a gold, two silvers and a bronze), along with a silver for the entire campaign.
View the winning Campaign Posters
The Launch team behind the smart work included Richard Wezensky, Alex Slotkin, David Wilgus, Diane Seimetz, Megan Kelly and Alison Hamilton. Digital Quill Productions produced flash animation for the screensaver. The TV spot was animated by Janimation.
See more fun from the Addy Awards.
UPDATE: smart screensaver won Gold at Regional Addys. Now on to the Nationals!
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David Wilgus has won many of advertising’s top awards including CLIO, New York Art Directors Show, ADDYs and a host of international festival awards. But he may be most proud of being named the “Best Creative Director” recently by the Dallas Ad League.
“It’s a great honor. I’m also extremely humbled by it; Dallas has an incredible talent pool and I’m flattered to be recognized by my peers here” said Wilgus, a principal at the Launch Agency. Wilgus is one of a rare breed: he’s a native Dallasite, graduating Richardson High School and the University of North Texas. Wife Jeanne and his four children – ranging in age from 3 to 20 years old – are also Dallas born and bred.
Before forming the agency with partners Diane Seimetz and Michael Boone, Wilgus was in creative management at Temerlin McClain and Tracy-Locke, where he led efforts on such blue chip clients as American Airlines, Subaru, JC Penney, Bank of America, Frito-Lay, KinderCare and Paris Las Vegas accounts. The trio “launched” Launch in late 1999 to assist in developing new brands, and revitalizing mature brands. Clients such as dating giant Match.com, online supermarket GroceryWorks, travel site Hotels.com, gourmet hot spot eatZi’s Market and Bakery, Blockbuster.com and the Fort-Worth Star Telegram were among the company’s highly successful case studies.
Creative partner Seimetz also was nominated for a Dallas Ad League Eagle Award “Best Of,” as well as two of its clients: luxury car purveyor Park Place Dealerships and the Fortune 500 Rent-A-Center, based in Plano.
Wilgus is quick to cite his agency compatriots, clients and creative philosophy as major contributors to his success. “It’s our strong belief that it’s not about ads, it’s about the power of big ideas. Our passion is building brands that make a strong emotional connection with the consumer, and working with clients who share that passion. Consumer relationships consistently deliver proven business results.”
Wilgus’ most memorable local campaign was for GroceryWorks, one of the first web-based grocers in the country. “The convenience of ordering groceries online and having them delivered to your home was highly appealing,” explains Wilgus. “But we had to overcome the fear of ordering apples and steaks over the Internet. Through consumer research, it became clear that lowering the barrier to entry – rather than capitalizing on convenience, or dislike of grocery shopping – became Job One,” Wilgus continues. Working with photo illustrator Saxton Freymann to create whimsical fruits and vegetables in the shapes of octopuses and hummingbirds, Launch was able to communicate simplicity and freshness, winning the hearts and wallets of time-poor shoppers. Shattering early traction records with more than 85 percent awareness in the first four months, the award-winning campaign caught the attention of packaged goods giant Procter and Gamble, among others. The company was ultimately sold to Pleasanton, California grocery chain Safeway.
“Successfully launching and re-launching brands is a culmination of spot-on insight, years of experience and a constant flow of new thinking. I love it,” said Wilgus. Based on his latest accomplishment, it shows.
More information on The Launch Agency is available at www.launchagency.com.