Launch was pleased to have been recognized for its work on behalf of long-time client Rent-A-Center.
The Rental Advertising Excellence (RAE) Awards, the rent-to-own industry’s longest held advertising competition honors the best radio, television, print and Internet advertising campaigns created over the past year. The awards show and annual conference was held July 19-22.
Launch won a Gold and a Bronze in the :30 Radio category and a Silver for :30 TV.
Congratulations also go to partner agency Razor for their awards won in support of Rent-A-Center.
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The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County held its annual fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole, Dallas, and Launchers Alison Hamilton, Reuben Miller, and Diane Seimetz were on hand. Reuben designed the Center’s new brand identity earlier this year, and along with Diane and Alison, helped create the on-stage presentation “Impact Moment,” which depicted the struggles of abused children, and the relief the Center provides.
The gala’s theme this year was “Rock On!” and that it did. The band, World Classic Rockers, was the featured entertainment, consisting of former members from Santana, Journey, Boston, Steppenwolf, Toto, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. In addition to the entertainment, both live and silent auctions were held with all proceeds going to the Children’s Advocacy Center.
The event was chaired by local philanthropist Carolyn Speese—wife of Advocacy Center Board President, and Rent-A-Center CEO, Mark Speese (a long-time Launch client). A key sponsor of the event was Launch client Park Place Lexus, which generously donated several Lexus vehicles to the raffle.
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Teaming former Dallas Cowboys great (and current Fox Sports broadcaster) Troy Aikman, with wild wrestling legend (and reality show star) Hulk Hogan, makes for interesting surprises in Launch’s new TV campaign for Rent-A-Center.
The Launch team was particularly impressed with how genuinely nice, down-to-Earth, and professional Troy and Hulk are. They were also amazed by the sheer size of both guys. To get an idea, check out how the Hulkster dwarfs Creative Director David Wilgus in the photo below.
To see how Troy and Hulk work as a team, check out this spot from the campaign.
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Launch Agency Principal Diane Seimetz receives prestigious Woman of Excellence Award by National Association of Professional and Executive Women.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the advertising industry, the National Association of Professional and Executive Women has recognized Dallas ad veteran Diane Seimetz with the Woman of Excellence Award. The Association is dedicated to providing professional resources, education and marketing expertise to executive women nationwide, and extends this honor to those who display exceptional leadership skills in their field. Seimetz, along with partners David Wilgus and Michael Boone, is principal of LAUNCH, a boutique brand development, marketing and advertising agency in Dallas, Texas. The company specializes in consumer brand launches and relaunches, counting such companies as online dating giant Match.com, the Paris Hotel Las Vegas, Hotels.com, the Park Place luxury car dealership group, NYLO Hotels, rent-to-own leader Rent-A-Center, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, upscale girls’ salon Sweet and Sassy, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, RadioShack brand PointMobl and others as clients. The agency has been recognized as one of the fastest growing businesses in the region, and has earned a national reputation for strategic and creative excellence. In addition to membership in the American Advertising Federation (AAF), American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), Seimetz is active in her church, local animal shelter, Marketing Board for the University of Northern Texas, Gamma Phi Beta sorority, the DFW Interactive Marketing Association and Women on the Web.
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Dallas Business Journal – Monday January 15, 2007 – Jeff Bounds
Building business: Creativity and experience helped them sell ideas.
David Wilgus, Diane Seimetz and Michael Boone each had lots of experience with big advertising agencies when they spun out their new firm, dubbed Launch, from Temerlin-McClain in 2003. But they had only one client — Park Place Dealerships in Dallas.
Starting a small business is never easy. It’s even tougher when your shop is vying with big, established names for business. But that’s exactly what the three principals of Launch intended to do. They pulled it off through a combination of experience and creativity.
For one thing, each of the principals had more than 20 years of working with big agencies under their belts, handling accounts such as American Airlines, Subaru and Frito-Lay.
“I don’t think there are a lot of boutique-type shops (locally) grounded in big-agency experience like we are,” Wilgus says. “It allows to compete against larger agencies and win accounts like (Plano-based) Rent-A-Center.”
And having been around the business side of advertising, “We knew what we were walking into,” Wilgus says. “The three of us wear many different hats.”
But Launch’s ability to think outside the box has proven just as important, if not more so. Both Wilgus and Seimetz are creative directors at the firm, while Boone is director of account services.
To help launch the Paris Las Vegas hotel, Launch dreamed up a television campaign that showed men clad in white “stealing” Paris — including the Eiffel Tower — and bringing it over to these shores.
But it’s not just Launch’s ads that are clever. The company also is skilled at thinking up ways to brand clients that go beyond traditional advertising media like TV and newspapers.
For instance, Launch is working with Rent-a-Center to transform its fleet of 9,000 to 10,000 trucks into “moving billboards,” Wilgus says.
The experience of the three principals helped in another way in the early days, landing them a bunch of business through referrals, without having to go prospecting for it. Still, Wilgus concedes that growth is a challenge to this day.
“We spend a lot of time on our clients’ businesses, which keeps us from chasing new business as much as we probably should,” he says.
Still, Launch is growing. After starting out with six employees, it now has 18. And last year, it moved from its original 3,000-square-foot digs into a space in Carrollton that’s about twice as large. The business does about $2 million in annual revenue.
“Anytime you’re in a service business like (advertising), it’s a networking and referral business,” says Dr. Joseph C. Picken, executive director of the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas.
He says the track records of people running small shops can overcome the problems of the companies being new. And they can promise to focus more intently on a given client than a larger rival might.
“Sometimes,” he says, “that will win the day.”
Business: Advertising agency
Address: 4100 Midway Road, Ste. 2110, Carrollton 75007
Top executives: David Wilgus, principal/creative director; Diane Seimetz, principal/creative director; Michael Boone, principal/director of account services
Revenue: $2 million
Other locations: None