Lights, Camera, Major Tom

2019 was an exciting year for Launch Agency. Our crew made a big move from Carrolton to Dallas right before the holidays. We needed an exciting way to share our new coordinates and spread some holiday cheer. Creative Director Dean Oram gives us his insight on how our team came together and developed an out of this world moving campaign and holiday card.

Shooting At West Village in Uptown

 What was the inspiration for the 2019 moving and holiday campaign?

At Launch, we’re all considered part of the ‘Crew’. In our agency rebranding, Caliber Creative (our design partner on our revamp), created an astronaut icon. That was the seed that led to Major Tom

Describe the process for creating the campaign? Did you do any sketching, location scouts, etc.?

We knew we wanted to let people know we were a) moving to a new space and b) Happy Holidays. From there, we created a teaser campaign hinting at the move, with a longer format Holiday video rolling out after that, that carried on Major Tom’s odyssey. We sketched and pulled scrap images to create key frames for the basic storylines. Refined the action from there. Scouted locations. And then went out and found ourselves one brilliant NASA-style space suit. Lastly, we cast Major Tom from within the ‘Crew.’

What was it like to shoot the entire campaign on an iPhone? Was it easy? Were there any challenges?

Fun. Really fun. Easy? No. Main challenges were to make sure we covered enough scenarios and moments of action to be able to edit (in iMovie) without needing reshoots or pick-up shots. We’re novices at this after all.

Was there a budget for the project?

The budget extended to the purchase of the NASA-style suit and the music. The rest was a combination of donated time and free labor from our ‘makers’ within.

Who was on the team for this project? What was each person’s role?

Team consisted of April Steinbach (Writer/Wardrobe/Make-up/Crowd Control/Public Relations while on locations), Richard Wezensky (Director of Photography/PA/Runner), Zach Deutsch (Crowd Control/Public Relations while on locations/PA), Myself (Director/Editor), Ray Ives (Actor/Comedic Genius), and Alejandro Hernandez AKA ‘Major Tom’ (Actor) .

What’s next for Major Tom?

The world’s his oyster. He’s now a permanent member of the crew. And likely to show up in a myriad of spaces in the not-too-distant-future.

Alejandro getting work done between takes

Summin’ up the Summit

Earlier this week, Launch sent two of our brightest young stars, Alexa Perez and Alejandro Hernandez to Digital Summit Dallas, one of the biggest digital marketing gatherings in the country. They came back full of tips and insights from some of today’s most talented digital marketing leaders and visionaries.

Summit Keynote Speaker: David “Shingy” Shing, Australian futurist & digital consultant

Topics covered not only encompassed trends in our industry, but also ways to improve productivity. Workshops focused on everything from “Moving Prospects through the Consumer Journey with Solid Content and Digital Marketing Strategy” to “How to become a Pop Marketer.”

“This event emphasized that you always have to stay on top of the trends. The digital world is moving faster than we can imagine, you have to break the rules to set yourself apart,” said Launcher Alejandro Hernandez. 

Alexa and Alejandro plan on sharing all these inspiring new insights and learnings with the agency at one of our upcoming Launch & Learns.

Alex Slotkin

A Writer Unblocked

Writer’s block was just the excuse Launcher Alex Slotkin needed to join National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For Alex, this month-long experiment to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days turned into an eight-year project. We recently asked him to tell us about the novel he’s been working on for the past several years and elaborate on what inspires his writing in and outside of work.

What inspired you to start writing your novel?

I’ve always enjoyed creative writing, and have tried to pen the Great American Novel several times, only to give up after a few chapters. Several years ago, I heard about NaNoWriMo and the idea of writing 50,000 words in 30 days as a way to get unstuck. I thought it was the perfect excuse to give it another go.

How do you fit writing outside of work into your schedule?

I’m not going to lie, it’s tough to fit writing in outside of work. I usually just steal whatever time I can, whether that’s at a coffee shop before heading into the office in the morning or holed up at home in the guest room after my kids go to bed.

What keeps you going?

I love to write. It’s one of the few things I’m actually pretty good at, and when it’s going well, it brings me a lot of joy. There’s nothing quite like being so deeply engrossed in a writing project that time seems to stop and everything else just drops away. It’s like a runner’s high, but without all that inconvenient exercise.

How do you think writing outside of work influences your job at Launch?

It sounds like a cliché, but I view the act of writing as akin to flexing a muscle. It gets stronger and more versatile the more you work it, and employing different modes of writing can only strengthen everything you do.

What does the future of your creative writing look like?

Right now, I am deep into the revision process on my novel—which is taking considerably more than a month to complete! I’ve learned that writing a first draft isn’t nearly as challenging as shaping it into something truly satisfying. I hope to get this novel finished and out into the world soon. In the meantime, I have had a short piece published in a zine and also produced a series of roleplaying game supplements. I have a few other projects in the works as well.

Which writers/authors inspire you?

My reading tastes tend toward the fantastical side of the spectrum. I’m a huge fan of Tolkien, Poe and Lovecraft, as well as more “literary” writers, like Steven Millhauser, George Saunders, Vladimir Nabokov and Italo Calvino.

What does NaNoWriMo mean to you?

NaNoWriMo is all about imposing a rigid constraint on your time in order to silence your inner critic and free yourself up to create. As Gustave Flaubert put it: “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

Soap Star Spotlight

Over 16 years ago, Diane Seimetz opened her own advertising agency with Michael Boone and David Wilgus. In 2016, this little entrepreneur decided she wasn’t done entrepreneur-ing just yet, so she launched a soap and skincare company called A Joy Forever Bath + Body. This business, along with her agency, continues to thrive today. Hear how Diane runs a full-time business and a side business without missing a beat.

Diane Seimetz at the Texas Veggie Fair with Mayra Gaytan of OMG Vegan Tamales

How did your first business encourage you to start the second?

As an employee for more than 20 years, I never saw myself as business owner.  But the thrills, occasional spills, and unique kind of satisfaction that come with creating something from scratch turned me into a bit of a startup junkie.

What inspired you to start your recent side hustle?

I’ve always loved to make things. Whether it was tiny cakes with an Easy-Bake oven; knitting with my mother’s old clackety metal needles; Mod Podge plaques and popsicle stick Christmas ornaments – you name it, my hands were in it. Ultimately, my professional career led me to advertising, where I could be a maker, too.

Why bath and body products?

I have an incurable condition where my immune system attacks my own cells. The resulting inflammation causes an array of symptoms, most commonly joint pain and rashes. So, I decided to take my health into my own hands becoming vegan and reducing everyday toxins by making my own personal care and cleaning items. Within two years, I was off all medications, and experienced few, if any, symptoms. As an unexpected side-benefit, I found crafting my own soaps and skincare to be enormously satisfying. Just taking in the healing fragrances of the essential oils infused into my creams, balms and butters inspired me to attempt more challenging, intricate creations.

These caught the attention of family, friends and coworkers, who began asking for the same products I prepared for myself. By 2016, I decided to formalize the arrangement and turn my healthy hobby into a small side business. This past year, I expanded to add a men’s shave and shower line, Tumbleweed+Thyme, and pet care products as well.  All are Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free and part of the GoTexan program supporting native Texas businesses.

Where can we find your wares?

I love handmade markets, because they provide the opportunity to really talk with people. That’s hard to do in an e-commerce environment. I am particularly fond of the Boho Market at the Dallas Farmer’s Market and The Shacks in Plano, as well as V-Market pop-ups – held at cool venues around DFW throughout the year. It’s always gratifying to see customers – many of whom have become friends – drive a fair distance to buy my products and share their experiences with me. That keeps me going and growing in my work. But if markets aren’t your thing, I also happily take online orders at

So Much Better

Changing Healthcare For The Better. It’s not just a tagline for Baylor Scott & White Health. It’s the mission behind everything they do. Now in its second year, the tagline was once again a central driver of the campaign message. Since Baylor Scott & White Health is focused on making people better so they can live a better life, Launch set out to create advertising that feels, looks and sounds better, too.

“Healthcare advertising is mired in a sea of sameness, full of sympathetic images of nurses and doctors with patients in the hospital,” said Ben Day, Director of Creative & Brand Management at Baylor Scott & White Health.

Finding the right team to help bring the idea of better to life in a meaningful way was key. So Launch partnered with award-winning director, Jaci Judelson and director of photography, Colin Watkinson. Both known for creating beautifully engaging and emotional commercials, Judelson and Watkinson were the ideal pair to capture stories that would connect with viewers in a memorable way.

The result is a series of spots that merge the past with the present, showing what a patient’s life looks like today while hearing the back story of how they got better with the help of Baylor Scott & White Health.

“We want to inspire Texans to take charge of their health, be proactive and worry less. This is why we show our patients thriving after treatment,” said Day.


Client: Baylor Scott & White Health

Director: Jaci Judelson

Director of Photography: Colin Watkinson

Production Company: Tool of North America

Principal/Creative Director: David Wilgus, Launch Agency

Principal/Creative Director: Diane Seimetz, Launch Agency

Creative Director/Art Director: Dean Oram, Launch Agency

Creative Director/Copywriter: April Steinbach, Launch Agency

Producer: Jaime Roderer, Launch Agency

Account Director: Jason Giles, Launch Agency

Account Supervisor: Macy Barbee, Launch Agency

Editor: Jack Waldrip, Charlie Uniform Tango

Sound Design: Jake Kluge, Russell Smith, Charlie Uniform Tango

Music: Nick Patronella, Charlie Uniform Tango

We have liftoff!

The new is officially live. This is the fifth iteration of our agency website, covering almost 20 years of launching and relaunching.

It took longer than anticipated (don’t all websites?). That’s partly because of our ongoing client workload, and partly because we wanted to take the time necessary to build a site that’s representative of Launch, its people and the work we produce.

The purpose of the new site is to showcase our creative work and the process behind it. We want to attract potential clients who share our value of creative ideas to help move their businesses forward. In addition, we expect the site to continue attracting talented professionals who want to join our team. We also needed to provide a peek into our culture. Agency culture is not synonymous with “beer tap and ping-pong table.” Rather, it’s the way people work and play together. By building social feeds in the site design we’re able to show what being at Launch looks like in real time.

To give a fresh perspective on Launch, we engaged the talented designers at Caliber Creative and the developers at Elodin Design to help bring our story to life. Many thanks to both multi-talented teams.

Look for more exciting new work and new news coming soon. Be sure and bookmark the site, tell two friends and come back soon.

Our Star Rises

We are so proud to celebrate our AAF Shining Star, Diane Seimetz Duncan! She is joining a talented group of women who are community leaders, C-suite executives, co-founders, executive VPs, strategic masterminds, media mavens and more. They are breaking glass ceilings and elevating the Dallas advertising community to heights we have never seen before!


Alayna Oram, Corporate Director, Marketing at Omni Hotels & Resorts

Allison Burzlaff, Senior Copywriter at TracyLocke*

Amanda Abrams, Creative Director Team One

Amanda Guerra Koch, Director, Connection & Insight Strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi

Amy Vollet, SVP, Executive Media Director at The Integer Group

Audrey Berger, Principal at Quadratic*

Cheryl Huckabay, Managing Principal – Brand Media at The Richards Group*

Diane Seimetz Duncan, Principal at Launch Agency*

Erin Bryant, Sales Director at Pandora

Karie Scuiller, Account Director at Caliber Creative

Kathleen Colditz, EVP, Customer Engagement Strategy at The Marketing Arm

Kim Moss, Chief Media Officer at TM Advertising*

Kimberly Tyner, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Spire Agency

Krista McCrimmon, Creative Director at Johnson & Sekin*

Luann Boggs, VP of Business Development at bloomfield knoble advertising*

Mary Price, Brand Media, Group Head at The Richards Group*

Megan Ward, Director of Project and Resource Management at Firehouse

Paloma Fuentes, Brand Manager at Richards/Lerma*

Pam Watkins, SVP, Business and Media Strategy at MCC

Robin Thomas, Director of Media at Chili’s

Sandi Edgar, Marketing Specialist at Temerlin Advertising Institute,* AAF Dallas Education Chair

Sarah Beddoe, Vice President, Marketing at Pizza Hut

Shelia Lemon, Founder, CEO & President of Citrus Advertising

Suzanne La Forgia, Senior Vice President of Captivate*, Past President of AAF Dallas, 2nd Lt. Governor of AAF Tenth District

Tracy Armstrong, Senior Manager, Brand Communications at Southwest Airlines

*denotes corporate members of AAF Dallas

#AAFdallas #2019Shiningstars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The 4A’s of Achieving Ad Agency Awesomeness

Launch has been a proud member of the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) since 2003 and it “helps us most by having smart, passionate people we can consult…to provide steering and insights to help manage our agency,” says Michael Boone, Principal at Launch Agency. Through our membership with the 4A’s, Launch gained legitimacy when we were first starting out as a smaller agency. Today, after 16 years of growth, Launch uses the 4A’s differently: as a tool to run our business and understand the latest business trends.

Launch Awards Scholarship to UNT Students

Congrats to our 2019 Launch Scholarship winners at UNT 👏 We recently presented our annual $1,000 Launch scholarship awards to Madeline O’ Mary for Art Direction and Gaby Pesqueira for Graphic Design. Both students currently attend UNT College of Visual Arts + Design and were recognized for creating an outstanding body of work. Launch established this scholarship in 2007 to inspire creative excellence and make a positive impact on UNT graduates who will, in turn, positively impact our design and advertising community.

Launch wins silver in 2020 Graphis Poster Annual

We swung for the fences with our Texas Rangers Triple Play event poster campaign—and hit it big with a silver award in the 2020 Graphis Poster Annual. It’s an honor to be featured in one of the world’s premier advertising and design annuals. Check out our winning entry, blending old-world storybook design with modern-day Rangers baseball, here.