15 Things We’ve Learned in 15 Years of Business

It’s a little hard to believe, but Launch turned 15 this year, and in honor of this milestone, we wanted to take time to reflect.  There’ve been many big changes in 15 years – from clients won and lost, to birthdays, anniversaries, births and deaths, to the rise of the digital age that has changed advertising in numerous ways.  The diverse bunch of talented employees that we’ve gathered from different cities, backgrounds, and age groups have weathered it through thick and thin, and all learned something along the way.  Launchers share the most important thing they’ve learned from their time in the working world below. 1) “What I’ve learned in 15 years is that building strong personal relationships with current and future clients is one of the main keys to success.” – Jason Giles, Account Director 2) “Clients can be your best creative people.” – Diane Seimetz, Principal 3) “Think outside your own demographic. I am not always the target audience. You have to be aware that even if it doesn’t appeal or make sense to you, that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right strategy for what you are creating.” – Richard Wezensky, Associate Creative Director 4) “I have learned that I always performed better at jobs where recognition and employee morale were priorities. When there is a healthy mixture of constructive criticism and recognition for a job well done, it has fostered a more positive experience for me and helped me grow.” – Preciosa Johnson, Office Manager 5) “The main thing I’ve learned is that one of your greatest assets is to be flexible. Budgets get cut, deadlines move up, clients change their mind, social media specs and regulations transform weekly, natural disasters cause shipping delays, etc. If you can take it in stride with a smile on your face, then you and your team are much better off. It’ll all get done one way or another!” – Carolyn Sexton, Art Director 6) “As a creative person and writer, I have learned that shifting my environment and tools can stimulate different modes of thinking. When I’m ideating, I like to get away from the desk and out of the office, and capture ideas by hand with paper and pencil. It helps to silence my inner editor and gives me the freedom to generate tons of ideas. However, when I’m doing heavy writing or revision, sitting at my desk with a laptop that offers the ability to type quickly, cut, paste and use keyboard shortcuts is a real godsend.” – Alex Slotkin, Associate Creative Director 7) “Always be on the lookout for creative opportunities, even in the most unexpected places and keep the passion for creativity alive.” – Brittany Frazier, Digital Production 8) “Great creative can only happen with great clients. Our best work was done for clients who we have close, trusting relationships with.” – David Wilgus, Principal 9) “Asking the right questions is so important. You can save a lot of time going back and forth with a client if you ask good questions from the get-go. It’s also helpful for the creative process – if Account Managers/Project Managers can present the right question or problem in a brief, the creatives have more to work with. Per Luke Sullivan – ‘Creativity happens in response to a problem.’” – Alexa Perez, Project Manager 10) “Help will come from unexpected places. Especially for start-up companies. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice – if you wait or assume, it may not come.” – Michael Boone, Principal 11) “Be as patient as you can, both with clients and your coworkers.  What makes sense to you may not make sense initially to someone else, and learning how to be patient is key.  It can save a lot of confusion down the road and help a client or coworker learn something new in the process.” – Caroline Gillan, Digital Content Specialist 12) “Every day is an opportunity to learn – no project is exactly the same and if you are willing, you gain the ability to understand how to tackle future projects, overwhelming jobs, and difficult timelines.” – Zach Deutsch, Account Executive 13) “Fear is temporary, regret is forever.  Go for it.” – Diane Seimetz, Principal 14) “Be kind to the people you work with. We spend a tremendous amount of our waking hours at work and the way we treat each other is incredibly important. I have been extremely fortunate to work with some amazingly talented and genuinely nice people over the last 15 years.” – Dave Wilgus, Principal 15) “Through all the emerging technologies, new media and cultural changes, this business still comes down to great ideas, well told that inform, persuade and even entertain, not annoy or beg to be skipped. Easier said than done.” – Michael Boone, Principal

Advertising Isn’t Dead, it Just Smells Funny: Report from ad:tech New York

This past November, Associate Creative Director Alex Slotkin had the opportunity to visit New York City for the ad:tech conference, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. He was surrounded by people from lots of high-profile organizations, from Amazon, Google and McDonald’s to agencies like David & Goliath and Droga5 and even academics from Harvard and St. John’s. Needless to say, it was a knowledgeable crowd.

The event was billed as “how to innovate in the post-advertising era and move our industry forward.” But the burning question on his mind (and no doubt those of many other attendees) was more like: “What is happening to advertising, and what the heck are we supposed to do about it?” Two days and nineteen seminars later, Alex has some answers.


It’s not the end of advertising, it’s the end of interruption

“One thing every panelist and presenter seemed to agree on was that agencies and brands can no longer rely on getting in the way of what people want to see,” says Alex.

Technology and societal changes have radically increased consumers’ options and changed their expectations—especially when it comes to Gen Z. They want to be engaged, not interrupted, and they are way too savvy to be held captive to traditional marketing.

“Instead of interrupting someone’s day with a mass marketing message, we need to shift to giving people what they actually want,” says Alex.  “Think branded utility:  providing helpful tools to solve their real-world problems and improve their lives. Also think branded entertainment and experiences:  content they’ll actively seek out because it’s truly awesome, not something they have to endure to get to the good stuff.”

 A bit of downtime between panelists. A bit of downtime between panelists.


Stop thinking like a brand. Start thinking like a person

A word that came up again and again at the conference was authenticity. As Iwona Alter, CMO of Jack in the Box, said, we must “engage authentically [and] connect intimately.” This means moving from a transactional to an emotional mindset, and thinking of our audience not in terms of what they buy but what they believe in. It’s an area in which social media excels, making our messages feel less like marketing and more like a conversation between people.


Take a digital-first approach

Traditional agencies often treat digital as a second-class citizen, one expected to pick up on concepts created originally for TV and print. But more and more, consumers are making social media and digital outlets their primary source for entertainment and information, so we need to make it our primary vehicle for brands.

“By thinking digital-first, we can unlock innovative new ways to break through and connect, without being hamstrung by the constraints of traditional media,” says Alex.

A prime example presented at the conference was the Nissan Battle Test VR experience, a fully immersive virtual test drive of the Nissan Rogue across a planet-scape from Star Wars: Rogue One. Another was an Intel-sponsored staging of The Tempest with the Royal Shakespeare Company, featuring motion capture technology that allows actors to play virtual, holographic characters that are fully integrated with live performers. Neither experience could have happened if their respective brands hadn’t started with a digital mindset.


Be transparent

Another big word at the conference was transparency.

“In the digital/online age, we can’t hide the truth from consumers, so we must take the risk of being honest with them to create a sense of trust—flaws and all,” says Alex. “Transparency also needs to extend to our partnerships with clients, media partners and data providers. By moving away from a proprietary, walled-garden mentality and toward a spirit of collaboration, sharing, and honesty, we can all benefit.”


Be dynamic

These days, everything is becoming a video game. Audiences expect to be active participants, interacting with content instead of just consuming it. Meanwhile, Gen Z-ers have made the camera on their smartphone their new home screen, giving them the ability to create, remix and share at a moment’s notice. As such, we need to start focusing on user-created experiences instead of pre-scripted narratives. This means relinquishing control over our messages, and inviting users to join in and create with us, giving them the feeling that the brand is responding to them in real time.


Be culture-savvy

It’s our responsibility to be students of the zeitgeist and fluent in the cultural language, particularly when it comes to Gen Z. Going back to authenticity, it is not enough to merely name-check music, movies, TV shows, celebrity culture, and slang.

“We must develop a real, nuanced understanding of how they work and get involved with creators in deep, meaningful ways,” says Alex. “If we only have a surface understanding and don’t sweat the details, we risk doing more harm than good to our brands.”


 Image c/o Jack in the Box Image c/o Jack in the Box

A great example that cropped up at the conference was Jack in the Box’s Robot Delivery, which smartly tapped into the disruptive technology du jour of Uber and Doordash. Jack in the Box also found a way to reach ad-averse gamers by creating custom “Crave Vans mods,” which added branded skins to on-screen cars in a popular video game.


Get in early and stand out

As consumers become more informed, and as AI tech like Alexa starts to influence their buying decisions (or even chooses for them), brand loyalty continues to erode. A recent study from McKinsey found that 87% of consumers now shop around vs. sticking to brands they know, and 50% shift brands from purchase to purchase.

This underscores the importance of keeping our brands relevant.

“We must practice ‘pre-tail,’ or getting noticed early in the customer journey,” says Alex. “We can use data for a better understanding of our customers and where they look for ideas even before they are in purchase mode.”

And when we’re needed, we need to be present and stand out with smart messaging in the right places, while keeping a close eye on our online reputation.


Harness emerging tech tools and trends

As you would expect from a conference called ad:tech, new and emerging technologies were a major focus of discussion. Here are the ones that featured most prominently:

  • AI (artificial intelligence): The glut of data out there offers incredible opportunity—but it can also lead to cognitive overload. This is where AI shines, turning data into meaning more readily. Despite some of the fears around AI, it is most useful as an enhancement to human interaction rather than a replacement. We see this now with intelligent agents, such as online chatbots and Alexa, which answer questions and help customers make smart decisions in a more efficient way. But the future of this technology is in creating “artificial empathy” and a more “human-literate” experience. To stay in front of this trend, agencies need to start acting like “AI-gencies.” This means thinking in terms of non-linear, dynamic storytelling (or narratology), where copywriting gives way to character development and art direction becomes narrative design. AI can also help agencies rethink production, treating creative content as modular pieces that can be automatically combined on the fly to produce custom-tailored messages for specific audiences.
  • AR (augmented reality): The ability to create a data and/or graphical overlay over the real world using camera tracking and mobile and wearable devices is a trend that will continue to grow, especially with emerging standards like ARKit from Apple. This gives us an opportunity to create interactive, branded experiences that are deeply engaging and incredibly sharable. We see this now with AR games like Pokemon Go and the Animoji feature on the new iPhone X. Another great example at the conference was Nissan’s Diehard Fan campaign, allowing college football fans to apply virtual face-paint and create custom videos supporting their favorite team.
  • Blockchain: As the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Blockchain has become somewhat of a buzzword. But it is playing an increasingly important role in the world of digital marketing, given its ability to create a trusted relationship with consumers. By using a highly encrypted, peer-to-peer shared ledger system without gatekeepers, Blockchain helps users control and share their personal data with marketers in a trusted way. As brands and agencies depend more on rich data to tailor messages, technologies like Blockchain that encourage sharing will be vital. And because users have greater control over how their personal information is shared, we must offer content they truly value in exchange for their personal information and be transparent about it.
  • Podcasts: Unlike traditional terrestrial radio, podcasts provide a sense of intimacy and authenticity you can’t find in other media. As one panelist put it, podcasts deliver “a full-size experience on a mobile device.” By working with established podcasters, as well as creating our own original branded podcasts, we can build an ongoing relationship and sense of trust with niche audiences that represent the sweet spot for our brands.
  • Voice: With the rise of Alexa, Google Home and Siri, it’s clear that voice interfaces are one of the next frontiers for marketing. One panelist claimed that, by 2020, 70% of households will own a two-way audio device. This begs the question: What does our brand sound like? And how can we use this technology to create brand conversations with consumers? Because these interfaces are receiving constant updates and gaining new abilities, we need to start finding ways to be present on them. The best place to start is by focusing on what customers already want and need most from our brands, then figuring out how to convert that into a voice-activated request.


The bottom line

Frank Zappa said it best in his quote about the state of jazz music: “Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny.” Like jazz, the advertising business isn’t going anywhere. But it is changing, and it may even seem unrecognizable at times. If we have the bravery to adapt to the changes instead of hanging on to the past, we can be even better at reaching consumers.

But to get there, we must focus on being informative and entertaining instead of interruptive and annoying.

“We need to foster better collaboration between creative and technical experts and think tech first,” says Alex. “We need to shift our creative process from pre-scripted to hyper-personalized. We need to bring in people from lots of different disciplines and cultivate agency hybrids. And most of all, we must realize that by becoming fluent with the changes.”


Typographics Festival: An Art Director’s Experience

Art Director Carolyn Sexton recently had the opportunity to attend the Typographics design festival in New York City,  centered around contemporary typography. The midpoint of the festival is a 2-day conference that bridges together two weeks of workshops and tours. With a more specific audience and only being in its third year, all attendees were able to fit in the Great Hall at The Cooper Union. Although the physical environment was on a smaller scale compared to other conferences she’s attended, there was not a lack of energy, wisdom or inspiration. “The next two days were a whirlwind,” says Carolyn.  “I heard over 20 speakers from all over the world discussing topics on graphic design and type design. Each talk was only 30 minutes and you could tell that the presenters felt a little rushed, but I took away a lot in just half an hour.” Check out a few of Carolyn’s favorites from the panels below:  Whitney Museum collateral, c/o  Grafik  Whitney Museum collateral, c/o Grafik

“It’s not Helvetica, and other facts about designing for the Whitney”

by Hilary Greenbaum, Whitney Museum of American Art Hilary spoke about the rebranding of the Whitney Museum and how her small team of in-house designers has maintained and established the identity system through an array of marketing, print materials, digital media, exhibition graphics, and signage. The challenges are very similar to those Launch faces with long-standing client, Park Place Dealerships. Substitute museum exhibitions with luxury car manufacturers and dealerships, and you have the same concept of creating consistency across the brand. She talked about how to push your design within the “rules,” and how sometimes you have to be willing to break your own guidelines.  “Silence = Death” AIDs poster, created by Avram Finklestein, Brian Howard, Oliver Johnston, Charles Kreloff, Chris Lione, and Jorge Soccaras, c/o ACT UP

“Resist Typography”

by Marlene McCarty ­Marlene explored how typography is used in political and social activist movements. Decades ago, protest posters utilized great design and branding. They were clean, simple and had a sense of uniformity. This can be seen in the AIDS marches during the 1980s. However, the posters of more recent years have seen a shift away from branding because of the subliminal association with big business and advertising. Now more than ever we have the digital tools to create well-designed activist posters and signage, but we’re choosing to create something handmade. Just look at posters from the Women’s March.  The message was unified but was communicated a hundred different ways with a hundred different mediums. This desire for authenticity has bled into the advertising world, where brands want personal connection with their customers and don’t want to be perceived as too corporate.  Seattle Women's March,  c/o Edith B. and A Mighty Girl  Seattle Women’s March, c/o Edith B. and A Mighty Girl  Ken Barber leading the class Ken Barber leading the class

Spencerian Letter Workshop

by Ken Barber Following the conference, Carolyn took a 2-day workshop on Spencerian Letter with Ken Barber. “This was probably the highlight of my trip,” she says. “Leading up to the workshop, I was geeking out over the newly released ‘House Industries’ book that Ken co-authored. To say I had high expectations for the workshop would be an understatement, and Ken did not disappoint. He was extremely knowledgeable and encouraging. I learned a ton about this extravagant lettering style, as well as other tips and tricks I can apply to future projects.”  Some lettering examples Some lettering examples

Meet Our Summer Intern, Laurel Tauben

Please give a warm welcome to our summer graphic design intern, Laurel Tauben!  She’s a locally grown 21-year-old designer-in-training, an avid diver, conceptual thinker, and even cyborg. She loves dancing (especially couple’s dancing), and forcing her cat, Jelly, to spend time with her. Next year she’ll be a graduate of the University of North Texas’ Communication Design program and is eager to see how her life will change after graduation.  We asked her a few questions to get to know her a little better – take a look at her answers below! Q:  Werewolves or vampires? A:  Usually vampires. Werewolves are clique-y. Q:  There’s a zombie apocalypse. What do you grab? A:  My car keys. I’m going to Wal-Mart where there’s no windows, video monitoring, huge food supply, pharmacy, weapons, AND barricade materials. With a few extra people on board, you’ve got a micro-city. Q:  Favorite boy band? A:  Fall Out Boy Q:   If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be? A:  Bras. :’( Q:  If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc. were not an issue, what two foods would you feast on? A:  French bread & cream puffs. Q:  What has been the highlight of your experience at Launch so far? A:  Endless coffee and getting to know the Launch team. Everyone’s been so sweet!  Q:  What do you hope to learn in your time at Launch? A:  To list a few, I hope to become more confident in my ability to deliver what a client needs, streamline my process to work faster, strengthen my collaboration skills, and peek into the “real world” of design.  

2017 Launch Scholarship Awards Announced at UNT Communication Design Graduation

The 2017 Launch Scholarships were awarded at the UNT Communication Design graduation ceremony on Saturday. Based on a portfolio review, these scholarship awards of $1,000 each are given to the top portfolios for junior design and art direction majors. This year’s winners were Emma Pattison for graphic design and Kim Hanson for art direction. Both are being recognized for having achieved an outstanding body of creative work. Launch established the annual scholarship in 2007 to inspire students to creative excellence and make a positive impact on the caliber of graduates who will, in turn, positively impact our design and advertising community.  A big “congratulations” to this year’s recipients!

Launch Featured in the 2018 Graphis Poster Annual

Work for two of our clients was recently featured in the 2018 Graphis Poster Annual, including a poster series for the 2016-2017 Dallas Winds concert season and a poster series for Chapps Burgers rebranding.  Read on to learn more about the process behind each project. Chapps Burgers Chapps Burgers is a family owned and operated business with 7 restaurants in the Dallas area and a 34-year history of making big, great-tasting hamburgers. Our goal was to create an engaging, cohesive brand using in-store posters and other elements to attract new customers and ultimately franchise investors. The simple traits that made Chapps successful became our inspiration to create a brand that embodied their strong work ethic and passion for making delicious burgers. We started with a graphic look and feel we call, “Blue Collar Cool.” Classic and industrial in tone, the design direction takes its cues from an era of vintage craftsmen.  Check out the poster series here. Dallas Winds The Dallas Winds is one of the most accomplished wind bands in the world. Our assignment was to promote their 2016–2017 season and the unique programming for each individual concert. Because each Dallas Winds performance is an original masterpiece, we wanted to capture that energy and craftsmanship in ten original works of art. From chalk and cotton to rhinestones and tissue paper, we gave visual expression to their musical expression. Then we brought it to Dallas Winds fans and soon-to-be-fans with a season brochure, posters, digital animations and more.  To view all of the winning work for Dallas Winds, click here. 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.

Launch Agency Wins at 2017 Dallas ADDY Awards

The 2017 Dallas ADDY Awards winners are in, and this year Launch Agency took home two trophies at the Dallas ADDYs event, a place where advertising professionals gather to celebrate the best creative work of the year.  The competition was stiff, and the winning work included a Bronze in the Out-of-Home Single Unit category for a Chapps Burgers poster, as well as a Silver in the Direct Mail category for a Park Place Maserati brochure.    




 /* Style Definitions */
	{mso-style-name: David Wilgus, Creative Director Jose Canales, Designer Ryan Carroll, Writer Diane Duncan, Writer/CD Andy Post, Photographer The award-winning poster for Chapps Burgers stemmed from a larger rebranding campaign designed to embody the brand’s commitment to hard work and making great-tasting burgers.  Part of the inspiration for the brand’s “Blue Collar Cool” tone came from vintage poster art, which is what the team drew upon for the design of the “Lift With Your Knees” poster.  We can say the poster packs an—a-hem—meaty punch.  Ellen Giles, Senior Art Director  Alex Slotkin, Writer/CD  Jason Giles, Account Director Ellen Giles, Senior Art Director Alex Slotkin, Writer/CD Jason Giles, Account Director And now we pivot from burgers to luxury cars.  Park Place Maserati challenged us to connect the luxury car brand with a high-end audience, all on a modest budget.  Using consumer analytics, we targeted a small group of potential Maserati customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They are all about conspicuous consumption—they love to see and be seen—making Maserati the perfect brand for their lifestyle.  We created an oversized magazine-style mailer to show off the cars and stand out amongst a sea of junk mail. To see other outstanding Launch creative, visit our Work page.

Welcome Launch’s Latest Hires

The new year is already in full swing – projects are underway, invoices are being pulled, and we have not one, not two, but three new faces to welcome to the Launch family.

 First up is Alexa Perez, our new Project Manager.  Alexa comes to Dallas by way of San Antonio, where she was an Account Manager at Giles-Parscale, a local web design and marketing firm.  She’s a proud Bobcat (Texas State School of Journalism and Mass Communication), and “my favorite meal is breakfast. Breakfast, brunch, and brinner, please.”

IIf you were a toaster, what would you toast, and to what degree?

A blueberry frosted Poptart, and to the point right before it burns so it’s nice and gooey hot in the middle.

There’s a zombie apocalypse. What do you grab?

Hmm- well I have one of those flint & steel fire starters so that, jerky for sustenance, and of course my dog for moral support. He wouldn’t hunt or anything, he’s basically useless. See photo for proof:

Favorite boy band?

*NSYNC, of course.

If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?

Those tennis shoes with toes.

If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc. were not an issue, what two foods would you feast on?

Tacos with lots of salsa, and chocolate. (Can margaritas count as food?)

What has been the highlight of your experience at Launch so far?

The team! Everyone is so kind and willing to help, it’s awesome.

What do you hope to learn in your future at Launch?

I’m eager to further hone my project management and communication skills as Launch’s Project Manager. 🙂


Next up is Amy Woods, Account Supervisor.  A marketing professional with over 25 years of experience working at both advertising agencies and in the corporate world, Amy lives in Plano with her wonderful husband, 5 children, 3 cats…and lots of dishes.

If you were a toaster, what would you toast, and to what degree?

Toasty warm. never burnt, multi-grain bread. Sublime.

There’s a zombie apocalypse. What do you grab?

My family, running shoes, and a fearless friend with a big gun.

Favorite boy band?

Any boy band no longer performing.

If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?

Squatty Potty.  We received one as a gag gift for Christmas. Will give away to the lowest bidder!

If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc. were not an issue, what two foods would you feast on?

Since a martini is not technically food, I vote for hot pizza from Pie 314 or a burger from Mooyah.

What has been the highlight of your experience at Launch so far?

Working with super talented and nice folks.  Also, the office music is fantastic!

What do you hope to learn in your future at Launch?

I am always learning.


And last but certainly not least, meet Zach Deutsch, Account Executive.  Zach was born and raised in Houston, TX and graduated from Texas A&M in May 2012. After graduation, he moved back to Houston, where he started his career at a digital marketing firm until moving to Dallas in October and joining the Launch Team. In his free time he enjoys traveling, trying new cuisines and exploring his new home city.

If you were a toaster, what would you toast, and to what degree?

Bagels – level 3 setting

There’s a zombie apocalypse. What do you grab?


Favorite boy band?

Backstreet Boys

If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?

Those shoes with built-in roller skates

If fat, calories, cholesterol, etc. were not an issue, what two foods would you feast on?

Canes and red velvet cupcakes

What has been the highlight of your experience at Launch so far?

Getting to help with the Panamera event [for Park Place Dealerships]. It’s been a great experience to be a part of the process and see it come to fruition at the event.

What do you hope to learn in your future at Launch?

I hope to learn how to continue to be at the forefront of the marketing industry and to learn to successfully coordinate all the parts that go into great brand campaigns.


10-year anniversary of Launch Scholarship awards announced at UNT Graduation

The 2016 Launch Scholarships were awarded at the UNT Communication Design graduation ceremony in May. This is the 10th year that Dallas advertising agency Launch has awarded $1,000 scholarships to the top junior design and art direction portfolios. This year’s winners were Anna Price for graphic design and Nicholas Begley for art direction. Associate Dean Eric Ligon said, “The Communication Design Program in the College of Visual Arts and Design has greatly appreciated the ongoing support of the Launch Agency these past ten years. The Launch Awards have provided not only significant financial support to 20 students over the years but, in the process, great encouragement that makes these young designers even hungrier to achieve success.” Launch Scholarship winners Anna Price and Nic Begley

Launch Participates in SMU EMBA Entrepreneur Coaching

We were honored to once again work with John Terry’s Southern Methodist University Executive MBA Entrepreneur class to help his students refine their marketing plans and business concepts. The day began with a marketing lecture on launching brands from Launch principals Diane Duncan and David Wilgus, followed by breakout sessions with SMU student teams. Each team was paired with a coach from Launch Agency who had 20 minutes to review their idea and provide feedback. Launch coaches included Launch Principal Michael Boone, Digital Director Alexandra Watson, Account Director Jason Giles, and Associate Creative Director Alex Slotkin. “Every year students tell me the one-on-one concept feedback is one of their favorite parts of the course,” said John. “There’s nothing more valuable than having professionals who live and breathe brand launches sit with our students and talk through their ideas to help guide them to success.” Started in 1976, The SMU Cox Executive MBA Program was recently ranked #3 in the world by Bloomberg Businessweek. The program combines global study, centers of excellence, and high-quality faculty to provide a collaborative experience that meets the needs of executives.