The holidays are a wonderful time to reminisce and reflect on the past year. And looking back on 2023, AI seemed to be the only thing anyone could talk about. So it came as no surprise when agencies around the globe found ways to incorporate AI into their holiday messages.
But Launch isn’t like other agencies. We don’t merely keep up with the trends, as is so common in our industry. We look beyond at what lies ahead. So, while everyone else was scrambling to hop on the AI bandwagon, we were developing something even better. A special technology that has the power to improve every aspect of our lives, especially the holidays. And we can’t wait to share it with you.
Stars goalie, Jake Oettinger invites you to get motivated with Motivotter.
We recently teamed up with Baylor Scott & White Health and the Dallas Stars to create an AR experience leveraging one of the biggest “stars” of the Stars, Jake Oettinger. As the team’s goalie, Oettinger always stays focused, motivated and determined, which makes him the perfect voice to inspire fans along their health journey.
Working with Dallas AR and VR experts, Groove Jones, we developed a look-alike Oettinger in the form of a mini-AR Jake. Only it isn’t actually Jake: It’s his inner voice which we named Motivotter, a combination of his nickname “Otter” and “motivation.” The experience allows users to place Motivotter on any surface, next to anything they’ve achieved or want to achieve. Like eating healthier, working out more, walking their dog—you name it, Motivotter is there celebrating your victories with cheers, back flips and a variety and dance moves.
To launch the experience, we partnered with award-winning director, John Suits to create a teaser-like trailer introducing Motivotter to fans. The film, along with numerous digital and OOH executions, invites users to “Unleash Motivotter” through Instagram or TikTok. All executions drive to motivotter.com.
Once you tap any social icon, the Motivotter filter opens and is ready to play.
Social posts encourage fans to share their favorite Motivotter moments.
In a short time, Stars fans have already adopted Motivotter as one of their own.
As the official healthcare partner of the Dallas Stars, Baylor Scott & White Health is proud to leverage this partnership to inspire fans around Dallas to achieve their goals – big or small.
Behind the scenes
To create Motivotter, Groove Jones scanned Oettinger in their XR Avatar Scanner powered by 50 4K cameras that capture HDR (high dynamic range – for color and depth) using multiple focal lengths—instantly capturing both the geometry and texture of the person standing inside. This, in turn, allowed us to make a lifelike mini-AR version of Jake.
3D Team: Jeannot Landry, Elliot Johnson, Chris Fisher, Groove Jones
Animation: David Aguilar, Groove Jones
Graphic Design: Bip, Groove Jones
Production VP: Monte Masters, Groove Jones
Audio: Andrew Carman, Groove Jones
Production Coordinator: Khoi Tran, Groove Jones
Director of Creative: Ben Day, Baylor Scott & White Health
Brand Manager/Sports Sponsorships/Digital: Tyson Stuart, Baylor Scott & White Health
Director of Consumer Marketing/Brand Strategy & Planning: Kristn Owens, Baylor Scott & White Health
Brand Planning & Strategy: Robin Kraase, Baylor Scott & White Health
Marketing Producer Creative & Brand Management: Megan Doss, Baylor Scott & White Health
Senior PR Marketing Consultant: Eric Keese, Baylor Scott & White Health
INTERNS SUM UP THEIR SUMMER
We believe in nurturing and inspiring the next generation of industry talent. That’s why every year, Launch seeks out the most promising advertising students and gives them a chance to put what they’re learning in the classroom into practice. So as summer draws to a close, we’re proud to recognize this year’s talented trio of interns. Art director/designer interns Bryce Johnson and Natalie Castillo and account service intern Lucy Galloway all made major contributions and came away with plenty of valuable experience. We asked them to share some of their highlights.
How did you find out about the Launch internship?
Bryce: Launch funds an art director scholarship for my school UNT. I was the winner selected, and it led to an intern position for the summer.
Lucy: I was browsing advertising agencies in Dallas and came across Launch and the internship position. I applied and, the next day, got a message that two Launchers were visiting UT for creative week. I loved talking to them, and knew that this would be a great experience and a great place to work. The rest is history.
Was agency life what you expected?
Natalie: Working at a smaller agency, I feel like things are a bit more personal. Whether it’s happy hour on Thursdays or hearing jokes randomly through the week, I don’t think I would have had quite the same experience at a bigger agency.
Lucy: Launch was ten times better than what I had expected out of agency life and what I have experienced in the past. It is such a creative and collaborative environment and I think that’s a main factor in producing great work.
What was your favorite project you worked on this summer?
Natalie: I really enjoyed the Rise School Round-Up poster and the agency social templates project.
Bryce: The Dallas Cowboys activation for Baylor Scott & White Health was a fun project where I was waaaaay out of my element.
How would you describe your daily routine?
Natalie: Since things were always changing or different assignments were coming up, I don’t think I had the exact same day twice, but I preferred it like that. There was always something new to do, so I was never bored.
Lucy: Wake up, walk to work (I live two blocks away), attend a few client calls in the morning, eat lunch, participate in internal reviews, work on our social platforms, update statuses, look for Wolfie (a wolf man action figure everyone takes turns hiding somewhere in the agency) and walk home!
What was your funniest memory?
Bryce: When I was spitballing with my partner in crime, Nat. I refuse to give our account director, Jason, any credit because his jokes are terrible, but our copywriter, Isaac, coming in with the rimshots always got a laugh out of me.
Lucy: There is always so much fun to be had in this office: Hawaiian shirt Thursdays, happy hours in the office on the balcony, going to Electric Shuffle, doing headstands for no reason, repotting the office plant. But I think my favorite is when they let me think (only for a few minutes) that I was being fired from being an intern. It was all in good fun and, needless to say, it ended happily with me being over the moon to become a full-time Launcher!
What advice would you give a future intern?
Natalie: Don’t beat yourself up. Being able to witness people’s out-of-the-box ideas would kind of discourage me, but I would remind myself that one day I could be on their level. It just takes experience to learn the ropes on how to come up with great ideas.
Lucy: If you are open to working and learning, Launch will give you all the tools you need to be a part of the team and work with clients on actual projects. I think this sets Launch’s internship apart from a lot of others. They understand that busy-work/made-up projects and assignments don’t really help anyone grow.
What was the biggest takeaway from your internship?
Natalie: One, go out to see work and expand your thinking. Two, enjoy your time. The people here are nice with great ideas, so LEARN from them.
Bryce: Great vibes, free food and too many dad jokes.
FUELING GROWTH: LAUNCH ADDS CREW TO LEADERSHIP TEAM
Award-winning brand strategy and creative agency builds on momentum, promotes three to principal.
Two decades ago, partners Diane Seimetz Duncan, David Wilgus and Michael Boone set out on a mission: deploy their years of marketing experience working on high-profile national and international clients to help new brands successfully achieve lift off, and guide mature brands back to the success they once enjoyed. They named the business Launch because it perfectly fit what they wanted to build, a creative company able to give innovative businesses the strategic thinking and creative firepower to launch or relaunch successfully.
And soon after its own launch, the burgeoning agency had built a star-studded roster of dotcoms and startups, including Match.com, Hotels.com and Paris Las Vegas; as well as high-profile relaunches – among them restaurateur Phil Romano’s eatZi’s Market & Bakery, and retail giant Sam’s Club.
Today, Duncan, Wilgus and Boone are making room at the helm for three new principals: Group Creative Director April Steinbach, Account Director Jason Giles, and agency Controller Ray Ives.
Left to Right: Ray Ives, April Steinbach, Jason Giles
“We have always believed – and reinforced to clients – that launching is not just for startups. It’s a mindset. Something you do every day, evolving and innovating your way to the top,” said Diane Seimetz Duncan, Principal and Creative Director for Launch. “Expanding our leadership capabilities with key talent like April, Jason and Ray is putting that deeply held belief into practice in our own business.”
April Steinbach is on her second tour as a Launcher, starting in 2004 as senior copywriter and returning in 2018 as Group Creative Director. She brings with her extensive digital and mass media experience from BBDO/Organic and TM Advertising, leading campaigns for American Airlines, AT&T, Bausch + Lomb, Community Coffee among others, and earning recognition from Communication Arts, Graphis, The New York Times, Muse by Clio and the American Advertising Federation. April currently heads creative efforts for Baylor Scott & White Health along with new business initiatives.
Jason Giles, Launch employee #2, has been with the agency since the doors opened over 19 years ago. Coming to the shop with a strong background in retail, service businesses and automotive, Jason was key in helping longest-standing client, Park Place Dealerships, grow to a more than $2 billion luxury brand powerhouse. He has also been instrumental in new business, and has led strategy and growth efforts for Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas, since the client joined the roster in 2017.
As the newest addition to the senior leadership team, Controller Ray Ives, lends nearly 30 years’ experience to the agency’s financial and business operations. The USC grad spent more than 17 years at San Antonio-based Bromley and Associates, where he served as Finance Director and Chief Financial Officer during his tenure. Prior to that, he was Senior Financial Analyst at DMB&B, and most recently at Publicis Groupe’s Spark Foundry, NYC, where he was SVP Finance Director.
“We feel very fortunate to have the caliber of talent, integrity, loyalty and work ethic we have in April, Jason and Ray,” said Michael Boone, Principal and Account Director for Launch. “Each has already earned the respect and trust from peers, partners and clients. With the promotion to principal, we are just formalizing the role, and look forward to leading alongside them in the years ahead.”
Holiday Ads: The More the Merrier
Now that we’re a few weeks into the new year, it’s safe to say that this past holiday season was unlike any other (perhaps maybe last year’s). But at Launch, we used that time to work together to create a very special holiday card to share with our friends, families, and clients.
We had a blast making the video, but the best part was knowing we were able to bring a smile or a chuckle to people who needed it. If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely check it out. And if you have seen it, feel free to watch it a second time!
As we were creating our own holiday card, we couldn’t help but reminisce about our favorite holiday ads that have stuck with us over the years. The ones that made us laugh and cry and that are packed with nostalgia. So, we asked the Launchers to share their favorites, and here are some of their top picks. Do you recognize any of these classics?
Man on The Moon (John Lewis 2015)
“All the John Lewis Xmas spots are great, but this one in particular strikes an emotional chord.” -Alex Slotkin
Snow People (Tim Hortons 2020)
“This one I saw earlier this year is my new favorite.” -Alexa Pérez
The Long Wait (John Lewis 2011)
“Best Christmas ad of all time. No one can convince me otherwise.” -Brian Dedering
Christmas Bells (Hershey’s 1989)
“I still love the Hershey’s Kiss ad. So simple but such a classic.” -Richard Wezensky
Time to Come Home (Edeka 2015)
“I love this one.” -Megan Robertson
Melting Snowman (Campbell’s Soup 1993)
“Now I want soup.” -Andrew Reimherr
Believe in the Wonder of Giving (Macy’s 2018)
“Hands down favorite holiday commercial ad.” -Alicia Douglas