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
Meet the bosses that give Launch its boost.
It’s 2021, and Launch has made its way into Uptown, nestled in an office building overlooking the bustling shops and restaurants below. It outgrew its location in Carrollton, TX, and has found a new home in the heart of Dallas. Years of expertise, successful campaigns, and busy days have molded the agency into what it is now.
National Boss’s Day is coming up this weekend, and we figured there was no better time to dig into Launch’s history and learn more about the people who created it. We can trace our culture, workflow, and success back to the founding Launchers and principals – Diane Seimetz, David Wilgus, and Michael Boone.
Prior to Launch’s formation, these three were off on their own, making a name for themselves in the ad industry.
Diane was working on brands such as Frito-Lay, American Airlines, and Match.com. Dave worked at TracyLocke, where he met Diane. He completed work for Bank of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, as well as many others. Michael, who previously worked at TracyLocke, Puskar Gibbon Chapin, and The Maxfield Group, came into the picture once Dave and Diane moved to Temerlin McClain, and the rest is history!
They formed Launch in 2000 within Temerlin McClain, and GroceryWorks was their very first client.
These OG Launchers gave some insights into their passion and the work they do:
What was your mission when first starting Launch?
“We wanted to take our experience working on big brands at large advertising agencies and apply it to launching startups and relaunching brands that needed help gaining momentum. In 2003, we left the world of big agencies and holding companies to start our own ‘startup’ and reshape what an ad agency looks like. We adopted the characteristics of the startups we were working with – lean, scrappy, creative innovators.”
What’s a source of inspiration for you?
“Our local arts community helps feed my creative spirit. Austin seems to always get the center stage, but Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Denton offer a wealth of talented artists, musicians, photographers and filmmakers.”
At the agency, what is one major thing that has changed over the years?
“Embracing technology and leveraging consumer insights resources to help level the playing field for our clients and the agency. We’ve been using Slack, for example, since 2015 – less than two years after it launched. We also invest in several enterprise-caliber research tools to help understand our clients’ customers better and inform the work.”
What’s a source of inspiration for you?
“People-watching 😊 I love to observe how consumers think, shop, express themselves – it’s a wellspring of great ideas. I also like to immerse myself in creativity in many forms, whether it’s fine art, podcasts, crafting, music. The more diverse, the better.”
What do you think is the biggest contributor to your or the team’s success?
“For Launch, it’s been a three-pronged approach. Start with talented professionals passionate about doing a good job, infuse a collaborative and creative culture, and finish with trusting clients.”
What’s a source of inspiration for you?
“I’ve always loved advertising. As a kid, I was impressed by unique, compelling ads and almost equally fascinated by terrible ones (what was that?). I first learned of ad agencies – and that they could be a career choice – from watching the old Bewitched TV show. In fact, I referenced that when I got my first agency job. I’m not sure whether they hired me in spite of that comment or partly because of it!”
When starting the agency, Michael mentions his desire to “create great work […] and have fun doing it without layers and bureaucracy to muddle the message.” This is the reason there is an air about Launch that asks people to notice it – to ask why it stands out. It’s more than an agency. To Diane, this is due to the “special culture of people who genuinely care about our clients and each other.” Because of this, the agency and those within it have made a name for themselves in this big Texas city. “The strong entrepreneurial spirit and business culture of Dallas is a perfect fit for Launch and it’s at the heart of who we are,” Dave writes.
These specific characteristics and elements have come together to forge a small-sized yet mighty advertising agency with equally tough team members.
Screen Time with a Launcher
Ad agencies can be quite the production. Good thing our office manager knows what it’s like to star in a play.
Alicia Douglas is the Clark Kent of Launch Agency. By day, she keeps our office in check as our office manager. After work hours, she co-owns a production company with her sister specializing in photography and film. A true quadruple threat, she’s an actress, producer, director and Launcher.
How did a musical theater major find herself in the ad industry? We asked Alicia to share some of her story.
What inspired you and your sister to start Paris Marie Productions?
What inspired us to start Paris Marie Productions was storytelling. We wanted to help uplift voices of women of color and those stories that needed to be heard about not just their struggles but also their victories. Unfortunately, there aren’t many black women in the industry that are behind the cameras, so placing myself and my sister there, we are pushing to be the change we want to see. Representation is important!
What drew you to advertising?
I was drawn to the creativity and influence it could have on people’s lives in a very positive way. Advertising to me is looking at people and understanding how art as a medium can reach out to them and use it to promote our client’s products to the best of our abilities. It is a blending of art and business that I find that unique and amazing!
How do you think your creative role outside of work influences your job at Launch?
I think it helps me appreciate this company more as a creative outlet itself for others and myself. Not many people get the opportunity to work for a job that lets you creatively express yourself in meaningful ways, and having my own production company has let me express myself how I want to, and so I know that Launch Agency is allowing me the same freedom, even in my role as office manager.
Alternatively, how has working at Launch influenced your work with Paris Marie?
I have been able to see the brilliant minds of my coworkers and how they demonstrate their styles and creativity, allowing me to evolve my own style and pick up on techniques and skills I would have otherwise not been able to learn. It truly is wonderful that I can coalesce with the art and design of my colleagues to elevate ourselves and our creative minds!
What’s next for Paris Marie?Anything exciting on the horizon that we should keep an eye out for?
We have a lot of projects coming down the pipeline! We not only have photoshoots and films scheduled to be shot for our clients, but we are also ramping up production on a project centered around telling our own stories and the stories of those that have had similar issues. We will also be producing another photo series that will focus on the beauty of black men along with some short films coming your way. So please keep an eye out for those!