Rock Candy Media bills itself as the “Anti-Template” marketing firm, advertising agency, and graphic design firm in Austin. To most prospective clients, and anyone else who hears it, that probably sounds like an enticing, or good (or at least perfectly acceptable) tagline for a creative agency. It sounds like a pitch. An advertisement. (Which, technically, it is.) But maybe to some “The Anti-Template” still sounds like what an advertising agency might write about… an advertising agency. One that wanted to sound edgy. Maybe it sounds like just a tagline.
Anti-Template isn’t Rock Candy Media’s Avril Lavigne-esque, corporate attempt to sound punk rock. It’s an extremely — often times hilariously — accurate description of how we do our work and of our company culture in general.
That all comes from our CEO and founder, Annie Liao Jones.
When we tell people about her, or, hell, when people just hear about her, they don’t believe she exists. That’s because when accurately describing Annie, “anti-template” is actually an understatement. The same way it’s an understatement to describe a rocket fueled by the energy of an exploding star, and meth, as “anti-gravity.”
Annie’s hypercompetence as a marketer and a business owner, and her awareness of it, combined with all the fun eccentricities that come with her personality because she’s a creative at heart, have afforded her the ability to fully embrace who she is and express it with a legitimately, enjoyably hilarious level of fearlessness.
Or to put it more succinctly: she’s a ridiculous human being. You sometimes aren’t sure if she’s a genius or a f*cking lunatic. Also she’s an incredible boss.
Hear it from the other Rock Candy Media creatives.
There was an entire year where Annie only consumed Butterfinger Bites and mini cans of Coke. Those are delicious foods to be sure, but, as part of a sole diet, I don’t think she should technically be alive right now. The only way for me to justify this in my head is to conclude she is an android that runs on some kind of sugar-derived ethanol fuel or she is part of the illuminati and is in fact a lizard person.
Annie should probably be medicated for ADD, ADHD, and anything else you can think of, but it’s in our best interest that she stays exactly the way she is now. She is incredibly straightforward and has a way with people that always impresses me. Just make sure your honest and straightforward right back or you’ll have to be careful of the door hitting your ass on the way out.
When Annie needs a laugh, she’ll ask one of us to pretend to be her and she films it. We reenact moments when she’s on her phone or talking in a meeting. It is one of the funniest things! It’s things like that, her bluntness that makes people wonder, is she real? My mom saw one of my videos and she was amazed on how ridiculous we are, but hey, that’s working at Rock Candy Media. You’ll never know what to expect from Annie, whether it be a joke about my butthole or a little Venmo.
A whirlwind of anxiety and drive and savagery and opinions and love with a voice that carries throughout the land.
Non-work related creative outlets are key to Annie’s team’s success. She is relentless about getting at least a few rounds of “would you rather?” in each week. She has a theory – the participant will always choose the option that hinders their ability to get laid the least. I think she’s on to something there…
She’s not afraid to set ambitious goals and pursue them 100%. She’ll sprint, jog or crawl, but one way or another she’s going to reach the finish line that she sets for herself and her clients.
The first week at Rock Candy Media can feel like a shell shock with her sailor mouth, dark-humored card games & unconventional style of showing love. Annie is candidly herself & isn’t changing anytime soon. You get no bullshit with this one, she tells it how it is & is as transparent as it comes and that’s all part of her distinct charm.
I’ll just add, it’s nice to work at a creative agency that’s run by a creative personality. One who values good ideas. Who enjoys and celebrates the absurd. Not to mention someone who will say f*cked up sh*t, which I’m pretty sure is just to see if you’re paying attention, and also to amuse herself. I like that. Keeps the day interesting.
I’ll take her and that over a soulless corporate ad agency masquerading as unique with “funky” art on the walls and a ping pong table in the break room any day.
(By the way, Annie doesn’t know we wrote this.)