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Mar 18, 2019    Burn Book

Advertising Bondage


Into Getting Whipped

Unless you’re the kind of person who is into whips, chains, and handcuffs, chances are you’re not a huge fan of advertising and advertisements. They’re painful. Either because of how poorly executed and cringey they are, or because of how annoying they are.

Discounts for hair extensions popping up while you’re trying to read TMZ (Well now we know what Max is searching). Drawn out promotions for “local singles” on the pre-rolls before a porno (Again, Max is predictable). And the constant slew of emails for hardware tools that double as eating utensils (Fact: any hardware tool can double as a utensil if you try hard enough). No one likes being blatantly sold to.

But are there any instances where advertising can be a helpful tool rather than an intrusive presence? And is it possible to make advertisements enjoyable?

Advertising Is Your Friend

As a brand strategy consultant for a variety of clients in different industries, we’ll be the first to tell you that advertising exists literally everywhere. Even in the unlikely places where things aren’t even getting sold for money. You have political advertising. Non-profits. And the several other interest based-organizations who employ some type of advertising or marketing technique.

What this also means is advertising exists, and is extremely present, in the healthcare sector. Our Austin branding agency, Rock Candy Media, specializes in healthcare marketing, done in a way where you’ll dominate just by focusing on brand positioning and brand authority. In fact, when we started in 2009, it was with a roster of medical device companies specializing in the spine and knee. Today, we are proud to have served some of the top medical professionals who own private practices across the board. But we’re even more proud of all the patients we were able to help along the way.

We don’t look at medical marketing as an advertising specification as much as we look at it as the amplification of crucial information to maintain your health. Take our recent campaign for the Austin Urology Institute surrounding prostate cancer for example. To communicate the importance of getting your prostate examined, we highlighted the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer. A scary size, but factual and crucial to share with AUI’s audience.

It was our intention as a brand strategy consultant to exemplify the necessity of getting your prostate examined while also touting leading urologist, Dr. Shaw, and his incredible Da Vinci Robotics capabilities to those looking for a sure-fire way to becoming cancer free. Why? Because we truly think Dr. Shaw is the best, and we think a cancer-free America is a better America.

But can digital advertising be beneficial outside of healthcare and medical marketing as well?

Being Shown What We Like

As advertising technology becomes more and more sophisticated, the ways in which digital marketing agencies target consumers will become more advanced. What this means is we will start being shown products and promotions that are more aligned with our interests and what we like.

And as much as it sucks to be watched like this and have our information stored, don’t we want to find or be shown things that we like? And even more importantly, don’t we want to spend as little effort on finding those things as possible? Well, advertising methods do just that. They show you your favorite line of mascara. Inform you of fleshlight flash sales. And let you know of events you might be interested in.

Personally, I really appreciate when Facebook shows me ads for upcoming concerts I might be interested in. Their adtech knows what kind of music I like from past events I’ve clicked attending for and my interests. And so it shows me when other shows and artists I might like are coming to town. So besides the fact that I spend a good chunk of my paycheck on concerts (not sorry), this is one of the reasons why I appreciate not only advertising, but advertising done right.

We now know that branding agencies and digital marketing agencies aren’t evil witch-doctors using advertising to secretly take money from our wallets. But does that mean advertising can also be enjoyable? Is it possible that advertising could be perceived as an artform?

We’re Called Creatives For a Reason

A majority of the creatives who work for brand strategy consultants and digital marketing agencies, from designers to writers, will be the first to tell you that what they do is art. Not in a cocky and all-important way, but because it literally is. One look at the animations and graphics we do for clients –  as part of our famous social media marketing campaigns – and on the several platforms we use, and you’d agree.

But all art isn’t enjoyable, which means all advertising isn’t enjoyable. As concise observers of the industry around us, we are always on the lookout for both good and bad work. And sometimes, the painfully cringey.


Scott Elder of Dream Cars, now known as Elder Cars, is notorious for these ridiculously cheesy commercials. They have everything a commercial prepped to bomb could need – a rhymey sales pitch, a ripoff of a mainstream movie, and a middle-aged man in a purple onesie. But while most people would first think of this 30-second spot as a bust, we have to disagree.

What this commercial does right, is making sure they are going to be memorable. Which is one of the most important results you could ask for in a successful ad. And this one does it right. While we don’t particularly enjoy these advertisements, we sure aren’t going to forget them.

The fact of the matter is there are endless ways to make “good advertising.” It just takes multiple perspectives, a powerful drive, and some straight up guts. Three qualities our Austin brand strategy consultancy, Rock Candy Media, strives for in our own work day-in and day-out.

Are you interested in what the anti-template has to offer? We might not have old men in onesies, but one look at the work we show you and we promise you won’t be forgetting us anytime soon.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control