What Motivates You?
I’ve always been fascinated by what motivates people to wake up in the morning.
Some people want a job and security.
Some people want to do what they are passionate about.
Some people want a job to make them look good.
Some people want a job with high pay.
Some people want a job to just pay the bills.
This perspective is key in marketing and advertising. If you identify the “why” it gives you the “how.” You can’t truly execute without the X Factor, as I call it. It’s not something you can easily explain to someone in terms of how it sets Rock Candy Media apart. Just like how you can’t give a book to someone to make them a good salesperson, you can’t give someone a book to make them a good strategist. It’s something psychological, something innate, and it requires curiosity.
I get my motivation from people who tell me I can’t do something. Every time someone does I want to thank them for my success a few years later. I vividly remember what my boss from my first “grown up, out-of-college” job said to me after I put in my two weeks’ notice. He said, “You realize you’re just a journalism major right? You won’t make more money going somewhere else.” I remember a theater teacher in elementary school telling me I’d never stand out because I was short. I remember another agency owner telling me I was only successful because I was an “attractive woman.”
I wrote my former boss, from my first “grown-up” job, a thank you letter for helping me sell two million dollars in commercial printing just two years later. When I started Rock Candy Media, I knew I had to create work that was original and engaging in a way that made people want to buy. I don’t see how you can run an agency without that innate “thing” all good, honest, and authentic salespeople share. It would never be about collecting passive views and clicks and presenting that to my client like it was somehow a useful result. It’s always been crazy to me how common it is for people in a creative industry like ours to be so utterly unoriginal. So when our creative director coined us “The Anti-Template” nothing felt more authentic.
We push our clients to be vulnerable, so they too can go against the grain. Here are some of my favorite campaigns we’ve done as “The Anti-Template” advertising agency. Campaigns that have changed people’s minds about what they consider “innovative” or “creative” to be/
Austin Urology Institute
Every agency strives to pitch a marketing campaign that might be different to their client, and have their client give them the green light. We handled the pitch to The Long Center and made it a win-win for both parties. Every men’s and women’s restroom stall was branded with classy, framed urological health messages.
The restroom ads for the Austin Urology Institute at The Long Center did just that – SXSW visitors and other agency leaders started a trend by taking pictures and tweeting about them. When the campaign is good enough to make someone stop and take photos in the bathroom, you know it’s been done right.
Before SXSW, signs were already being swiped from the stalls. Locals were also taking pictures to share on social media. However, we suspect some Austin visitors may have wanted an unorthodox souvenir.
Phoenix Construction is the best industrial builder in Texas. They build metal buildings for oil and gas facilities (among other things) faster and better than anyone in the state, and they know it. They have a “Damn I’m good” vibe. So obviously just saying “We’re better and faster” would come off as even lamer than it normally would. That’s why we came up with the “We Don’t Do RFPs” messaging. Phoenix is too good and fast and busy to negotiate. You want the job done, call Phoenix. Do you want to piddle around? There are plenty of losers whose time you can go waste.
Kirk Root Valentine’s Day Campaign
Kirk Root Designs has been making badass custom jewelry for nearly 30 years. This means they’ve also had to put up with 30 years of corny hearts and Cupids every February. Valentine’s Day may have moved units before the sock hop in the 50s, but the modern woman doesn’t need anyone to buy her something nice. This Valentine’s Day, we spoke to the segment of female buyers normally ignored with our Anti-Valentine’s Day campaign.
Anti-Valentine’s Day isn’t about flowers or hearts or couples kissing, it’s about rocks and the women who buy them. Our social campaign targeted independent women in Austin. Instead of making them dread this day, we reminded them that they have the power to pick and buy what they want. To sweeten the deal, we combined the offer with once-a-year-discounts by running a targeted ad campaign on social channels. Kirk Root cleared out their old inventory, Austin women felt empowered, and we took down an emotionally manipulative holiday.
We Have Your Back
I wish I could say thank you to anyone who told me, “You can’t” or “You won’t be able to.” I want to thank them for giving me the drive I needed to prove them wrong. In proving them wrong I’ve become stronger and more confident. Because of these people in life that had a position of power, I realized not only was I good at business development, but I could take the chance to combine it with creative and start a different type of agency – one that focused on a business’ sales cycle.
The fact that a client deemed us his “creative salesforce” made me so proud. I kept the tagline because it’s true and is the X Factor at Rock Candy Media.