The Brokenness of Self-Glorification in Advertising

Brad Neathery is the founder of Right Brain Factory, a creative agency that focuses on helping organizations and people tell their stories in compelling ways through media. Brad lives in Coppell, Texas, with his wife and son.


How do you describe your work?

We’re a creative agency focused on helping people tell their stories. What this looks like on a daily basis varies. I tend to book meetings in the morning since I’m most creative in the morning. Throughout the day, I might be creating a landing page, directing a photo shoot, or meeting a client. Each day offers new opportunities to explore new brands and new people.

As an image-bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?

All of us, including brands, have stories. In fact, the stories of brands are some of our most powerful cultural voices, since so much money is put into sharing them. Yet they aren’t the ultimate story.

My mission is to get my clients’ stories to align with the ultimate story—that is, the gospel. I want to help our brands tell stories inside of God’s big story so that, when you experience them, something inside of you says “That’s it!”—even if you’re not a Christian—since you see something honest and beautiful in the message.

How does that work in practice?

I’ll tell you a story. A friend came to me with an idea for a hunting and firearm store. He wanted to highlight the lifestyle and adventure of the modern hunter. I loved the idea, so we created a new media channel—an Instagram platform called Modern Huntsman—and began telling the story. It blew up.

I think it’s successful because it’s honest. It stands in stark contrast to the typical caricature of hunters in the media. Also, it focuses on inspiration, exploration, and creativity—all qualities that we, as God’s image-bearers and culture-makers, possess.

How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?

Most brands say “Come to me,” “Buy from me,” or, “Look at how great I am.” This is the brokenness of self-glorification. Sadly, this message is quite effective. We fight to survive and desperately want to serve and exalt ourselves.

But we can bring healing to this industry if we change the conversation to how we can serve others and add value. When brands communicate others-focused stories, it can captivate people and glorify God.

Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?

Each of us has the opportunity to love and serve people no matter what we’re doing. Service isn’t situational; it’s about willingness. I’m blessed to serve people—from real estate agents to construction companies to clothing brands—by helping them get their message out. We’re honored to give them voices.


Editors’ note: The weekly TGCvocations column asks practitioners about their jobs and how they integrate their faith and work. Interviews are edited and condensed.

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