On any given day, most of Philadelphia is rightfully covering their heads. This time of year the vast majority are wearing an Eagles knit cap, some are wearing a Flyers ball cap, and a few diehard hopefuls have a Phillies cap pointed toward next season. But only one of the city's 1.6 million population is wearing a cowboy hat.
Say howdy to Jason Brantly.
And welcome to the thinking within the mind, beneath the hat. Appropriately enough, Jason is concentrating on launching the new Philadelphia office of the New Jersey-based advertising agency Masterminds. Haven't heard of them? Broaden your thinking on what you know about East Coast agencies that aren't on Madison Avenue. They're hotter than a two-dollar whore on the 4th of July, with a new look, new business, some new guns, and a second office.
Jason has been in the business for 20 plus years. Masterminds has been around for about 25. The two saddled up in May 2012. He's worked for JWT, Leo Burnett's Moroch & Associates, Young & Rubicam's Sicola Martin, and freelanced for a select number of agencies from Portland to Miami. Masterminds is a 50-person agency of brand intelligence with reverence and respect for those who create simple, idea-based marketing, and clients who demand simple common-sense campaigns regardless of the medium.
BTW, if you've read this far, and haven't guessed, but are eager for confirmation, yes JB hails from the Lone Star State. Don't let the Texas roots fool you. Jason's work has received national and international attention. He's had advertising published in Communication Arts, The One Show, been awarded National Addy Awards, as well as Clios, and most recently garnered a silver award in the British D&AD Show.
Jason isn't "all hat and no cattle." He believes, and the work demonstrates, that advertising should be engaging, endearing, informative and most of all, intelligent—even humorous, off the wall, or different. The work Jason has been associated with, or penned and art directed himself, is always simple and smart. No matter the client. No matter the agency. Take a look at the business cards below; everyone in the agency has them, and they're personally written for each member of the team. A fun, simple way of breathing new life into the same ole same ole.
And this creative director/art director has a ten-gallon schedule that starts at sun up, and goes until, well, sun up. When most people hang their hat up for the evening, the second part of his day is just beginning. Don't think of it as drinking, partying, karaoke, it's more like grist for his creative mill.
Put on your boots, and follow him through Philly for a week of work and a week of play as he takes us to some of his favorite watering holes, karaoke bars, and spots to grab some good grub.
Going to be in the City of Brotherly Love? Hit him up. He'd love to buy you your first drink. And you can bet he'll show you a good time come hell or high water.
Note: Close friend and lifestyle/advertising photographer, Michael Spain-Smith, pushed the limits with his equipment to capture JB for this story. The fun challenge was shooting the gamut, from low light images at 32,000 ISO @F1.4 to shooting on his iPhone with multiple instagram filters. "The documentary of the entire week—gritty, but natural ambience, was our goal—concept to capture," Spain-Smith says.