November 2, 2012

Don't Squat With Yer Spurs On

(and other Texas-isms from a week in the life of Jason Brantly)

Author: Emily Potts

Photography by Michael Spain-Smith | Words by Glenn Eddie Gill

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.

SUNDAY, 5:32 P.M. JB at his Philadelphia home pondering his sock selection for the next day

Bottom right: Working/playing with photographer Michael Spain-Smith

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.

Masterminds new website and identity.

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.

SUNDAY, 10:47 P.M. McGillin's Olde Ale House for some milehigh meatloaf and "scaraoke" with DJ Joe H

MONDAY, 1:51 P.M. At the new Masterminds Philadelphia office with VP's Jen Fink & Ryan Leeds

MONDAY, 6:17 P.M. Focus group of three, with Mark McGraw & Teddy Sourias at R2L Restaurant

TUESDAY, 11:13 P.M. Fetchin' some cold ones at National Mechanics

WEDNESDAY, 3:45 P.M. Calm as a june bug at a client presentation

WEDNESDAY, 7:13 P.M. Live music with Tim Williams at The Ritz Carlton, 10 ARTS Lounge

THURSDAY, 1:28 A.M. Down the road a piece is Finn McCools Ale House

THURSDAY, 3:07 P.M. On set in tall cotton at Center City Film and Video

THURSDAY, 11:42 P.M. With fellow regulator Dave Whitnack at The Happy Rooster

FRIDAY, 7:47 P.M. "My favorite animal is steak" at The Capital Grille

SATURDAY, 9:10 P.M. "Where is the damn elevator?" at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House

SATURDAY, 11:27 P.M. Headin' back to the ranch on a trail through Rittenhouse Square

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.

{"http:\/\/\/content\/column.php?id=431":{"comments":{"data":[{"id":"454136621294846_5173913","from":{"id":"1210531289","name":"Steve Belkowitz"},"message":"Great article, and love the pictures....they tell so much of the story. Love your authenticity......It's great to have you &  Masterminds on this side of the Delaware!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T22:37:14+0000","like_count":4,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5169577","from":{"id":"1636350062","name":"Matt Martelli"},"message":"Not too shabby there J-Bizzle!  We are having an article on our house written for the Inquirer next week.  I'll talk to the writer about making sure we get your name thrown in there for your decorating skillz!  See if we can't get you published twice in one month!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-02T14:47:03+0000","like_count":4,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5233118","from":{"id":"727296158","name":"Michael Osborne"},"message":"OK, it's taken me 3 weeks to calm down and comment on this hot ink about my brother in whiskey, Jason Brantly. And all this time I thought he was just a good lookin' hard singin' ten gallon hat-rack that can kick your ass in karaoke all night long. But no...bro's got mad talent, a fabulous view, and the rare ability to look like he just got out of bed at all times\u2013not to mention his sick collection of Dr. Seuss socks. Love the boy\u2013but if you head galloping bars with him, be prepared to have a nice cold beer for breakfast. Been there, drank the beer, I can still hear the sound track.","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-20T20:44:00+0000","like_count":3,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5169790","from":{"id":"1345292508","name":"Susan Wall"},"message":"Love the pictures and writing! The photographer ate a lot of my daughter's Halloween candy!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-02T15:54:19+0000","like_count":4,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5168508","from":{"id":"519501938","name":"Michael R. Reyes"},"message":"I'd say that about sums up a week in the life of Brantly. Great to see the City of Brotherly Love has embraced one of ours. Nice wordsmith'n Gill - From an old friend deep in the heart of Texas.","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-02T05:46:43+0000","like_count":3,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5187613","from":{"id":"1196017992","name":"Glen W. Zeigler"},"message":"Good to have this Cowboy in Philly!  As for the rest of em.  Awesome writing (GE), photography (MSS) and not a bad subject matter either ;-)  Congrats JB!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-07T16:49:29+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5176591","from":{"id":"1268822736","name":"Karen Grimm Paul"},"message":"\"I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal...People know me...\nI'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.\"","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-04T18:24:23+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5174155","from":{"id":"1257368646","name":"Steve Linchuk"},"message":"A guaranteed blast and a half whenever hanging out with Jason. This cowboy can sing and party like nobody\u2019s business. I even like country music now. And Fireball whiskey. Ye-hah! Love the pix and the stories. Looking forward to sharing in some more good times real soon!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-04T00:23:48+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5173777","from":{"id":"1222191592","name":"Gregg O'Neill"},"message":"Awesome story about an awesome guy! Great design mind but what I marvel about most when it comes to JB is that he'll never bury his feelings or his thoughts. He says the stuff we're all thinking. Look up, \"telling it like it is\" and you'll see his mug sitting snug under the brim of his black cowboy hat.","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T21:49:15+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5176450","from":{"id":"513806088","name":"Tim Williams"},"message":"GREAT article on an even better dude.  Seeing you without the CB hat is like seeing Santa Claus smokin in the alley way behind the mall with his beard off.  Weird.","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-04T17:42:51+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5173663","from":{"id":"763354383","name":"Anne Telford"},"message":"Ok. Several things. First. Damn you are photogenic boy! Props to the photographer for having the stamina to keep up with you. And, \"all hat no cattle\", funniest line I've heard in a long time. Enjoyed the hell out of the piece. Almost like hanging out with you live. But safer.","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T20:49:28+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5173469","from":{"id":"1021590562","name":"Carl Warner"},"message":"Great stuff all around\u2014subject (JB), writing (GEG) and photography.  Well done.","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T19:09:57+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5173074","from":{"id":"532349033","name":"Jimmy Baldwin"},"message":"Nice article. JB shaking things up in Philadelphia. GEG knows how to write \"tall-tales.\"","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T16:39:53+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5174633","from":{"id":"1432040211","name":"Kimmi Ragone"},"message":"Congrats Jason!! Continued success my friend, very proud. ","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-04T03:43:31+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5176037","from":{"id":"737160546","name":"Joel Nakamura"},"message":"Cool! Nice ink. You guys Okay\nAfter the storm? ","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-04T14:36:12+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5173615","from":{"id":"1378897111","name":"Melanie Sessa"},"message":"Awesome article and pictures on a talented man! Gotta love a cowboy :)","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T20:26:15+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5169529","from":{"id":"1103554190","name":"Glenn Stevens"},"message":"Jayson, you've stuck out Philly and in the process brought yourself and your surroundings to better heights. Congrats on your new position. Stay true bro.","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-02T14:24:57+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5171089","from":{"id":"584893528","name":"Joshua Benson"},"message":"I worked with Jason, total professional, thinking hat, cowboy hat and honest creative! Proud of you","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T00:11:48+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5171503","from":{"id":"721092805","name":"Vicky Pettinaro Martelli"},"message":"Quite the bad ass JB! Congrats on your moving and shaking baby!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T02:40:01+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5170282","from":{"id":"641250676","name":"Stacy Swanick"},"message":"Lookin' good, Brantly!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-02T18:35:52+0000","like_count":2,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5189406","message":"I know a young man who is looking up to you right now and very proud... You are a wonderful friend, creative mind, and one of the most genuine souls in the City of Philadelphia! Congrats! P.S. Well shot Michael.  M. McG","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-08T04:16:16+0000","like_count":1,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5195058","from":{"id":"809866826","name":"Todd Weinberger"},"message":"They say everything's bigger in texas, and youre blowing up!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-09T20:55:16+0000","like_count":1,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5177153","from":{"id":"1368037214","name":"Martin Weinberg"},"message":"This was a \"dream team\" article for sure - MSS photos, GEG copy, and JB creative inspiration. It really captured the essence. Wishing you huge success at Masterminds. (Great to see GZ in the pictures as well!)","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-04T21:30:51+0000","like_count":1,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5170317","from":{"id":"1281115249","name":"Michael Smith"},"message":"First off congrats to JB on a great position and new venture with Masterminds.\n2nd. Following Jason around for a week was exhausting and I think I am still feeling the after effects. Finally, the best part dawned on me when the taxi driver at 1:06 am in front of the happy rooster stops for no reason and yells Cowboy! wassup! Is.... he really isn't a cowboy and has anyone ever seen him even ride a horse! HA! Love You BRO thanks for the memories once again!\nps, Susan, I only ate half of your daughters Halloween candy :)","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-02T18:55:57+0000","like_count":1,"user_likes":false},{"id":"454136621294846_5173966","from":{"id":"1241727505","name":"Laurie Cerkez-Pietrzak"},"message":"Awesome story- awesome photography and they were not kidding about Fun!  You sure know how to have fun!  Congrats and great job! LOVE the business cards!","can_remove":false,"created_time":"2012-11-03T23:00:59+0000","like_count":1,"user_likes":false}],"paging":{"cursors":{"after":"NDY=","before":"NzA="},"next":"https:\/\/\/454136621294846\/comments?limit=25&after=NDY\u00253D"}}}}