"For better or for worse, communities and consumers are audiences now. The sooner you start entertaining your audience, the closer you are to achieving your goals."
Mr. Tolleson is one of Lexicon Strategies' founding partners. His expertise is the strategic development and delivery of multi-platform communications, branding, and marketing (digital, social, broadcast, print, mobile, AR/VR) and the intersection of human rights movements and corporate empowerment to authentically advance social justice.
Mr. Tolleson most recently has served as CEO at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the acclaimed cultural institution curating the Morehouse College MLK Collection of Dr. King’s works and personal papers as well George C. Wolfe’s definitive exhibit of the African American civil rights movement. Brian and The Center have helped provide thought leadership to productively convene and advance dialogue, research and thought leadership around historic and current rights movements as diverse as March for Our Lives, Black Lives Matter, Me Too, DACA, LGBTQ Rights, Anti-Human Trafficking and Housing Affordability.
Previously as Head of Content and Managing Partner at the marketing agency he founded, BARK BARK, Mr. Tolleson lead his team through near-constant growth, amassed over 200 brand and distributor clients, and launched several successful initiatives and partnerships, including the launch of a YouTube channel venture funded in part by Google Labs as well as establishing the largest global branded content network with the world's leading production companies (like ITV, Cineflix, Nuyorican, Pilgrim) delivering campaigns for world's largest brands (P&G, Unilever, Chase, ConAgra, SC Johnson, Clorox, Mercedes Benz, General Motors, Starbucks and many others.)
In the time before BARK BARK, Mr. Tolleson has been a VP of Creative and Marketing, and Creative Director, as well as an Executive Producer, at various networks at MTV Networks in NYC, part of media giant Viacom. He has created over 100 hours of television for the MTVN group of networks (including essential creative and strategy for Nickelodeon, Nick Jr.,CBS, CBS News and Logo). He was responsible for the creative pitch and creation of the brand, the brand strategy, and the successful greenlight and launch of Logo, the first-ever 24-7-365 channel for LGBT Americans. Previous to MTVN, BT ran Naked Eye Films, a branding and production company, serving clients such as Kraft, General Mills, Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, CNN, Nick and WWF.
Mr. Tolleson began his career in Los Angeles at world-famous talent agency Creative Artists Agency and as a story editor at Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment, working for Multi-Academy Award Winning Producer Douglas Wick on such feature projects as GLADIATOR (Oscar Best Picture, Golden Globes Best Picture, BAFTA Best Film), SPY GAME, STUART LITTLE, GIRL, INTERRUPTED, BEWITCHED and THE CRAFT. He graduated from Emory University with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Biology.
Mr. Tolleson’s work as a creative, a content strategist, a producer and a director have been honored by Promax, BDA, AIGA, CTAM, The Tellys, The Ad Club and numerous film festivals and industry organizations. He received a 2009 Emmy Nomination for Best Promotional Campaign and his creative and strategic work on Kathy Griffin’s album which received a 2009 Grammy Nomination as well.
Mr. Tolleson currently serves as a Board Member at The National Center for Civil & Human Rights and is the Founder of The LGBT Institute at The Center, the Board of Friends of Theatre Emory, is on the Advisory Committee of The International Human Trafficking Institute, and has previously served on the Board of The Atlanta Ad Club and The Plaza Theatre Foundation, is a former National Board Director and Past Chair of The Governance Committee for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, the industry’s five billion dollar trade organization.
Recently Mr. Tolleson was named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2018 Power 100 annual special report naming Atlanta’s 100 most influential people, was awarded The Georgia Equality Champion for Equality Award and Emory University’s GALA Alumnus of the Year Award.