My Name is Brian Tolleson


Brian Tolleson (aka BT) is BARK BARK’s CEO. Founding BARK BARK in 2005 may have been his idea, but it’s the incredibly smart and talented people he works with that make what he ignited grow brighter every day. At BARK BARK, Brian has led the team through near-constant growth, amassed over 200 brand and platform client partners (like P&G, SC Johnson, Clorox, NBCUniversal, YouTube and Snapchat), and launched several successful initiatives and partnerships, including the launch of a YouTube channel venture funded in part by Google Labs.

Brian helped cement BARK BARK’s position as industry leaders in forming the first branded content studio built on strategic partnerships with the world’s leading creators of entertainment, who are reaching hundred of millions of viewers every week. Partners like ITV (FIXER UPPER, HATFIELDS & MCCOYS), Cineflix (PROPERTY BROTHERS, AMERICAN PICKERS) and Pilgrim Studios (WICKED TUNA, THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER), to Sean Hayes’ Hazy Mills Productions (GRIMM, HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT) and Jennifer Lopez’ Nuyorican Productions (THE FOSTERS, WORLD OF DANCE) to live-event experts, Den of Thieves (AMERICAN IDOL, MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS).

In the time BBB (Before BARK BARK), Brian 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. Before starting Naked Eye, BT spent the early days of 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, SPY GAME, STUART LITTLE, GIRL, INTERRUPTED, BEWITCHED and THE CRAFT. He graduated from Emory University with a degree in Creative Writing and a random minor in Biology.

Brian and his work as a creative, a strategist, a producer and a director have been honored by PromaxBDA, AIGA, CTAM, The Tellys, The Ad Club and numerous film festivals and industry organizations. He received a 2009 Emmy Nomination for Best Promotional Campaign as Producer on Noggin’s Parent Directed Image Campaign, and his creative and strategic work on Kathy Griffin’s album received a 2009 Grammy Nomination as well.

Brian currently serves as interim CEO of The National Center for Civil & Human Rights and as Founder and Leadership Committee Member of The LGBT Institute at The Center, the Board of The Friends of Theatre Emory, and has previously served on the Board of The Atlanta Ad Club and The Plaza Theatre Foundation, was a former National Director, Past Chair of The Governance Committee, and served as the President of the SE Region, for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, the commercial industry’s trade organization, and currently sits on the Leadership Board of Contribute2America, a non-profit dedicated to delivering services and support to homeless Americans, especially homeless veterans. As part of Brian’s personal prosocial passion, he and BARK BARK have provided pro-bono support, through major marketing initiatives, for The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Habitat for Humanity, Atlanta’s Midtown Alliance, The ArtReach Foundation, The American Cancer Society, The Historic Plaza Theatre Foundation and The Murphy-Harpst Foundation, a rescue home for severely abused children, as well as for civic and cultural institutions such as The High Museum, The Midtown Alliance, The Academy-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival and The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

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“Within the maelstrom of ineffective general market advertising, there exists a real opportunity for brands to change how they work to ensure more effective advertising in a media-splintered environment.”

Brian Tolleson
Agency Spy, 2010

“Really smart people tend to deliver better work, probably because they’re smart enough to know that working harder than anyone is how you do better than anyone else.”

Brian Tolleson
just about every day

“No, we do not groom dogs here.”

Brian Tolleson
to all the people walking in with dogs thinking we do