Brandon Butler is the executive director of Butter.ATL, the award-winning culture channel that focuses on all things iconic, ironic and irreverent – along with a strong voice in activism – happening in Atlanta. With more than 100,000 followers – including luminaries and commenters like Big Boi, Usher, Chrissy Teigen, and Tim McGraw – butter.atl is a daily stop for Instagrammers. Butter, the in-house media company of Old Foruth Ward-based ad agency Dagger, is also collaborating with Krystal to transform the West Midtown location at 14th and Northside into the Krystal x Butter experience featuring a hip-hop makeover on the outside and music, art, and history on the inside. One of those increasingly rare Atlanta natives, Butler is steeped in all things ATL, including its music scene. Be sure to check out his In the Mix playlist below.
Q. Butter is a mix of irreverent humor and topical news. How did you decide what the content mix would be and how has it evolved as Butter’s audience has grown?
A. Culture is Atlanta’s number one export, and Butter drives the culture forward by putting a spotlight on the cultural mecca that Atlanta is – the mainstream, and the nitty-gritty of it; sometimes funny, always topical. Publishers and media companies in the area have been telling stories about Atlanta for a long time, but not in a voice that’s authentic and reflective of its culture. Butter speaks with the city’s voice to tell the city’s stories, and people love that one-to-one connection. People feel seen, heard, and represented – and it really dials up the hometown pride. As we grow, we’re making sure we stay true to our city and its culture. Everything gets pressure tested by authenticity.
Q. How does your background in digital media (including working with Cox and WABE) inform the direction of Butter?
A. My background in tech/digital media is one of our secret weapons at Butter. Having a deep understanding of how content is shared and consumed has empowered us to optimize our digital approach. It’s also helped me understand what analytics are most important so that we can double down on what works to better serve our audience.
Q. How did the collaboration with Krystal come about for the reimagining of the West Midtown fast food joint?
A. At Butter, we believe Atlanta is the heart of modern culture – where institution and innovation meet. Krystal came to us to help modernize its brand, and together we came up with this culture-packed restaurant space that serves as a connection point between Krystal and the Atlanta community. We hope our followers will love Krystal x Butter as a physical touchstone that is every bit the love letter to Atlanta that our content is.
Q. Not to throw any shade, but what cultural attraction in Atlanta is totally overrated and why? On the flip side, what’s a local attraction/space that everyone is sleeping on.
A. Overrated: The Street Car. Why buy a ticket to nowhere and back?
Underrated: Illuminarium. I was blown away when I had the chance to get the full Illuminarium experience. The safari is epic, the nighttime bar is amazing, and I hear the next experience drops you into outer space. You usually only see this kind of tech in Dubai and Vegas – but it’s right here in the ATL.
Don’t sleep: Krystal x Butter opening August 20!
Q. What’s your usual order at Waffle House?
A. All-Star Special with scrambled eggs with cheese and hash browns extra crispy, plus a Texas bacon cheesesteak sandwich, and a sweet tea (yes, that’s all for me).