Social Responsibility Takes Center Stage with Launch of New Site

By Russ Stoddard / Nov 02, 2016

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Newsite Office Jay

We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary by launching a new website that doubles down on our commitment to building brands for purpose-driven companies.

Nearly three years ago, we repositioned Oliver Russell to exclusively target purpose-driven companies—clients that have a product, service, or business model that benefits society.

It was a little bit—no, a big bit—of a pucker for us as we wagered the agency’s future on our ability to thrive in partnerships with the still-evolving world of social enterprises.

Leading the charge

Over the past three year we’ve become recognized as one of the leading purpose-driven agencies around—acknowledged for our thought leadership, progressive workplace, and ability to use powerful design and storytelling to increase our clients’ success and social impact.

We’ve attracted inbound interest from clients around the world, working with public benefit corporations, L3C corporations, certified B Corporations, and mission-driven companies and social entrepreneurs—from Boise to New Orleans to Singapore.

And here’s how we’ve done that: In a world filled with inequality, we’ve developed the ability to help companies turn social responsibility into an unfair competitive advantage.

Volunteer Family Advocates

Installing baseboards at Family Advocates during one of Oliver Russell's monthly volunteer events.

Helping clients tell their stories

Companies hire us for the insights we’ve developed into the motivations and behaviors of consumers looking to align their purchasing with their personal values. And because we know how to tell compelling socially responsible stories using owned and earned media, specializing in branding, digital marketing, and public relations. They partner with us because they know we understand their mission-based culture.

We’re not just another ad agency applying a veneer of social responsibility to boost business development. Social entrepreneurs recognize this and act on it. They’re looking to maximize their own social impact by partnering with kindred companies that are intentional in their purpose, like Oliver Russell. 

Practicing what we preach

Bcorp Logo

We take our social impact seriously. We’re a certified B Corporation and last year became a legal Public Benefit Corporation. We actively and transparently measure and report on our social impact. Over the past year, we’ve volunteered in our hometown of Boise on a regular basis—and launched expeditionary trips to volunteer in the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.

We’ve helped natural foods companies and tech startups successfully launch into the marketplace, built and promoted online purpose-driven communities, and used our storytelling abilities to power healthy living initiatives and social justice for the wrongly convicted—all of which you can learn about on our new website.

A look back

Insights that incite.

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  • By my own count, we’ve had 13 different websites over our history (including a couple of sub-brands, o-positive and Brandsmack). It’s an interesting exercise to look back through them—a time capsule that showcases different generations, fashions, and technologies—from the teens and the mullets to the Adobe Flash years.

    In many ways, it’s a lot like thumbing through the family photo album, which can be, needless to say, quite humbling. For every strong website execution there’s one that leaves you wondering how we ever survived.

    It’s funny to think our first website (circa 1995) launched with a URL of www.oh-zone.com. (Go ahead and type it in your browser—it’s still a redirect.) Innocent as that may have seemed when we acquired it in the early days, you can imagine that with the explosive growth of the web many a spam filter had a heyday with this URL. It was tough to get an email delivered when they thought we were a purveyor of the wrong kind of oh’s and ah’s. 

    Full speed ahead

    I’m proud to say we made it beyond our web adolescence, and today’s version 13.0 presents a confident online presence that clearly and creatively positions our agency. It’s powered by our passion for purpose and a sophisticated digital content marketing engine that successfully connects us to new business opportunities with social entrepreneurs around the world. Just like the work we do for socially responsible companies, our website is one of our primary competitive advantages.

    We’ve had a rewarding journey over the last quarter century. The business world has changed, on balance for the better, I think. And so have we: We’re at the top of our game, utterly confident in our professional expertise and our commitment to helping purpose-driven companies around the world succeed. While social responsibility has always been part of our fabric, with the launch of this new site, it now takes center stage.

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    Thumbnails People Russ Stoddard

    Russ Stoddard

    Russ started Oliver Russell in 1991. He’s committed his career (nearly 30 years) to social responsibility, first inside the corporate world and then as an entrepreneur who’s started four companies and five nonprofit causes. His creative work has been honored with local, regional, and national creative awards. These days, Russ focuses on brand strategy for clients, spreading the Certified B Corp love, and connecting kindred spirits to multiply social impact.