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Omaha Magazine

Mary Ann O’Brien

Nov 22, 2017 12:30PM ● By Kara Schweiss
The advertising agency world has historically been male-dominated, OBI Creative CEO and founder Mary Ann O’Brien says. But she’s glad to see that changing.

“I like to think that Don Draper is being replaced with Dawn Draper. More women than ever before are interested in marketing and advertising as a career and they should. Marketing and communications is as much for women as it is for men... I have found that women are great communicators and great at multi-tasking.”

Lana LeGrand, the company’s vice president of operations and leadership, agrees. “We hire high performers. We want people that can work hard, are detail-oriented and strategic-minded,” she says. “Women, more so now than ever, have been able to step into the limelight and showcase their talents in this client service-oriented industry.”

The industry has taken notice, too. OBI Creative, in business more than 15 years, has received numerous awards like a Best of Omaha designation locally and Company of the Year in its category by the prestigious International Business Association two years running.

“We are a full-service advertising agency with integrated marketing experts and we specialize in delivering better marketing communications that drive results. While most agencies are started and run by creatives, OBI is an ad agency with market research, strategy and customer experience expertise at our core,” O’Brien says. “We are as much marketers as we are creatives and we joined forces because the outcome is exponential. Marrying research to strategy to inspire creative that drives results is the niche we fill. We are unlike many others, and we like it that way. The results we drive with our clients speak for themselves.”

“We have in-house research capabilities and a team that’s dedicated to developing research approaches, executing research studies, full- blown brand equity, brand awareness, employee surveys—anything from a research-gathering insights capacity, we have a strong team that leads everything else in our agency,” LeGrand adds.

O’Brien says OBI clients are willing to engage in a customer-centered approach to marketing, “the way that the biggest brands in the world do.” Another factor in OBI’s success is the ability to work with small to very large organizations and initiatives.

“No matter whether it’s an employee messaging or culture issue, or whether you have a new product to launch and aren’t sure what the right message is, or if you’ve had a successful business for years, but know it can be more, we’re the agency to call to help you uncover your unique differentiator and value proposition, package it up from a messaging and creative standpoint and then share it broadly to drive the results you demand,” she explains.

The company is preparing to move into new quarters in the redeveloping Lumberyard district in Millard next year, but O’Brien says the “fun and thriving” environment and culture of engagement will transfer with OBI’s employees.

“Visitors always say, ‘this place has great energy.’ I attribute that energy to our people. They are so talented, smart, insightful, committed and curious,” she says. “And that is what makes us unique.”

2920 Farnam Street Omaha, NE 68114 402.493.7999

This sponsored content appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of B2B.

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