In this episode, Michael and Justin sit down with Bill Oberlander and Drew Train, co-founders of OBERLAND, an award-winning NYC-based creative agency that collaborates with like-minded leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to build purpose-driven brands and a better, more prosperous future for all.
These creative pioneers take us through their past lives working decades on Madison Ave, the highs and lows of being first-time founders managing an ever-growing company and client base and how their passion about the power of creativity to change the world and empower a new generation of conscious capitalists makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it.
Bill Oberlander – Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director
Bill Oberlander is Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director of OBERLAND, a purpose-driven agency that combines his creative talents and passion for making the world a better place. OBERLAND, based in New York City, is the intersection of Madison Avenue pedigree and fearless social advocacy, which ignites the power of conscious capitalism.
As ECD, Bill oversees the creation of awareness campaigns, capital initiatives, brand-ambassadorships, and cause-marketing drives for organizations No Kid Hungry Project, Juice Press, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Blue Man Group, The Nature Conservancy, Keep America Beautiful, New York Institute of Technology, and the Robin Hood Foundation.
Before launching OBERLAND in May of 2014, Bill served as Director of Communications, Marketing and Events at the Robin Hood Foundation. During his stint there, he created the marketing for the 12.12.12 Concert/Hurricane Sandy Relief, the “Fight Poverty Like a New Yorker” brand campaign, and the Robin Hood Investors Conference, together raising hundreds of millions of dollars for charities across New York City.
During his tenure, Bill has won multiple industry awards for culture-impacting campaigns created while he worked at Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, Ogilvy & Mather, McCann Erickson, and J.Walter Thompson. Bill introduced the nation to pop-culture icon the “Snapple Lady”; turned Target into “Tar-Jay”; and transformed the cell phone into a fashion accessory with the simple words “Hello Moto.” Bill also served as a member the Ad Council Creative Review Committee and president of the Art Directors Club. He lives in New York City and is the father of sons William and Bertram.
Drew Train – Co-Founder, President
After racking up more than a dozen national and global awards for cause marketing and driving social change through traditional, digital, social, and mobile campaigns, Drew Train set up shop as Co-Founder and President of OBERLAND, a purpose-driven branding agency founded with Bill Oberlander.
Before launching OBERLAND in May of 2014, Drew started the social-good practice at J. Walter Thompson New York, called JWT Ethos. In that role, Drew worked with corporate, nonprofit and public-sector brands that play a role in driving change on the big-picture issues society faces. By leading an integrated team, Drew leveraged the potential of CSR strategy, communication planning, branding, and advertising to create positive, lasting change.
Prior to opening JWT Ethos and OBERLAND, Drew learned his craft through extensive work on global, corporate brands like HSBC, Verizon, UPS, Puma, Lufthansa, and Tiffany & Co. in the U.S. and Shanghai. Drew was instrumental in helping grow Services for the UnderServed into one of the most influential and impactful nonprofits in New York City. And, as National Campaign Co-Chair he molded the #IWillListen campaign for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI NYC) into a powerful call-to-action to eliminate the stigma against mental illness.
Drew serves on the Board of Directors for Summer Infant, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUMR), a global leader in premium infant and juvenile products, as well as on the Board of Directors for NAMI NYC, the Resource Development Committee for Services for the UnderServed, and the Planning Committee for the CEO Summit on Mental Health in the Workplace. Drew is 36 and holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Richmond. He resides in New York with his wife and three children.