Mon, May 20, 2024

CSRA ad agency re-brands itself

18 Augusta-Aiken employees are now Osla employees after 7.5 years under the brand of Alison South. Alison South was formed in October 2016, when Mark Alison sold his legacy agency, Alison and Associates to the South Company. He brought over Queensborough National Bank & Trust and other clients, which helped propel the company’s growth.

“I am delighted to see a new name, said Alison, who is now retired. The Alison (South) brand had a very good run and should enjoy a well-deserved retirement.”

Former partners of Alison South sold the company in January 2023 to a new owner, with offices in Texas and Canada, and now the CSRA. The “new” agency continues to offer full services, including branding, strategy, design, digital, and video, says Cynthia South, Osla Communications Director and co-founder of Alison South. The new website at carves out a clear path for success in the future.

“The vision of the new owners was to develop an agency structure and brand that would set trends and cut through the static in an increasingly noisy marketplace,” said South.

“The name, color, and design of Osla represents a fresh and progressive approach to advertising strategy,” says Chief Marketing Officer, Jeremy Richie. While it was inspired by letters of the previous name, Osla is a Scottish word for “one who came from a steep place.”

“We like to think of that meaning as rising above the noise, taking an elevated view to envision the next great idea, and having the confidence and courage to go to the edge and cut through the static.”

The static symbol has been present on some social media posts of late and is a key cornerstone of their new website.

Richie’s worked professionally in a creative role for 20 years on various projects, including those involving Nike, Starbucks, and the Discovery Channel—along with a major branding effort of the downtown Augusta record store, Grantski.

The name also has an international flavor which is fitting, said newly appointed Client Experience Officer, David Bash from Osla’s South Florida location, which is the middle of a hotbed of innovation that extends into other regions.

Bash says the name change comes at a time when the agency is also shifting away from an autocratic “push-down” employee and client management process to a much more collaborative approach.

“We’ll do business with someone where an account manager, member of our strategic team, and video team may be in the same meeting,” said Bash, who also developed Get Up Productions, a successful podcast studio concept in Osla’s downtown Augusta location and still oversees that operation.

“We’re empowered to work together as a team,” added Cynthia South.

This catchy slogan on the new website is meant to bring past successes and future innovations together to grow the marketing business and encourage the creative staff to come along for the ride and thrive. Bash is leading the charge to throw launch parties in Fort Lauderdale and in the CSRA to bring the team and clients together with transparency, one of the Osla Agency’s core values. On the website, they list a mix of local, regional, and international clients like Bridgestone, Hixon, Grycon, and Shulen Killen.

“We want to change expectations of how the process is done, which will enable our company to scale without growing pains,” added Bash.

When the Alison South partners left at different points after the sale, some clients and employees departed in the midst of some volatility. The new owner settled legal disputes with the former partners.

The Osla Agency is now at 33 total employees in the company and they expect to grow in the future, thanks to new Owner and CEO, Vishal Shah who says, “I purchased Alison South last year based on the talented team that was in place. I knew they could do great things with the right resources. My goal is to enable the new brand, Osla, to be successful in this marketplace and beyond.

“We see ourselves as a new agency,” says Bash.

“We are committed to putting customer service first, cultivating a culture that is team-oriented and investing in the incredible talent that we have onboard.

There will even be a fresh start in Downtown Aiken. “We’re moving to a shared office space called The Mill,” said Cynthia South.  The downtown Augusta office will remain open.

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