The appointment follows Isobar's February acquisition of Soap and Soap Mobile Games (SMG) studio, the addition of which created the Isobar Group, Australia and New Zealand. While Spilva already had oversight over Australia and New Zealand in his role as Australia MD, the CEO position is a new one. With Soap now known as "Soap - Linked by Isobar", the group structure in ANZ now mimics that which the company uses in China.
Isobar does not plan to find a replacement MD at this stage, according to a spokesperson. A senior executive team, including GMs in each market, will report to Spilva.
The company said the promotion is significant because Isobar has identified Australia as one of seven global growth hubs within the international network, which now has 70 locations and 4000 staff. (The other growth hubs are Brazil, China, Singapore, Poland, the UK and the US.)
While Australia and New Zealand are mature markets in advertising and media, Spilva told Campaign Asia-Pacific that he sees huge growth potential in the areas of innovation and brand commerce. "Brands are looking to better connect with every consumer touchpoint, across physical and digital spaces, and create a better brand experience to effectively convert them to loyal customers," he said. "We’re also seeing a lot of our clients look to innovate their existing business models and create new products and services to generate alternate revenue streams." Isobar is in position to help accelerate this innovation, he added.
"We’re already a very strong agency in the experience and service design space, and plan to complement this by adding to our existing ecommerce capability and establishing key practices in CRM/loyalty, data and marketing-automation services," Spilva said.
The Soap acquisition gives the agency expertise in 'advergaming' along with adding scale to its innovation, technology and social capabilities, while SMG is an investment in gaming IP, Spilva said. The latter has delivered early success with a game called, One More Line, which has more than 6 million downloads. "We’ll continue to look at areas where we may productize our own IP, investing alongside clients or setting up similar standalone business units to create new digital products," he said.
In addition to organic growth with existing clients and new business, Isobar will be "looking at acquisitions that continue to build out our brand commerce capability and deliver revenue growth", Spilva said.
“Konrad is highly regarded in the Australian and international market for his entrepreneurial spirit and honest, no nonsense leadership style," Jean Lin, Isobar global CEO, said in a press release. "He has had an incredible impact on the Isobar business since its inception in Australia and we are confident in his ability to lead it to even greater success in the future.”