Industry Profile: Isobar CEO Konrad Spilva

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 11 January 2016
Konrad Spilva, CEO for Isobar Australia and New Zealand

Our Industry Insights Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we head to Melbourne to meet Konrad Spilva, CEO at Isobar Australia.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

I’ve been with the agency since we founded Visual Jazz back in 2001 and rebranded to Isobar in 2013. I’ve had my impressive sounding CEO title since May 2015.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

We help our clients Invent new products and services, make digital platforms, applications, products and campaigns, and change their organisations around a customer focus.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Ensuring the Isobar group has the best talent, depth of capability and ability to be a true partner to our clients in helping them transform their businesses in the digital age.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

So many to talk about ... we welcomed Soap to the group, integrated Vivid into our Isobar business, ran our own event – the Summit Series – in three states. We built new digital products for GM Holden, Jetstar, the Australian Defence Force and Uniqlo, developed a global mobile platform with a successful Aussie startup, helped Australia Post redesign their whole customer experience, and also created some big campaigns for the MCG, Paypal and David Jones.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

The people I work with inspire, frustrate, amuse and humble me every single day.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:

Brett White and I founded our agency back in 2001 and before that I was on a Marketing grad program at Ford.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

Last year I joined the Isobar global growth board so I’d like to continue to help Isobar deliver on its ambition to be the leading global agency for the Brand Commerce era. But if not, I’d also be keen to put the backpack back on and go travelling and/or play a lot of golf.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I started a business card design company at the age of 13 selling business cards door to door. I was also a junior ten pin bowling champion at the same age. Suffice to say I didn’t have my first kiss till a lot later at high school.

Top networking tip:

Don’t be a dick.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Who has business lunches?

My favourite advert is:

The latest Bonds ‘The Boys’ ads really tickles me. Some of the best advertising/content of 2015.

My must-have gadget is:

I spend too much time on my iPhone but also having fun with the Fitbit at the moment.

My favourite media is:

I like all media, just depends on what it is and where I am. I’m a Netflix junkie though like the rest of the world.

My favourite TV show is:

Today = Homeland. Of all time = The Wire

The last book I read:

The Martian by Andy Weir. Good film, great book.

My mantra / philosophy is:

No bullshit.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

I studied marketing and wanted to always being doing something where I could be creative. When I worked in marketing at Ford I didn’t realise I’d get into a role where I couldn’t be. So when one of my best mates, Brett White, suggested we start an agency together, I thought why not?

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

A professional golfer (I wish).

In five years' time I'll be:

In my 40s…

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison:

Coffee ... I think I’m addicted.

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