Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Quick-Fire Questions With Claudio de Souza, Isobar US VP

Advertising Agency
London, UK
de Souza offers insights following his appointment as US VP of Isobar

On Friday 2nd December, Isobar announced the promotion of Claudio de Souza to VP at Isobar US, following his fifteen-year tenure with Isobar Brazil. So he was asked some questions to find out more about his career, insights into the Brazilian and US markets, and opportunities for brands in the digital economy. 

Q> Firstly, congratulations on your promotion Claudio! You have been part of Isobar for a long time. What initially brought you to Isobar and what work stands out so far?

CdS> I was a part of Isobar Brazil from the beginning – back before Isobar Brazil existed.  Starting out at AgenciaClick back in 2001, I was a part of the original team when we were bought by Isobar in 2007. At the time it was a big shift - but it was a good one.  Throughout my time there I built some very long client relationships that I’m very proud of - one of them lasting 20 years! Being a part of the great team that brought the First Gold Innovation Lions to Latin America was a phenomenal experience and I’m looking forward to the new opportunities at Isobar US.

Q> Are there any similarities or differences between the Brazilian and US markets that has surprised you?

CdS> The media planning and buying process is different. I already knew it and now i'm "living it". Baby steps for now, but buy the end of the day what matters is the clients' satisfaction. I have a great partner working alongside me in Ken Zendel with an amazing team behind us. They’re all helping me a lot with the differences as I start to fully integrate myself into the US market.

Q> The United States is a very developed market. How quick is the rate of change and how challenging is it for brands to keep up?

CdS> Listening and talking to the consumer, for me, is most important thing.  Nowadays you can reach them everywhere, which seems pretty obvious to say, but we need to keep working on that on a daily basis. It is critical that we keep the conversation with the consumer alive. And, in order to achieve that, sometimes we need to be disruptive. Change the narrative. The ad from yesterday, may not work today or tomorrow. We need to accept that and change - we being the agencies and marketers.  It’s how we’ll continue to meet and exceed client expectations.

Q> Consumers’ expectations are forever increasing. What’s your number one tip for brands to keep ahead of the game?

CdS> A quote from Abel Reis - CEO DAN Brazil and Isobar Latam (someone who I am proud to say is my friend and my teacher) comes to mind: "When they found the answers, it is time to change the questions".

Q> In the digital economy, what are the key opportunities for brands in the future?

CdS> It is an old concept but it still rings true today: It Is about planning your own obsolescence. Rethink your business...all aspects. Ask yourself: Why did Kodak not come up with Instagram?

Q> What do you think the biggest change for you personally will be working in the US?

CdS> The weather... It's cold up here, but Ken and the whole Isobar US team are making me feel embraced (and warm!). They've been really helpful and supportive. 

Q> Finally, is there any new exciting pieces of work coming out of the US that you can tell us about?

CdS> Data+Technology+Innovation... but you guys will be the first ones to know.

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