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New strategy lead at YoungShand

Indie agency YoungShand is expanding its strategy team and has announced the appointment of Ryan Sproull as Strategy & Experience Director. 

Duncan Shand, MD, says: “Strategy is a key role in the agency and we’ve been working on filling this role for a while. Sometimes good things take time, but we’re very excited to now have Ryan on the team. The great thing about Ryan is his blend of Brand and Customer Experience thinking. Coming from Shift and VML, he’s well suited to leading the smart integrated creative, media and digi work we do.

“Over the last 12 months we have made a considerable investment in senior roles after bucking the trend and winning a number of new clients. 

“Ryan joins Marie-Claire Mason who started as a Senior Strategist late last year. And together with Andrea Long (who leads the media team) we can deliver a really nice integrated strategic approach covering brand, media and digital experience.”

Sproull has had an unusual career. After dropping out of high school, he went on to study comparative religion and philosophy. With some early experience in publishing, he found himself drawn into digital strategy at shift and TBWA\Tequila. 

He later spent five years with VML in Sydney and VMLY&R in Auckland, including leading brand strategy for Microsoft Office, Slingshot and Ryman Healthcare; CX strategy for ASB Bank; digital strategy for Hyundai and Lion Beer Australia; gamification strategy for McDonald’s; and creative strategy for Netflix Asia-Pacific. 

Sproull says: “I like a lot about YoungShand.

“As people, they’re all lovely with lots of energy and talent. As an agency, they’re already doing good work and have a range of interesting clients. The New Zealand business and non-profit focus is another plus for me, along with being independent and free to grow and improve quickly. And they’re integrated across creative, dev and media – from a strategy perspective, there’s little in the way of ensuring that all of the moving parts are working together. 

“So it’s going to be about applying strategic rigour to direct that energy and talent into effective business results for clients. MC’s a very sharp planner, and (ECD) Anne and (head of media) Andrea are both strategic as fuck in terms of creative and media. We’ll grow the strategy team a bit across UX/CX while skilling up the broader team too. It’ll be fun.”

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