General information

Agency: Initiative

Job Function: Strategy

Location: New York, United States

Job Ref#: 11581

Description & Requirements

Position Summary

As an Associate Director of Strategy you are responsible for the development of global strategic recommendations that solve client challenges. You will primarily work across the LEGO account (specifically working on the Adults and Shopper portfolio) and should strive to produce outstanding communications strategies, as recognized through awards, client satisfaction scores and tangible examples of innovation.

You will help strategise, produce and make sense of the key cultural, consumer and market intelligence required to design the best possible global communications framework to deliver on that task. 

You have a passion for people, brands and ideas and an insatiable curiosity for culture in every sense. You believe that brands can & should have meaning in the world, and are driven by the desire to understand the changing world and people’s subsequent shifting motivations and behaviors.

You are responsible for creating the strategic recommendations for your key clients & fostering best-in-class work with local Initiative offices in local markets. You are also responsible for engaging with the client in an advisory capacity in conjunction with the wider strategy & client advice, insights and specialist (e.g digital) teams. It is not your responsibility to manage the client relationship & you will – by Brief – work closely with the Client Lead to deliver brilliant strategic thinking for the client team. In your capacity as Associate Director you should be leading strategic workshops and inspiration sessions both internally and externally, as well as supporting sessions with other specialist focus (e.g digital). 

Creative thinking and sound presentation skills are critical in delivering success in this role.  
You should produce work that drives re-appraisal of communications and what media can do in the world, and your work should be seen as one of the key levers working to drive the agency forward. 

You are a champion of the Initiative planning process and have the flexibility to employ and adapt the Initiative toolset to tackle a broad range of client needs. In doing so you will work closely with the research function to consider all consumer, category and culture trends, helping the wider Team to think about new ways to connect to people in culture & working real-time alongside the Analytics, Communications Design and Client teams to deliver better, smarter and more innovative work. Your work is consistently held to your own high design and detail standards – consistently recognisable by colleagues and clients as world-class Initiative strategic product.

You will also take an active role in global pitch projects, applying your analytical thinking, strategic craft and creativity to new business opportunities alongside day-to-day client work. 

Key Responsibilities

Client 
  • Demonstrate understanding of the clients' key business and challenges (for LEGO it is critical to demonstrate actionable insight into toy category)
  • Be considered a valuable contributor during client meetings, providing, for example, research &/or deep understanding of how consumers are interacting with culture (their behaviors & motivations/mindsets)  
  • Deliver innovative thinking that inspires leading edge solutions and award-winning breakthrough work – contributing the creation of best in class work as standard (both internally & externally – and through close support of local market Initiative offices)
  • Arming the client team with knowledge & expertise to speak confidently about the strategic direction where required
  • Measurable client & strategy business KPIs  
Internal 
  • Identify, develop & oversee the delivery of unique and innovative strategies to deliver the client’s desired results
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of consumers & their behaviors
  • Clearly demonstrate how the strategy delivers on the business need and focus on results and measurement
  • Be an Planning Expert & champion its usage amongst the team and client base
  • Bring fresh thinking & inspiration into the Strategic Process to help the teams springboard to better Strategic thinking
  • Adoption, promotion & facilitation of the Cultural Analytical Process/Tools to help teams find new insights that unlock growth
  • Deliver executable, relevant, on brand platforms with the potential for fame/award entry
  • Write cohesive communications architectures that deliver on the platform and give guidance for how the brand will play in culture
  • Train, guide & assist the Strategists in development and packaging of ideas
  • Positively collaborate with SBU and independent creative partners, contributing to their/our client work
  • Use qualitative and quantitative communications channel & cultural tool research to develop applicable insights into the consumer connection with the brand 
  • Partner with Analytics to develop new tools, inputting into the development of new & cutting edge proprietary planning, research and reporting models for Initiative
  • Lead ideation team sessions in conjunction with the Communications Design team and relevant SBUs to generate creative & compelling communications ideas
  • Actively collect, collate and foster best-in-class case studies of award-winning and award-worthy work from around the network.
Commercial
  • Contribute to Agency & Client revenue opportunities through Strategic output 
  • Maintain effective relationships with key strategic partners (vendors, academic institutions, creative consultancies), keeping up to date on their offer & using that information to help the Strategy Team unlock new growth opportunities for the client &/or the agency

Desired Skills & Experience

  • Proven experience in strategy or communications planning role in media communications discipline
  • Ability to think differently: creative & adaptive, entrepreneurial, independently-minded.
  • Deeply immersed in cultural understanding and driven by a desire to know more the world / to better understand people’s motivations & behaviors in the shifting landscape

Employment Transparency

It is the policy of Mediabrands, division of the Interpublic group, to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, veteran status, disability, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local law. 

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 

The employer will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. The job description will be reviewed periodically as duties and responsibilities change with business necessity. Essential and other job functions are subject to modification. Reasonable accommodations may be provided to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  

For applicants to jobs in the United States: In compliance with the current Americans with Disabilities Act and state and local laws, if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation to apply for a position with Mediabrands, please email accommodation@mbww.com

About Us

Initiative is different to other media agencies.
We are not trapped by a legacy structure primarily centered on paid advertising. Instead, we are liberated by a new world structure designed to deliver highly differentiated and highly effective communications strategies for our clients.
We are the world’s fastest growing media agency built upon the strongest strategic capability of any agency in the market. Core to this strategic proposition is the belief that the faster a brand can move through culture the more relevant it can become.
We call this Cultural Velocity ™.
Our process is designed to create ideas that move through culture through unique insight, market leading analytics and strategic media brilliance.
Our new world model is comprised of “craft centers” – Client Advice and Management, Strategy, Communications Design, Partnership and Culture, Insights & Analytics.

All U.S. Mediabrands employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved accommodation.