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Account Director - Production Agency

New York, NY, USA | Digitas Health

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Company Description

CaST is a brand new Production company built specifically to serviceadvertising production needs, globally. Our model is industry-leading  - we are putting data at the heart of production.

We are a new ‘start up’ (9 months old!) built on the solid foundations of two global agencies. We are building new production studios in Shanghai and Warren, NJ, along with regional hubs in EMEA, China, APAC and North America, and a global hub in India. We’ve gone live in North America and in EMEA, with China and APAC following shortly.   

Job Description

Production Planner

Role Focus: Content Production Delivery

Reports to: Regional Client Lead

Responsibilities Overview

Production Planners offer a blend of Production Delivery and Client Management services inside the CaST Regional Service Layer. The service layer is made up of the Client Lead, Operations Lead, Production Planners & Data Translator per region.  The Service Layer acts as the glue, facilitator and accelerator across all the components of the Production Ecosystem.

There are regional hubs in North America, EMEA, China, APAC to deliver on Origination and Complex Adaptation projects, and a Global Production Hub in India for all adaptation projects. We also have on-site studios at GSK in Warren, NJ and in Shanghai, China.

The Production Planner is the main point of contact for the Brand Leads for Regional Hub briefs and will have multiple brands to service. The Production Planner is the orchestrator and client liaison for the more complex productions jobs – collaborating with the various production hubs, on-site studio and the specialist producers as needed to deliver omni-channel global production on time and on budget, delighting our clients in the process.

They are responsible for overseeing the production of content from inception to final release. The Production Planner role works closely with the Data Translator and alongside the creative and media teams, to plan production requirements that deliver more efficient and effective campaigns. Production Planners are assigned by category/brand (not channels) to improve integration across all teams and accelerate an integrated consumer journey experience. They work upstream to facilitate production of planned content across assets in a variety of media channels (e.g.: TV, Digital, Ecommerce, Shopper and Expert).

Approximate division of labor:

30% Client Management

30% Creative Agency Collaboration/Management

10% Oversight of Global Hub Projects

10% Collaboration with Data Translator

10% Collaboration with Integrated Producers

 5% Collaboration with Media Agencies

 5% Collaboration with Business Affairs

Key Responsibilities

● PROJECT OVERSIGHT – accountable for the successful completion of each assigned brief and providing clear communication of requirements to the regional, global, or onsite studio

● PRODUCTION EXPERTISE – be the client’s subject matter expert, assisting with any queries and advising how best to ensure briefs are delivered to the highest quality

● CLIENT PARTNERSHIP – work directly with client for seamless delivery of regional market production requirements and expectations of brief objectives, timelines and budgets while contributing to the KPI performance

● INTEGRATED COLLABORATION – work with client, Studio and regional hub teams, in conjunction with the operations lead, for seamless handovers of master campaign assets as well as any new production briefings. Route briefs to the Global Hub as and when needed

● FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT – own related production financials in collaboration with Producers, Business Affairs, and Studio Lead including estimating, billing and reconciling jobs, requesting POs and tracking usage

● PROCESS – identify and promote efficiencies throughout project life cycles

● QUALITY CONTROL – oversee QC and ingest, ensure all output meets client requirements, has been through QC and is approved before release to the client/media

Delving Deeper Into the Role:

1. Brand and Creative Agency Engagement

a. Build a strong and trusted relationship with Brands and Creative Agencies through consistent connection & collaboration, responsiveness, accountability, and proactive problem-solving

b. Serve as client-facing project orchestrator from kick-off to delivery, sharing and tracking timelines and budgets from Regional Hubs’ Producers/PMs, while coordinating production-related reviews with Creative Agencies and Brand Teams; responsible for keeping the project running smoothly (in conjunction with Operations Manager)

  • Includes tracking and understanding all active work for assigned brands (including adaptation)

  • Includes introducing Producer to brand teams on relevant projects at the appropriate time while always maintaining oversight and connectivity

c. Ensure client adoption of the ecosystem by:

  • Supporting model communications e.g.: demand gathering (to be led by the Regional Client & Operations Lead)

  • Advising brands on the model (e.g.: which workstream the job should go to: Web, E-comm, Adapt, Origination)

d. Understand and document (in account plans) brand strategic objectives and how projects support them; when possible, provide suggestions to help achieve objectives. To do so, PPs are expected to join planning sessions (e.g., Map 2, creative SOW brief sessions, IAT meetings, etc.) with Client Lead/Ops Director support

e. Identify and advise the client of any issues concerning their Creative Agency related to delivery of master files, providing guidance as to how issues could be resolved for benefit of the client

f.  Participate in internal and client status meetings – including maintaining an up-to-date status sheet of all live briefs and work in pipeline

g. Serve as the primary escalation point for brand escalations (ensure inclusion of Client & Operations Leads)

2. Demand Management

a.  Plan and track incoming work from assigned brands (forward looking demand capture and maintenance)

  • Demand planning to be led by Regional Client & Ops Lead in collaboration with GSK NA Production Hub Director

b.   Encourage demand pipeline visibility in conjunction with GSK NA Production Hub Director to realize efficiency and appropriate capability utilization

3.  Brief Ingestion & Delivery Oversight

a.  Serve as planning advisor to Brand Managers: e.g.: interpreting, consolidating and articulating needs of brief to wider team (Pre-Canopy). This includes –providing recommendations to augment briefs and pulling in appropriate specialists (such as the content strategist and data translators), driving effectiveness (following pre-defined guidelines) and asset reuse (looking at available global toolkits, or halo content)

b.  For content origination jobs where a Producer is assigned, PPs play a supporting role but should always remain present. PPs to set up reviews with clients once all needed alignment has taken place between CaST & Creative Agencies. (e.g.: share cost estimates from ballpark to final, timelines, director selections, directors’ treatments, casting briefs & selects, etc.)

c.  For any work stream where the PP is involved (origination, complex adaptation, etc.), the PP reviews all work to ensure quality prior to sharing with client; if work does not meet standards (e.g., contains errors), escalate to Global Hub lead or Production Lead to solve quality issues

d.  Provide clients with cost estimates and timelines for all deliveries, in collaboration with Producer, highlighting any risks and dependencies in relation to meeting agreed deadlines, alongside communication any additional information required to execute the brief

e. Ensure understanding of Talent Usage tracker as provided by Business Affairs

f.  Ensure any broadcast related tasks are in progress and completed by the respective owners to ensure deadlines are met (e.g.: creative rotation instructions, creative taxonomy, trafficking, broadcast codes and usage data and usage (re)negotiations)

4.     Escalation Management

a.   Below are a few examples of scenarios that may require escalation:

  •  Lack of responsiveness from brand and creative agency teams

  • Model adoption incompliance

  • Convey operational escalations to Operations Manager coming from clients

5.       Client Success KPI Tracking

See KPI RACI for more detail.The Production Planner is responsible for ensuring we deliver on our key KPIs (bonus and malus) which include Client Satisfaction, Asset Adoption, Asset Utilization,  as well as other non-remunerated KPIs such as Model Adoption, Demand (Demand captured vs budget)

6.       Process Optimization

The Production Planner monitors the process and suggests any process improvements to the Regional Ops Director so that we are continuously improving upon the way we work

Technology & Tools

●    Streamline Canopy (End-to-end online production workflow tool)

●    Streamline DAM (Asset repository within Streamline Canopy)

●    Account Plans including Brand Budget Documents

●    Demand Pipeline (By Brand)

●    KPI Dashboards


Required Skills and Experience

●    7-10 years of experience in a Production, Account Service, Project Management environments within marketing / advertising agency environment

●    Client-facing experience

●    Able to handle challenging situations and act appropriately

●    Familiar with all broadcast software and programs (Adobe/Microsoft/Google)

●    Strong collaborative interpersonal communication skills

●    Experience working in complex environments / navigations multi-level partners

●    Committed to high-quality output and service, with an eye for detail

●    Resourceful / Solutions Oriented


●Strong organizational skills and ability to multitask 

●    Good analytical and numerical skills

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