Strategy Director

Are you excellent at connecting the dots?

Can you tell a really good story?

If so, you may be our person.

Located in San Francisco’s majestic Presidio National Park, swirl | mcgarrybowen is an agency built to create transformative change for clients. We believe that brand success today and tomorrow will come as much from brand action as it will from traditional forms. Our San Francisco clients include large, well-known brands like Intel, Salesforce, Hiddedn Valley Ranch, Brita, Dole, Microsoft, Kingsford, Atlassian, and Juniper Networks.

We are a values-driven organization that believes in the power of a strong point of view. We believe that the best talent is both gracious and tenacious; we have low tolerance for fools or jerks.

We're currently hiring for Strategy Directors to lead multiple CPG brands based out of our San Francisco office. The Strategy Director role will report to the Head of Strategy in San Francisco. This role is responsible for well-known consumer brands on one of our marquee clients and can expect to get a lot of visibility within the mcgarrybowen organization.


  • Lead the strategic work for the brands to which you are assigned, including helping clients shape input briefs, developing creative strategies and delivering briefs/briefings at the positioning, initiative, and tactical levels
  • Work closely and collaboratively with creative teams across offices and give creative direction that is concise, focused, and prioritized. Know and fully understand the difference between must-have and nice-to-have
  • Uncover, analyze, and share cultural, brand, and category insights, with a strong mastery of both qualitative and quantitative research
  • Help creative and technology teams develop on-strategy work that is at the cutting-edge of how consumers interact with each other and with brands
  • Be willing to push clients when necessary, despite awkward conversations and differences of opinion. You will build trusted client relationships by exercising the correct judgment on know when to do this and how to do so diplomatically
  • In partnership with the Account team, look proactively for organic growth possibilities beyond current projects
  • Show outstanding leadership and conceptual ability. Sets the example for a strong work ethic


  • Bachelor’s degree required; MBA or equivalent business experience preferred
  • 7 or more years of work experience in an advertising, digital or media planning agency, including at least five years in brand strategy or account planning required. Additional work experience a plus.
  • You have the maturity and leadership skills to effectively work with people at all levels within the agency as well as with a similar range of clients and other client partners, demonstrating both diplomacy and tenacity
  • You are great at thinking on your feet. Your mind spins quickly when faced with a challenge and you are able to clearly but crisply articulate potential solutions and rationale.
  • You have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Getting into semantics is something you relish.  
  • You are a methodical and logical thinker who is able to bring people along on your thought journey such that, at the end, they fully understand your perspective and have not gotten confused or lost interest along the way.
  • You are fluent in creative development for all channels; digital, activation, and social strategy experience a must, either with a lead agency or with a specialist agency
  • You excel at sourcing and synthesizing information from a variety of sources and can use that to craft insights and data into compelling narratives for the brand
  • You have leadership and interpersonal skills including the ability and desire to mentor and grow others, whether direct reports or other team members
  • Willingness to travel up to 1-2 times per month