I spent a good chunk of my life as a Writer/Creative Director in the ad business. My job was to write and create every day. I was surrounded by bright, funny, creative people. As my career evolved, my heart and my expertise led me to Cause Marketing–telling emotionally compelling stories to raise awareness and cash for good works.

Creative Director on Ford Everyday Heroes, Go Further Story Videos.
Creator and Co-Creative Director/Writer of Warriors in Pink, Ford Motor Company’s breast cancer initiative.
Creative Director/writer of Ford’s Auto News Project.

My co-creative director and I were responsible for creating one voice across TV, print, direct mail and digital channels
as well as overseeing creative for brand content and alliances.

I started and built JWT, Detroit’s first CRM/Direct Mail Creative Department. Response rates on our pilot programs
(owner website and direct mail) exceeded 10%, which allowed us to expand. My department grew to
seven writer/art director teams and we delivered many successful programs.

It was the age of boutiques and when our clients wanted specialists, JWT showed its ability to be flexible. I was in charge of eight copywriters assigned to work on print only. Our Ford client became very happy with the print work. One truck campaign that
I personally wrote remains my favorite.

Ford Truck, Car, SUVs, Race for the Cure, Cause Marketing, new product launches, refreshes, campaigns — I worked on
them all. As an ACD I headed each of the major product and creative groups. Supervising creative teams, studio work,
TV shoots, radio, outdoor, etc. etc.

I wrote, presented and produced TV, print, radio, outdoor, full campaigns, the usual, for our client, Ford Motor Company.

Dodge Car and Truck. During my fourth year in the business, I was put in charge of copywriters and responsible for all
copy that came out of the department.

MichCon, FTD, Whirlpool, Dow Chemical, Pontiac, new business. I wrote. I wrote. I learned.

Sears Roebuck, Cathedral Publishers, Tupperware, CREEM magazine, Journal of Animal Science, Odd jobs

B.A. in Advertising. 3.9 GPA. Self-funded education

Associates Degree in Graphics and Commercial Art. Self-funded education.

Warriors in Pink: Ford Motor Company’s Breast Cancer Initiative

You’ll find Warriors in Pink lighting up the country at Race for the Cure events, on television, in the news, and on the streets. See samples of my creative work on Warriors in Pink below. Or, if you just want to read more in general, google it!

Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, lights up during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Going Viral

Script to finish to a million youtube views in two weeks with zero media $$$.

When Cadillac served up a polarizing TV spot that summed up the American work ethic as “work hard and buy lots of stuff,” Team Detroit seized the opportunity. The agency made a shot-by-shot remake of the competitor’s ad that gave voice to another set of values, “work hard and make a better world,” turning the conversation into a positive social message that matched the values of the customers who buy Ford C-Max plug-in electric vehicles.

The story of a real-life environmentalist Pashon Murray and her urban composting business resonated with online audiences, social media, mainstream media, farm journals, environmental journals, and educators. Script to finished spot: 7 days. First 8 days on Youtube: + 1 million views.  Media budget: Zero.

Client: Ford, Agency: Team Detroit, ECD: Toby Barlow, Writer: Lauren Crane, Art Director: Todd Ruthven, 
Producer: Sumer Friedrichs, Director: Aion Vellie, Editor: Louis Lyons, Cutters Detroit, Media: Curt Jaksen,

Poolside Cadillac Plug-in


 A small sample of the press. 


Ford Go Further Stories

In 2015 I was Creative Director on Ford Go Further Stories, a series of videos about Ford owners, dealers and employees who Go Further to help make the world a better place. I have met an impressive group of people who volunteer their time, and sometimes dedicate their lives, to lift other people. I only managed these for a short time, but we did some powerful work. Here are three of my favorites.

Team Detroit Change Makers

Winner: Best in Category, The “D” Show, Detroit Ad Awards, 2016

Internal company campaign to shine a light on employees: Changemakers

Zero budget plus a lot of heart.

Video: “22” CD/writer: Lauren Crane, Producer: Maureen Marnon, Art Director: Sarah Sarwar, Director/Cinematographer: Nick Maher, Garrett Tanner, Editor: Carmelle Flannagan, Nick Maher. Account: Leigh Gulbransen.  

Posters: CD/writer: Lauren Crane/Cristina Lorenzetti, Art Director: Sarah Sarwar

Ford Truck

You don’t see much vehicle advertising on my site, although I have done decades worth. Because, to me, nothing ages an ad as quickly as an old vehicle. These ads, among my favorites, seem somewhat timeless. We worked with National Geographic photographers, sending them out into the real world to find real Ford trucks in real life situations. The photo assignments were divvied up according to the types of magazines the ads would run in: DIY, dirt bike/racing, and sportsman pubs. As the writer, I worked closely with the media department on this one. I spoke to and briefed each of the photographers and worked with the National Geo rep. The photographers went out into the world and returned with contact sheets and their notes. The art directors chose the final photos.  I compiled the photographers’ notes, interviewed both the photographers and the subjects by phone and wrote the stories. The idea came from the executive creative director at the time, Bruce Rooke. I was very happy I got the assignment. It was great fun. A SIDE NOTE: Um, I love art directors. I mean, where would we be without them? But, certain taste fairies … to them, type is just … texture. As a writer, I think copy should be legible. Guess who lost that battle? So, using a magnifying glass to read it, I retyped the copy here. Good lord!

Outer Banks  North Carolina  Ford Country  September 9, 1999  7:20 p.m.

COPY The calm between the storms. Hurricane Dennis had just blown through, wiping out houses, leaving debris and masses of sand. Now the threat of Hurricane Floyd hovers in the minds of locals, like Brian Dills. “Every storm situation is stressful – you have the chance of losing everything. It comes down to the basics of life. Mother Nature rules. You are quickly humbled.” Brian is working to repair a house that Dennis spared. “Sure, I’m earning a living, but at the same time, I’m helping people out. I like giving people a hand.” That’s pretty common talk in Ford Country.

Photographer’s notes: (running up the left-hand side) “My assignment was to record life as it happens in “Ford Country.” Brian owns one of the many Ford trucks that were scattered along the beach, working between storms. Brian drives an F-350 turbo diesel. He told me that the sand was pushed in from the ocean, so only 4×4’s could get out to the house.”
 –David Alan Harvey

Osterburg Pennsylvania Ford Country September 11, 1999 6:15 p.m.

COPY The backside of Eric Sides.
Eric Sides is a regular competitor in the State Championship races at Blair-Bedford Dirt Raceway. Here you’ll usually find his Ranger parked midway down the drag strip with his “customized” seating. He and a friend bought $80 worth of lumber and built mini grandstand bleachers fitted for the back of his Ranger. “I’ve thought about getting a patent on this and making one out of aluminum that could be lowered and raised by air pressure or hydraulics.” Genius runs rampant in Ford Country.

Photographer’s notes: “Capturing real life in “Ford Country,” I found Eric and his ’96 Ranger Splash amongst the many Ford trucks at the Raceway.  Eric hauls his 8’x10’ trailer with three bikes to the track, along with his bleachers, so he’ll always have ‘the best seat in the house.’ Ingenious stuff.”
– William Albert Allard

Stony Point Resort Walker Minnesota September 14, 1999 7:30 a.m

COPY Counting the minutes until he can go fishing. “Catch one, you’re hooked – all you do is eat, breathe and sleep muskies. It’s not easy to get one, they’re very elusive. A keeper is 40 inches, that’s about 18 to 22 pounds. There’s a mystique about it. Muskie fishermen, they’re a breed in themselves.” So says John Walters, one of the breed. Problem is, John owns the resort and can’t fish until the last guest leaves. That’s two weeks from now. “And here this is the Muskie Capitol of the nation. It’s frustrating,” says John. Life in Ford Country isn’t all loon calls and sunsets. Sometimes you just have to tough it out.

Photographer’s notes: “While out shooting life in Ford Country,” I caught John musing. He told me his ’86 F-150 is still running strong at 144,000 miles, ‘Forty, forty-five below zero, started every time.’ He bought his ’99 F-150 sight unseen. ‘Based on that first Ford, I knew it’d be just fine.’”  -Joel Satore

Common Chords: Rev. Robert Jones and Matt Watroba

Robert Jones and Matt Watroba are musicians with a mission. The two join together to present a show they call Common Chords to teach lessons of diversity and inclusion through the history of American music. 

Writer/CD/Co-Director: Lauren Crane  Producer: Maureen Marnon, Cinematographer/Co-Director: Nicholas Maher, Camera Garrett Tanner

The Best Ad Ever Made

You’re looking at it, the best ad ever made. At least the best ad I ever influenced. Long story short: Shindler’s List, Oscar’s choice for Best Picture in 1993, was bought by JWT’s media department in February 1997. Ford would be the sole sponsor of the film’s television premiere. The account team brought us (CD, Mike Priebe and I, an ACD at the time) the assignment to choose the commercials to run during the film. Mike and I felt that no commercial was appropriate so we presented another idea. 

We put together a timeline. Steven Spielberg, the film’s director, would do an introduction. Ross Roberts, Ford’s Marketing Director, would talk about Ford’s commercial-free presentation. We’d run a :90 full line spot at the beginning of the film and at the end. (Lauren Bacall doing the voice over, which is another story.) Commercial breaks would be intermissions — art cards with three-minute clock and music from the film in the background. We’d give seven minutes of commercial time back to Spielberg to advertise his Shoah Foundation, (a call-out to WWII Holocaust survivors to tell their stories) at the end of the film.

We presented the idea of intermissions and the timeline to Ford. They loved it. They spoke about the history of Mr. Ford during those years, and how right and respectful this idea was. I had a great deal of admiration for that management team in that room that day. We went to Amblin Studios to present to Spielberg’s people. They were thrilled. And, it was good for Ford. To read a little more click this link: New York Times.

BREAKING NEWS: The effect still lingers. On September 10, 2015 Steven Spielberg presented Bill Ford a humanitarian award for supporting the expansion of Holocaust educational programs. “The Shoah Foundation has a long history with the automaker, who was the sole sponsor of the 1997 NBC broadcast of Spielberg’s Academy Award winning Schindler’s List … “
Read more.

Women’s Marketing Presentation, Paris, some time in the late 90’s

During my advertising career I have seen the idea of marketing to women batted around more furiously than a tether ball. In 1998, a team of women were sent to Paris to present new research on marketing cars to women to top-level Ford executives. I wrote the pieces below in one night. I had no art director, but I did have an excellent producer named Phyllis Shook. Our idea was to create an art museum setting using nicely framed LCD screens* scattered in and around other framed paintings. On those LCD screens were notable French women. At key moments these women would come alive and introduce each of our four presenters. Phyllis and I had five days to produce the animation on a tiny budget. With the help of a great team at Grace and Wild Studio in Farmington Hills, Michigan, we brought the creative to life. Here are the introductions. Also below is a video called “The Advocacy and the Enmity,” which illustrates the way women sell products to each other.

Mona Lisa
Opens the meeting. (This is a short version. Originally, Mona’s eyes silently swept the room during the meeting’s opening remarks.)

Marie Antoinette
Makes an introduction

Madam Currie
Gives an enlightening lecture.

Joan of Arc
Speaks about the buying power of young women.

The Advocacy and the Enmity
Famous works of art show us how women influence each others’ purchase decisions.

Mona Lisa
Closes the meeting. 


This is placed here to say, “Yes, I have experience writing websites.”

Ford Cares. And we created a website to prove it.

I wrote the Warriors in Pink website from about five years. Pretty much every word, before I passed the baton in mid-2015

That’s a whole lot of STEAM.

Ford and the Ford Fund had many STEAM educational programs with different looks and voices. We brought them together under one umbrella. I wrote the initial copy for the site.

Making News Every Week

1. Work with a great team: from client to account to traffic to legal to production. 2. Generate ideas within the team. 3. Research 4. Write questions and conduct interview as necessary. 5. Shoot as necessary.  6. Write and comp. 7. Route to everyone (quickly) 8. Send to publication. 9. Do it again (and again and again …). Our team can dig up stories and make them work. We react quickly when news happens. We have fun. And we make good use of the media buy.