US

BARBARA YOLLES - Chief Executive Officer

With a marketing career that spans the realm of fast food giant McDonald’s to major ad agencies McCann North America and Campbell Ewald (as CMO at each), Barbara is best known for architecting brand and business solutions that change the destiny of a company. That, and rocking any number of pair of kickass shoes and handbags.

Barbara built in-house marketing teams, and comprehensive marketing programs and business strategies for financial giants TMS and United Wholesale Mortgage, both realizing significant multiples in revenue growth. In the agency world, Barbara led the marketing and advertising for major brands, including PNC Bank, Vanguard Mutual Funds, Johns Hopkins Medicine, TJ Maxx Corporation, Zipcar, World Gold Council, and many other nationally recognized companies.

Is there any question it was time for Barbara to helm her own shop? We think not.

Highlights:
  • HousingWire 2018 Women of Influence

  • Esteemed Woman of Michigan, 2017

  • Vista Maria’s Woman of Achievement, 2015

  • Mortgage Professional’s Elite Woman in Mortgages, 2015

  • Detroit Tech Town’s Top 100, 2015

  • Adweek’s First Mover, 2013

BILL LUDWIG - Creative Chairman

Strategic, creative, and a master of brand building, Bill is a visionary and strategic leader with a passion for great ideas, vibrant conversations, and emerging trends and technologies. He’ll also tell you (in the third person) that he’s one heck of a fly fisherman.

As former CEO of Campbell Ewald, Bill served as brand champion for some of America’s most recognized marketers, including Chevrolet, Kaiser Permanente, USAA, U.S. Navy, Alltel Wireless, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Chicken of the Sea, Ghirardelli, OnStar, and the U.S. Postal Service. Whew.

Winning just about every conceivable award you can win in the industry, Bill’s career at CE went from working in the trenches as a copywriter all the way up to the C-Level Suite positions of Chief Creative Officer, and, ultimately, CEO. Whew again.

Highlights:
  • Inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement

  • Served as the U.S. judge at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival

  • Featured Wall Street Journal Creative Leader

  • Member of the Ad Council Board of Directors

  • Chair of the Michigan Film Office (Appointed by Governor Rick Snyder)

  • Nationally recognized creative leader behind iconic ad campaigns, winning hundreds of industry awards – Cannes, Clios, Effies and the MPA Kelly Award

JENNIFER GRASSO - Executive Creative Officer

Jennifer is a true creative’s creative. A four-star general with a brilliant mind, as well as someone who regularly gets down in the trenches and creates and executes exceptional work. It’s also nice that she’s someone you can just enjoy sitting down with, and discussing mid-century modern furniture over a glass of red wine.

Much of her career was spent at Campbell Ewald, starting as an intern and rising to Creative Director on many major brands, including Chevy, Owens Corning, Michelin, North Carolina Health System, Edward Jones, University of Michigan, USAA, Pier 1 and many more.

Her full-time duties over the past year have included overseeing the category-changing launch of TMS, one of the country’s premiere mortgage lenders. Prior to that, she left her mark on United Shore Mortgage/United Wholesale Mortage, where she led the transformation of the brand to become the #1 wholesale lender in the world.

Highlights:
  • Produced award-winning creative work for Chevrolet

  • Created and produced cutting edge B2B advertising for United Shore that catapulted them to the #1 Wholesale Lender.

  • Increased United Shore brand awareness to 90% within two years.

  • Lead Creative Director on the Edward Jones business – responsible for an innovative and groundbreaking campaign development across traditional, digital, social and CRM platforms

  • Lead Creative Director on Owens Corning – charged with being a key strategic partner in the development of a new Storm campaign for Owens Corning Roofing.

  • Lead ACD on the Chevrolet Traverse new product launch. Re-targeting of the Traverse to a more female skewed segment, through an integrated TV, Print, Digital and Social campaign.

  • Lead ACD on the Chevrolet Equinox new product launch – a highly successful Digital, Print, and Social Media campaign during a restricted budget period.

  • Lead ACD on the pre-launch and web design for the Chevrolet Volt.

Lizz Behler - SVP/Strategy and Innovation

Lizz is charged with taking clients to fresh, strategically sound places to drive success, which earned her key positions at IPG MB, gtb, and Campbell Ewald. She started in the business as a Digital Art Director, graduated from the College of Creative Studies, which gives her a unique perspective on the work.

Lizz comes to us from Huge, a design, media and technology company, where she was VP, Planning. There, Lizz developed the brand positioning for the city of Detroit in attempt to win Amazon’s next HQ location. The campaign now serves as a Detroiters anthem ‘Move here. Move the world.’ differentiating the city in a compelling way.

In her spare time, Lizz enjoys sailboat racing, travel, and spending quality time with her two daughters.

Highlights:
  • Won Best Education Website 2013 Internet Advertising Competition for Federal Student Aid.

  • Published in Creativity 35 for campaign development for XM Satellite Radio.

  • Developed deficit audience strategy for Ford Motor Company to engage underserved consumers not through ads, but through relevant experiences and thought leadership (Women, Tech, Green).

  • Developed the strategic foundation for QuickenLoans Super Bowl 2018. She also created a distribution strategy to intercept people in moments of need and through other complicated life moments that need to be decoded.

JOEL COTTRELL - Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Joel oversees all the financial and operational disciplines at LUDWIG+, which also entails assuming the title of Chief Integrity Officer. As such, Joel has redacted all proprietary information from his bio.

Representing The D, Joel graduated with honors from Wayne State University at the age of (…) . Over his 15+ year career, he gained broad experience in accounting and finance, working in industries ranging from manufacturing, professional services, advertising, retail and non-profit.

Joel comes to us from DBA, another marketing agency, where he mastered the art of numbers and decimals, rising up the ranks to COO/CFO. He says spending the past eight years working in this industry has given him newfound passion for advertising and marketing. Joel fosters a culture of intention by organizing, planning, measuring and reporting the performance on all internal and client-related projects, like (…), (…), and (…). His knack for analyzing and interpreting information and communicating opportunities make Joel a financial wizard.

In his spare time, Joel enjoys hiking, reading and spending quality time with his family and their cat, (…).

Highlights:
  • Developed and implemented business strategies for diversifying and strengthening the revenue cycles of several agencies.

  • Lead (…) to increase revenue by (…).

  • Increased profitability by (…) during his time at (…).

STEVE PLATTO - Creative Director

Steve has left his fingerprints on typewriters, laptops, and award-winning ad campaigns for over 30 years. A writer at his core, a strategic thinker, a shaper of big ideas.

Prior to joining Ludwig+, Steve was Creative Director for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, a relationship that developed while he was at Campbell Ewald, where he was in charge of all creative for the University of Michigan. Steve spent 20 years at CE, working on everything from Farmers Insurance and Pier 1, to Federal Student Aid and Delta Faucets.

Steve also worked at Doner, DDB Needham and J. Walter Thompson, where he helped build brands like Vlasic Pickles, Carhartt, Cub Foods, and Volkswagen.

Highlights:
  • Won Best in Show Obie for the Detroit Tigers and Won New York Festival’s World’s Best Radio for Champion Spark Plugs

  • Author of the best-selling children’s book, The Bed Head of Ned

  • Co-creator of Het Potatis, once the Number One-selling game in Europe

  • Creative Work Featured in Adweek, Communication Arts, and Ad Age

  • Developed so many tag lines for clients, could run a company called Tag Lines ‘R Us

  • For fun, enjoys running, biking, and whittling the most complex clients down to their essence to build simple customer messaging

  • Able to write in many voices and leap tall buildings at a single bound.

ERIC LIVINGSTON - Creative Director

Eric creates real-world, memorable and innovative solutions for any brand or client he has the honor to work with. He understands how brands have to be nimble, relevant, customer-centric all while maintaining their personality, vision and mission. He thrives on the latest innovations; and transforming a brand to the next level.

Eric’s experience spans from Creative Director at TMS to partner and co-founder of Grit Design. He has brought innovative digital solutions and branding for clients as diverse as Sony, Kraft, Domino’s, State Farm, WPP, Wonka, Hilton and UPS. At Razorfish, he led the award-winning AT&T creative team, and at Y&R Group/Wunderman, the Lincoln-Mercury creative team.

In his spare time, Eric is a musician, painter and furniture maker. Much to the frustration of his co-workers, he has also been known to consume several packages of Mike & Ike’s, Reese’s Cups, Gummi Sharks, licorice, and M&M’s every day without gaining a single pound.

Highlights:
  • Created and patented a SAAS solution – sizzlepig helping brands manage their images across multiple platforms in order to maintain the highest quality and fidelity. It is being used by Ford, as well as Trivago, Nielsen, and many other international companies

  • Launched the first iPhone campaign for AT&T and created the first-ever in-store experience with the Microsoft Surface

  • Recognized by Adweek for Top Ten digital campaigns for groundbreaking webisode series and Honorable Mention at Cannes Lions for “Meet the Lucky Ones”

  • Launched the very first vehicle immersive vehicle experience in the Lincoln Center in New York for Lincoln Vehicles

  • Created the very first website for Cadillac and was part of creating the first ever website for Buick.

ROBIN TODD - Creative Director

As Creative Director extraordinaire, Robin brings her award-winning art direction chops and insight to a multitude of clients at LUDWIG+. Prior to joining, Robin was Creative Director at Doner and Campbell-Ewald. Though she comes with a wealth of stellar experience building brands, from automotive and fashion to healthcare and packaged goods, she describes herself as a “forever student,” and is always looking to take something new away from each project.
Her big idea mindset is always grounded in strategy, which is just why clients love Robin. She has brought her innovative creative solutions to clients as distinct as Chevrolet, Kaiser Permanente, Highmark Health, Carolina’s Health, Golfsmith, Serta, Madison Square Garden Networks, JCPenney, Pimco, Bush’s Baked Beans, Detroit Zoo, Alfa Romeo, National Fatherhood Initiative, and Civica. And that’s just to name a few.

In her spare time, Robin is a prolific songwriter and guitarist (go ahead, try and stump her with music trivia), and enjoys spending time with her family up north. Married to an equally talented art director, their son may just be a shoo-in for a job at L+ after college.

Highlights:
  • Launched several award-winning, fully-integrated national Chevy campaigns across all channels. This included leading Malibu, Corvette, Equinox, Volt, and Traverse, while also playing a pivotal role in launching the American Revolution campaign.

  • Helped turn the reputation-deficit Allegheny Health Network around with a groundbreaking campaign that earned an Effie, Clio, and a place on the shortlist at Cannes.

  • Created and launched the rebranding of OnStar for Chevrolet, which included traditional, digital, and social components, as well as a logo redesign.

  • With an image-breaking consumer campaign, transformed JCPenney from a struggling American brand to one that saw nine straight quarters of growth.