I am Ashley.
I'm a creative director with a content strategy background, and most of my work focuses on finding meaningful ways to build communities around shared values and interests. At the core of that work is the belief that great storytelling can bring people together to support businesses or causes (and therefore communities) in a way that policy just can't. I studied luxury branding and advertising in Italy (I'm officially a dottoressa!) because I wanted to understand how we use stories and symbols to show off our identity, and then use that psychology to benefit communities in need.
I was among the first boots on the ground writing and photographing for the fashion blog Fashionista in the early days before "street style" was a thing, and after grad school I worked on content marketing in-house and as a consultant to some of the world's top luxury brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, and a handful of others. Back in NYC, at Hudson Rouge I created WPP Group's first Brand Publishing Lab, serving as GCD to lead a group of talented folks spanning across strategy, media, & creative to rebuild the reputation of the legendary Lincoln Motor Company through branded content and social media. After 15 years working in digital content on the media side, and advertising both in-house and in an agency, I founded Citizen with my friend and colleague Jeff Hurlow, who was the head of the Brand Studio at Vimeo when we first started to collaborate. Our goal is to work with with our talented friends and colleagues to use the power of content and advertising to make the world a better place, and shine a light on the world's gems that need consumer support. For us, this is livin' the dream!
On the side, I write about integrated marketing for symbolic goods & produce stories about exceptional artisans (actually, I guess that's not so much "on the side" anymore). I still work as a photographer as often as possible, although these days most of my photos are focused on rehabbing buildings and neighborhoods in Detroit. I also founded a non-partisan non-profit promoting voter turnout, called This Is My Country, and serve on the board of The Broad Exchange, a professional organization advancing the interests of women in the creative fields.
ASHLEY, AS WRITTEN BY SARAH SHANFIELD IN 2014
Ashley Davidson might be best known as the Director of Brand Publishing for Hudson Rouge, the full service agency of record for The Lincoln Motor Company, but her die-hard fans know her for her implicit mastery of pun craftsmanship and one-liner construction. Originally from Virginia, Ashley worked in urban design before heading to Italy to pursue her business degree. She celebrated graduation with black truffle pizza and a few bowls of pasta, then stayed in Milan to master the art of luxury marketing in the digital age. She has developed social media and digital strategies for everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Ai Weiwei.
She returned to the United States with a knowledge of fine wines and the skill-set to bring today's luxury brands to social media mega-dom. A longtime lover of real-time publishing and public defender of engagement rates, she came to Hudson Rouge in 2012 before The Lincoln Motor Company had an Instagram account to its name and helped to build the platforms, the voice and the media strategy behind this classic brand. Under her direction, the Brand Publishing Lab was created and flourished to include creative, strategy, analytics, and media planning, creating award-winning work in what Ashley calls the "endless feedback loop of optimization."
As the Creative Director and head of Brand Publishing at Hudson Rouge, Ashley is credited with building the brand content and social community around the relaunched Lincoln Motor Company, leveraging the power of storytelling and social conversation to help put the brand back on the map for luxury automotive consumers. In the process, she created what JD Power deemed the most engaged social community of the luxury automotive category in just 18 months, taking Lincoln's audience from 0 to 1 million followers in the process. David Karp, founder of Tumblr, recognized The Lincoln Motor Company as one of the best represented brands on Tumblr. Ashley's work with the Lincoln Motor Company has also been awarded at the famed Effie, Clio and Webby Awards, and the Cannes Lions Festival.