I accepted your invitation to present to this conference because it is our duty to
help however and wherever we can in the mission to make the world a better
My battlefield is the market, and while there are no human fatalities, the
competitive imperative is intense, and punishing for those brands which fail to
secure the sweet spot we call Loyalty Beyond Reason.
It's a challenge, and where I come from, New Zealand, here's how we handle a
My brief today is to share with you the ideas, language and techniques Saatchi &
Saatchi uses to win in the marketplace.
I'm going to show you how we create emotional connections with consumers,
and how we inspire Loyalty Beyond Reason. The holy grail for marketers.
Our clients include some of the biggest and most successful companies in the
market. Procter & Gamble – a 168 year old American icon whose inspirational
purpose is to touch lives and improve life. Two billion times a day, P&G brands
touch the lives of people around the world.
And Toyota – now with a market capitalization that exceeds that of GM, Ford and
Chrysler combined. On track to become the world's #1 auto manufacturer.
How do these companies achieve loyalty with consumers that keeps them
coming back and back for more and more? What keeps them moving forward,
and what can we learn from them to make for a safer world?
It's all about emotion
I spent eleven years living in the Middle East as a senior executive for Procter &
Gamble and CEO for Pepsi-Co. I graduated top of my class at the hard-nosed
Pepsi school for negotiation, and for my prize I got project Babylon – to build
seven Pepsi plants in Iraq.
In my work and life in the Middle East I found Arab people to be strongly family
oriented, strongly driven by emotion, and smart traders and merchants. Some of
the first trademarks can be traced back as far as 3000 years BC to pottery found
in Mesopotamia. And by coincidence, the founders of my company, the Saatchi
brothers, were born in Baghdad.
And here's the rub. In a world that is supposedly ruled by cool rationality, metrics,
and game theories, humans are actually powered by emotion, not by reason.
Brain scientist Donald Calne argues that the "essential difference between
emotion and reason" is that while reason leads to conclusions, emotion leads to
Give people more reasons to do stuff and their eyes glaze over. Most suicide
bombers are not given rational reasons for going on their mission. The promises
include 15,000 people at their funeral and seventy-two virgins for the rest of
Using emotion instead of reason is a big, transformational idea, no matter what
the problem is. From the biggest moral issue to the world of breakfast cereals.
Only emotion excites people to action. If you're trying to be persuasive what are
you going to do? Give your consumer a list? Or give them a dream?
Martin Luther King did not say: "I have a mission statement".
When we created this ad for Guinness in Africa, what did it have to do with
drinking beer? Absolutely nothing. It was about inspiration, about the hopes and
aspirations of an entire continent. Guess which is now the most popular foreign
beer in Africa? And it ain't Budweiser.
Jean-Francois Revel in his book Anti-Americanism put it well: "Here is a
convincing sign that we are in the presence, not of rational analysis, but of
Thomas Friedman said that for Europeans, anti-Americanism is a hobby. For too
many in the Muslim world, it has become a career. We're dealing with career
haters of America. That's a tough gig.
Image problems can be turned-around, principally through the way your actions
are positioned and perceived and interpreted. Just look at Martha Stewart's stock
The road to winning minds lies first through the heart. Here's how we helped turn
around the perceptions of a company that many people in the market and even
inside the company believed was boring, staid and lacking in purpose. (P&G
Brands to Lovemarks
Brands have gone on a magnificent journey. From products to trademarks, from
trademarks to brands. But brands have become commodified – all snacks are
crisp, cars start first time and all beer tastes good.
At the same time there's been a massive surge of power from manufacturers
through to retailers through to consumers. It's the consumer who is boss now.
They're starved for time and are informed like never before.
But the problem is that brands have become table-stakes. The advantages to be
wrung from rational benefits are marginal rather than quantum.
Superior manufacturing, design, price, distribution and service only get you onto
the field of play. So what's next? We found the answer in super-evolved brands –
brands that create "loyalty beyond reason".
We call them Lovemarks. These are brands that make deep emotional
connections with consumers. Passionate connections that go inside people's
lives and make a difference.
Lovemarks are built on Respect and Love
Lovemarks are owned by the people who love and use them not by the
companies that produce them
Lovemarks turn the irreplaceable into the irresistible
Lovemarks deliver Return on Investment – and they provide a Return on
It's all made clear on this axis.
Low Respect, Low Love. Commodities. Telephone companies. Most of the US
Low Respect, High Love. Fads sit here. Beanie babies. The South Beach Diet.
Anyone called Brittany. Here today, gone tomorrow.
High Respect, Low Love. This is where most brands are stuck – focused on the
"e-r" words: newer, brighter, stronger, bolder, and…cheaper. In many countries
this is where Brand America now sits. They respect the power and might of the
US, but they don't love it.
Respect looks to performance, reputation and trust as its organizing principles.
If you lose Respect, consumers, the market and the media will crucify you. I
understand "catastrophic success" but the job of winning the peace is made that
much harder when your Respect factors are not heading in the right direction.
Emotion is an unlimited resource. There are no limits to its power. The most
powerful relationships run on deep emotional connections - and the deepest
connection of all is love.
High Love, High Respect. This is the Upper East Side of the Love/Respect Axis Lovemark
territory. You can't buy your way into this space. It's owned by
consumers, not producers. And this is the brutal truth about Love. To get it, you
have to give it.
What type of brands generate Loyalty Beyond Reason?
Harley Davidson, definitely. Suzuki not.
Apple is a Lovemark. Walk into a bar with a ThinkPad and you'll leave
You tell me! (JFK/Richard Nixon)
Lovemarks are driven by Inspirational Consumers: they hyper-actively defend,
promote and connect as well as hold the brand accountable to creating a better
Take a brand away and people find a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and
Inspirational Consumers protest.
The building blocks of Lovemarks are Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy – three
words you won't fund in any government policy manual.
Mystery draws together stories, metaphors, dreams and symbols, and blends
the past, present and future.
Consumers are as much drawn to what they don't know as to what they need to
know. And when you know everything, there's nothing left to learn, there is
nothing to surprise us.
In Iraq, The Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, is an enigma – he's never met with
coalition leaders directly and he doesn't speak to reporters He's the most revered
religious leader in the country, yet the most elusive – he thrives on Mystery.
The terrorists on 9/11 attacked symbols of American wealth and security. For
pure body count, they could have chosen a different strategy. But they wanted
Sensuality The five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, taste – are portals to
the emotions. In a world experienced more and more through screens, I am
convinced that people will respond more intensely to sensuality.
When it comes to the senses, there is one day I will never forget. My first visit to
the Middle East in 1972. Beirut. The dazzling light and incredible textures, the
chaos of traffic and people, the brilliant colors and the dark, ripe smells of a street
market culture. You could taste the air.
Direct, provocative, immediate. Tough to fool. Even tougher to override. The
senses speak to the mind in the language of emotions.
There have been huge investments into sensual innovation over the last several
decades. The Colonel's secret recipe, the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle, the
scent of a thousand perfumes, home sound-systems to die for, fabrics that mimic
every possible natural surface.
95% of human thought is not fully conscious. We have only just begun to brush
the human sensory canvas.
Music is especially important to us because it can set moods and trigger powerful
emotions. Music can set our course in life, rally armies, even make Germans
Intimacy is the third element of being a Lovemark. And the words Superpower
and Intimacy don't really go together in the same sentence right?
A crucial problem for brands in their battle against commodification is their
growing-apart from consumers. Focused on growth and clamoring for attention,
brands don't have time for nuance and sensitivity.
McDonald's and Nike and the rest of the US global front-runners are struggling to
retain the emotional ties that have made them legends and billion-dollar
This is where Lovemarks come in. Not to abandon the mass market, but to
transform it with multiple emotional connections.
Intimacy has three faces:
One, Commitment for the long haul. The combination of loyalty and commitment
is the powerful force. Getting to that crucial place where people are beyond the
information stage, where they have made their choice. They have committed to it
before family and before country. And they are not going to change.
Two, Passion, the energy that keeps the bonds strong. With passion, the most
difficult of objectives can be achieved.
And three, Empathy. There is only one way to understand other people's
emotions, and that is by listening - for the inflections, the pauses, the
combination of sounds and body language.
Listening is something that most brands are not great at. They talk, talk and talk.
In their goal to push as much information as possible, marketers fail consistently
to make real connections.
Show me the numbers
The obvious question is, of course, why should a business or a country care if it
is a Lovemark or not? Let's not even go near altruism. I can tell you that from a
pure business perspective, being a Lovemark is great for the bottom-line.
Lovemarks are backed by hard numbers. We have substantial quantitative
evidence that statistically validates the theory of Lovemarks. We have
sophisticated metrics which capture Respect and Love. We can show that being
a Lovemark has huge commercial benefits.
Lovemarks are consumed more and have higher future buying intent than
brands, fads or commodities. There are direct, measurable volumetric benefits of
When a brand moves up to Lovemarks status, volume goes north. We've already
shown this with pharmaceuticals, cereals, magazines, auto brands and
Ideas & Ideas
I'm in the Ideas business, and it's not in my DNA to simply just describe our
methods. I want to see how Lovemark ideas can help the cause. So here are
1. Redefine the Mission
This idea is from Mystery, specifically how we tell our great story and tap into
dreams, not fears. My view is that the name for this long campaign we're
engaged in, the War on Terror, is fundamentally wrong. Every time we refer to
Terror, we invest in the presence and even the legitimacy of our enemy.
Instead, turn the tables in a way that promotes an inspirational purpose for our
people and our allies, and at the same time re-positions our enemy.
Call our struggle the Fight for a Better World.
We're instantly into an emotionally positive and inclusive space, where people
can see that they have a contribution to make. Where people see they are in a
battle for progress, rather than attrition. The War on Terror is a dead space,
literally and metaphorically. No WMDs. Pictures of torture. Car bombings and
assassinations. The War on Terror doesn't have a lot of positive equity going for
When you change the language, you change the conversation. That's how global
warming became climate change. Legalized abortion became the right to choose.
The War on Terror becomes the Fight for a Better World.
Not freedom or justice or liberty, which are abstract terms for most people, but to
make the world a better place. This massively expands the field of engagement,
the range of interpretations and the points of relevance. "Making the world a
better place" is an inclusive dream everyone can identify with and tap into. The
message plays offense, not defense. It creates "Love in the Bank."
2. Be serious about it!
I'm not cynically proposing that you change the language and not actually do
anything about making the world a better place! If you're serious about redefining
the mission, then tackling poverty, hunger and disease has to be top of our
As a businessman, here's how I look at the figures. The US this year will spend
half a trillion dollars on keeping the peace around the world, and fighting wars
when we have to. But we'll invest only $16 billion on overcoming global poverty
and disease, which are also weapons of mass destruction, just with longer fuses.
Recently Bjorn Lomborg, the Skeptical Environmentalist, assembled a team of 30
of the world's top economists in Copenhagen to do a cost-benefit analysis on
addressing the world's greatest problems. Their challenge was to find which
problems should be prioritized for the most benefit. How to spend the least to
achieve the most.
Top of their list was HIV/AIDS prevention. There are 11 million AIDS orphans in
Africa. Two million people are currently dying of AIDS in the world. An AIDS
epidemic in Russia, China and India would be catastrophic for the world's
security and stability. Lomborg's group, known as the Copenhagen Consensus,
calculated that $7 billion spent on AIDS prevention will save 28 million new
Malnutrition was second on the list of the world's most addressable problems.
800 million people are starving in the world. $12 billion spent on increasing
micronutrients will make severe inroads into world hunger.
Free Trade came in at #3, with exceptionally high benefits for the world as a
whole for relatively low cost.
Attacking malaria, which claims 2.7 million deaths out of 400 million cases
annually, was the fourth most cost-effective solution. $13 billion is the cost for
making a significant reduction in the scale and urgency of this problem.
When you're doing things that are seen as unpopular and controversial, you have
to run just as hard in the other direction. Being seen as a leviathan force for
empire and domination is not a sustainable position for America in the world. It
breeds resentment and opposition. Be the force for good – and be seen as one.
3. SISOMO – the new communications language
Television is the greatest selling mechanism ever invented because it combines
sight, sound and motion. We call this Sisomo. Sisomo has a guaranteed
emotional outcome. Sisomo allows us to feel meaning. Sisomo is the playground
of the mind. Sisomo is a medium for the senses. When does anyone ever watch
television with their rationality in high gear?!
You know that Sisomo has exploded beyond television. The web, email,
cellphones, PDAs, DVDs, ATMs, iPods, outdoor video screens, instore television
channels, game players, kiosks, digital cameras, home security screens…we
now live in the Screenage. The screen has become the campfire of the 21st
Century. The screen is universal and ubiquitous.
Unfortunately for the War on Terror, America is being out-Sisomo-ed. Broadcasts
of bombings, beatings and beheadings not to mention Bin Laden are the order of
the day. The terrorists have got better pictures, and the whole world is watching.
Images of orderly lines at elections in Afghanistan and Iraq have a short shelf-life
for the daily appetite of the screen. America is at risk of being held as an
emotional prisoner in the face of a thousand blogs and vlogs.
So what's the solution? How do you "Sisomo-back"? What are your channels?
And more especially, what is your content?
It's certainly not version 2.0 of Charlotte Beers, who tried to re-package Uncle
Sam the same way she did Uncle Ben's. Programs about happy Muslims
assimilated into America just won't cut it.
We had a brief glimpse of the possibilities with the Tsunami – American
helicopters and aid workers in the flow of rescue work, but in many ways the
Tsunami was a great lost opportunity. America faltered, it reacted too slowly.
My vision of the Fight for a Better World is a parallel track to the War on Terror.
American security needs a threatening, punitive, brutal and unilateral fighting
force full of young slightly-pissed off males capable of accessing any battlefield in
But it also needs a 21st century organization to tackle global AIDS, malnutrition
and malaria. We've got some fantastic programs and organizations on the job but
they need more support to achieve faster and more effective results.
This becomes your "product" that you communicate, campaign, recruit for and
advertise around the world. It's not enough to re-shuffle the deck. You have to
start a new game. You have to get people to listen.
I have no answer to the culture of death of the suicide bomber. I can't suggest
what to do when passion goes bad. But I can tell you that I challenge audiences
all over the world that the role of business is to make the world a better place.
What I offer to you today, as representatives of the world's greatest security
forces, is the same challenge: the Fight for a Better World.
To create global emotional connections to this challenge. To deploy Mystery,
Sensuality and Intimacy to create America as a Lovemark.
And to do it now before it's too late.
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Corporate Doublethink will make your day....
My view is that the name for this long campaign we're engaged in, the War on Terror, is fundamentally wrong. Every time we refer to Terror, we invest in the presence and even the legitimacy of our enemy.
Instead, turn the tables in a way that promotes an inspirational purpose for our people and our allies, and at the same time re-positions our enemy. Call our struggle the Fight for a Better World. ... When you change the language, you change the conversation. That's how global warming became climate change. Legalized abortion became the right to choose. The War on Terror becomes the Fight for a Better World. (Saatchi's Kevin Roberts 2005, see whole speech below)