“I Don’t See A Reason Why Love Will Not Conquer All” – Former Saatchi & Saatchi Boss Kevin Roberts On Why Love Belongs In Advertising

 “I Don’t See A Reason Why Love Will Not Conquer All” – Former Saatchi & Saatchi Boss Kevin Roberts On Why Love Belongs In Advertising

In the age of Gen Z, talking about love in relation to business might not be completely unheard of, but back in 2004 when Kevin Roberts released his book – Lovemark: The Future Beyond Brands – love was not a word used in business.

“If you think about everything that we talked about [in the book] – sustainability, mystery, sensuality, EQ, love, most of marketing’s moved into that field. But when we first came out with that everybody was just like ‘You can’t talk about love in the boardroom, that’s crazy’”. 

Despite other’s misgivings, Roberts, who spent 20 years as the global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, was on to something. 

The book went on to be a best seller and was named one of the top 10 ideas of the decade. 

Speaking to B&T at the World Business Forum Sydney last week, Roberts says that now, 20 years later, “there’s a whole lot more attention spent on empathy, involvements, consumers engaged and all that”. 

A Lovemark is a brand that scores high on love and high on respect, Roberts explains. The reason Lovemark is such a powerful brand is because price becomes less significant when it has that amount of emotional power. 

“I don’t see a reason why love will not conquer all. That’s why we put love marks in the top right. High love, high reward, that’s where the money is. When you create loyalty beyond reason what can you do with pricing? Anything. Anything you want. Because you create loyalty beyond price.” 

Love and advertising is not the only area where Roberts has a refreshingly different viewpoint to what we are used to, in a world where we talk about work-life balance, he opts for blending instead.

“You’ve got to avoid moderation. Balance involves compromise,” he says. 

In terms of how to deal with work stresses, Roberts says it is important to differentiate between pressure and stress. 

“Pressure is a privilege because it means you’re trying to play at a world-class level,” he said. 

“Pressure is something this is a life we have chosen. Pressure is when you have a crisis deadline and a high fear of failure”. 

In contrast, stress is “when you become anxious. Worried. Guilty. Full of regret. This means that you have a redhead. You’re hot, heated and overwhelmed”. 

Stress leads the IQ to drop because “guilt, worry or regret, takes up 50 per cent of your emotional broadband”. This leaves you just 50 per cent of capacity available to get out of the situation. 

Thankfully Roberts says whether you go into pressure or stress is “trainable” and something he learnt through his training on mental toughness with the special forces. 

In terms of what will be the next game-changer in advertising, Roberts says it is less about AI and more about Gen Z. 

He compares Gen Z, to the people in the 70s because they are “free”. 

As well as being free, however, they have also been “weaponised”, “because they really understand tech”. 

“This kids have got so much creativity,” he adds “You can create stuff with an iPhone and an iMac that would have cost James Cameron $20 million. And we can all do that. Yeah. It’s a creative generation”. 

 




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