Love’s Transformation

Tuesday, 29 April 2003 - Brussels, Belgium

Transforming Love Belgium

Presentation Summary

An address to the Unie der Belgische Adverteerders. Emotion is the primary motivator and ultimate game breaker. By building on Respect and igniting Love, Lovemarks are a call to action. Belgian advertisers go inside mystery, sensuality and intimacy to develop an understanding of the brands people love.

We live in a tough world. Conflict, disease, and hardship are a near reality almost everywhere. At the same time, our capacity to improve lives is unprecedented in history.

Globalization today simply means interdependence.

The path to prosperity in the global economy will be built by soft not hard power – by the unstoppable power of emotional connections.

For enlightened business, this spells massive opportunity. Why? Because only business – the engine room of human progress – has the credentials to improve life globally.

I believe the role of business is to make the world a better place for everyone – by creating self-esteem and bringing social balance through jobs, choices, opportunities and challenges.

You are here as brand masters, the people who understand advertising, control advertising, do advertising. You inform. You challenge. You offer choices, hopes and dreams.

Your challenge today is to be fully transformational. To make deep emotional connections that transform brands into Lovemarks.

Saatchi & Saatchi developed Lovemarks to confront the new reality.
The reality that brands have run out of juice against the forces of commodification. The erosion of distinctions, Higher performance standards. Squeezed margins and prices. The rapid imitation of innovation. The endless re-packaging of value.

The reality that brands can no longer deal to our most pressing challenges:

  • To connect with consumers around the globe
  • To cut through the clutter in a clear and relevant way
  • To create compelling experiences

In the new reality, only a few brands have sprung the commodity trap. Evolved into something new. Some are so far ahead that they are not just “Super Brands” or “Brands Plus”.

Lovemarks are the future beyond brands. They personalize the mass market and create a market of one. Their power comes from their source of ownership:

Lovemarks are not owned by companies. Nor by shareholders. Nor by CEOs or marketing departments. They are owned by the people who love them.
Lovemarks ask what motivates consumers. They find the answer in the primary motivator of all human action – emotion.

An answer that is instinctive and increasingly scientific. Early on, neurologist Donald Calne said “The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.”

The 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics went to Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith – largely for showing how the heart can overrule the head in decision making.

A weight of evidence is backing the deep insight Saatchi & Saatchi already had. Emotion is an unlimited resource. There are simply no limits to its power.

  • Lovemarks are game breaking opportunity to reinvent branding.
  • Lovemarks are the charismatic brands people love.
  • Lovemarks connect companies, their people and their brands.
  • Lovemarks inspire loyalty beyond reason.

Procter & Gamble’s Global Marketing Officer Jim Stengel put it this way: “Take away Tide or Pampers from loyal users and you’ll get real anger. Take away a Cover Girl lip shade from a girl whose skin tone loves it and you’ll have mum in the shop.”

Lovemarks are the ultimate premium profit generator.

You know a Lovemark instantly.

  • Harley Davidson, definitely. Suzuki? I don’t think so.
  • Here’s an iMac; here’s a Thinkpad. Sorry IBM.
  • McDonalds is a Lovemark – despite its current problems. Burger King has the taste but not the Love.

Lovemarks start with the Love / Respect Axis, a fast, intuitive reality check for every brand. Where does your brand sit?


Start with Low Respect and Low Love – classic commodities. Public Utilities. Low value transactions. Essential but going nowhere. Zero brand heat.

Move on to Low Respect and High Love. Fads, trends, infatuations. Last month’s gotta-haves. Next month’s has-beens. Pokemon and shaving patterns into your hair. Britney Spears.

High Respect and Low Love – where most major brands are stuck. Functional benefits, solid performance and always fixed on those “e-r” words.

High Respect and High Love. Lovemarks. This is where new value lies. Here we can create deep connections with customers by building on Respect and igniting Love.

Lovemarks want it all. Forget the simplicity of either/or. It’s and/and. Love and Respect. Heart and Mind. Emotion and Reason. Local and global. And, and, and.

Let’s put the “and” back into brand – with feeling.

The second phase of Lovemarks methodology is the Lovemarker. A creative insight generator that measures emotional heat from the three signatures of Lovemarks; mystery, sensuality and intimacy.

Anything, anyone anywhere can go through the Lovemarker. You can put a product through in less than 60 minutes. It’s fast.

Let’s go inside mystery, sensuality and intimacy.

First Mystery

Mystery draws together past-present-future, great stories, dreams, myths and icons and the inspiration that give a relationship its texture.

Past, present and future locate us in time and space. The Empire State Building is still the ultimate modern skyscraper. In our minds, King Kong forever clings to its spire. New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson will return Kong to the big screen in 2005.

Stories convey context and meaning. The best stories go beyond attitude to emotion; beyond cool to heat; beyond style to spirit; beyond celebrity to authenticity. The zippo lighter, Harley Davidson, Coca-cola, the little girl born in a Lexus who was named Isabella Lexus.

Dreams emerge from our deepest emotions. Dreams create action and action inspires dreams.

Bill Gates’ dream to put a PC on every desk. Nikes’ dream to inspire athletes everywhere. Steve Job’s dream to put a ding in the universe – his latest probe is to marry Apple computers and Universal Music.

Myths and Icons are the reference library of the heart. Many Lovemarks are great icons. Mickey mouse. The VW beetle. Nelson Mandela. The Red Cross which Saatchi & Saatchi works with worldwide to combat AIDS.

Inspiration is the final element in the mystery mix. The spark that sets the love affair on fire.

Mystery matters. Brands today are so precisely defined that mystery evaporates. In the attention economy, it’s what we don’t know that cuts through.

Second Sensuality

Vision, touch, smell, sound, taste. This is how we experience the world. Sensuality is a portal to the emotions. The Lovemarker lets you come up with a new take on sensuality, test where you stand now, get your hands into what matters to your customers.

As the marketing landscape becomes more complex, the number of touch-points of a brand multiplies. The usual plan is to keep them carefully contained. The telemarketer’s call. The DM mail piece. A billboard. Maybe a poster or TVC. A web site.

But customers’ demands are escalating and business is scrambling to deliver. The big issue? Integration. The solution? Touch points not as a framework or tool or technology but as a way to keep the signals together, just like the brain does – human or canine.

Humans have four genes for vision and 1,000 for smell. Smell is a hugely complex sense leading more directly to the emotions than eyes or ears.

Sound underpins the personality of every experience. Take Harley Davidson. A motorcycle with a sound so distinctive and so coveted that they’ve patented it.

And don’t think because you don’t sell food or beer you can forget taste. Remember Apple’s brilliant first line-up of iMacs? Gorgeous colors. Tasty names: Strawberry, Lime, Blueberry, Tangerine. Grape. Lovemark status sealed with one word. YUM!

Third Intimacy

Real love needs intimacy – the small moments with emotional resonance.

Remember when a book store was a place to look but not to touch? Now settle into a comfortable chair, open your magazine, and sip a coffee. Local bookstores and national chains have made the move into the hearts of customers. How? By treating us like friends.

Intimacy is developed with empathy and commitment, and lit up with passion.

Empathy so that we can understand and respond to other people’s emotions. The difference between blasting words at consumers and relating with an orchestra of sound, silence, signals and movement.

Commitment that shows we are in the relationship for the long haul. Apple got through the hard times because it had love in the bank. With loyalty beyond reason, Apple could make mistakes and still be forgiven.

And passion to energise the relationship. With passion, you stay focused on what counts.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s focus is to create and perpetuate Lovemarks through the power of ideas. Our return on ideas is on record. Five years growth running. In 2002 No. 1 Global Agency creatively and No.1 in the Global New Business League.

Ideas that break open the game share an important quality.

Cliff Francis – our Executive Creative Director for Procter & Gamble business – calls it ‘Surprising with the Obvious’. It’s easy to surprise consumers with something off-the-wall, off-equity, off-brief. Engaging without convincing. It’s even easier to be obvious. Convincing, true but not engaging.

The trick is to do both. To find ideas that both engage and convince consumers.

Transformational consumer insight starts with the consumer. Product innovation will continue to deliver advantage, but it is tough to protect for long. And expensive. Around 80 percent of new product launches fail.

Far smarter to put the consumer in charge. Far smarter to use Lovemarks as the inspiration for new product development than technical capabilities.

Lovemarks step into the engine room of human progress. They engage the role of business. Because the ultimate measure of any Lovemark is whether it makes the world a better place.

How? By calling up our deepest emotions. They locate relevance, legitimize identity, unleash diversity, touch conscience, excite passion, support inclusion, and breathe optimism.

As I said up front, emotional connections will shape the human future. Lovemarks actualize this because they don’t market products or services. They market improvements in people’s lives.

From brands to a fast word on management – the other half of the brand management equation. You won’t get to Lovemarks by management – doing things right. Nor just by leadership – doing the right things. The fast track to Lovemarks takes a higher road. One word. Inspiration.

  • Inspiration to make the world a better place.
  • Inspiration to embrace emotion rather than fear its power.
  • Inspiration to touch consumers with ease and grace.

Inspiration turns up the heat. Awakens people to action towards purpose. Makes them Inspirational Players. It takes individuals and organizations from high performance to a theory and practice that is my academic focus. Peak performance.

Five things to get started on when you get back to the office:

  • Fall in love with ideas. I work with ideas people not advertisers. Forget the Information Age. We live in the Age of the Idea. Act like a technician or expert and that’s how you’ll be treated. Act like an ideas person and the world will open up before you.
  • Lead with your senses. They often get pushed to one side so time to put them out front. We create our world not just through sight but through hearing, smell, touch and taste. Dive into them all.
  • Explore Lovemarks. Join the global community at and Explore the hundreds of messages, ideas, affirmations, stories, and nominations that are making Lovemarks an unstoppable force. And this October look out for our business book on Lovemarks. P&G head AG Lafely is writing the forward.
  • Touch lives. Believe that you can improve the big picture. You can. With responsibility, understanding and the power of Lovemarks, marketing and business can make the world a better place for everyone.
  • Finally, be an Inspirational Player. Commit yourself to inspire others. And just as importantly, open up so others can inspire you. Become a force for good. Make a difference.

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