Magic Time

Tuesday, 14 June 2011 - Amsterdam, Netherlands


Presentation Summary

In this presentation to EmoDay in Amsterdam, Kevin Roberts shares five key ideas on emotional innovations and creating Lovemarks.

A whole day on emotional innovation! I came to Amsterdam 11 years ago to give a speech about the power of emotion and love, and today I’m going to be nothing if not consistent.

Congratulations to Arjan on the inspiration for today. Emotion is oxygen, whether it is fear or joy. It is the stuff of life that makes magic happen – and mindful that just one hour stands between us and dinner, emotion is the element that gets things going.

My purpose in life is to take people and companies and clients out of their rational price and benefit-driven left-brain thinking spaces, and get them into emotional high gear, the right-brain heart space, where the true action lives.

Some of you are already on this path to Love. Others might be still hiding under the desk, thinking that the new attribute or feature or extension or discount will drive your market share or preference or margin. Trust me, it won’t.

Because emotion is the lightning rod for success in a VUCA (Volatile / Uncertain / Complex / Ambiguous) world.

Tornadoes and tsunamis, revolutions and insurrections. The ghosts of yesterday on trial. In this VUCA world you need a double-shot of emotion to earn a date and then romance the consumer. The challenge is to get in tune, feel what matters and act with empathy.

Today’s consumer is always on, absorbing, creating, sharing and moving at the speed of light. I know you know it. The Dutch are serial sharers. More people use Twitter here than anywhere else in the world. Your job as marketers is to reach through the tweets with emotion and give people a new, radically optimistic VUCA: Vibrant / Unreal / Crazy / Astounding.

This new VUCA flows from the Age of Now. People navigate a demanding world by living in the moment.

The Now is where life happens. It’s where we really live. Most importantly, it’s where we feel good.

Psychology tells us that people are happiest living in the Now. Not dwelling on past regrets or getting lost in daydreams, but in the moment, because this is when miracles can happen in front of us.

The Age of Now does not suffer marketing. Marketing is dead. We’ve shifted from an Attention Economy – selling by yelling – to a Participation Economy – selling by involving.

Attention Participation
Inform Inspire
Interruption Interaction
Return on Investment Return on Involvement
Market Movement

To create relationships with consumers you need involving experiences, magic moments where you meet people in the Now.

In the Age of Now it’s not enough to be liked. Love is the emotion that trumps all others. Winners create brands that are loved and shared at warp speed: Lovemarks.

  • Brands are owned by brand managers, accountants and stockholders. Lovemarks are owned by the people who love them.
  • Brands are built on Respect. Lovemarks are created out of Respect and Love.
  • Brands build Loyalty for a Reason. Lovemarks inspire Loyalty Beyond Reason. Beyond Attribute, Benefit. Loyalty Beyond Recession.
  • Great brands were irreplaceable. Lovemarks are irresistible. You need to ask if you’re helping to make a brand irreplaceable or irresistible. iPad? Oh boy, irresistible.


  • Low Respect. Low Love. Raw materials, raw experiences. Commodities.
  • High Love. Low Respect. The creative zone of “NEW”, “NOW”, “GONE”. The flavor of the moment. Few fads make the leap to Lovemark.
  • High Respect. Low Love. Where brands wage wars around performance, respect and trust.
  • High Love and High Respect. Lovemarks, fun and joyful and deeply involving. Apple. Albert Hein. Unox. Grolsch. The national football team…

Today I want to give you five ideas to help you create Lovemarks everywhere.


The biggest question the consumer has for you today is: “How will you improve my life?”

To make her life better you need to know her needs, her dreams, what keeps her up at night. The great brands are “Purpose-inspired; benefit-driven”, just like their audience. They involve people in something bigger than themselves while delivering moments of joy and exhilaration.

P&G talks about “Touching lives, improving life.” It’s a Lovemarks way of thinking; a quantum leap from price-focused value to priceless value.

Caution Courage
Deliver Delight
Transaction Relationship
Cut Commit
Rational Emotional

To create an emotional connection that will sustain you need to start with purpose. The philosopher Daniel Dennet got sick of people asking him the meaning of life so he made up this sound bite: the definition of happiness is to find something bigger than yourself, then devote the rest of your life to it. This is what Purpose is.

As attributes like quality, design and performance become embedded in everything from toothpaste to tablets, and innovation becomes incremental, it is the quality of people’s emotional experience that will set you apart. Whether it’s shopping online or in store, whether it’s trying the product for the first time or the 50th, the quality of emotional experience is critical.

To deliver experience you need understanding; you need to go Xploring, not data mining.

Information – Knowledge – Insight – Foresight
Information – Knowledge – REVELATION – Foresight

INSIGHT – To develop a pen that could write in space, NASA spent millions on advanced technology.
REVELATION – The Russians used a pencil!

For business, emotion is the key to better decisions, to stronger value, to higher margins and profit.

In the Now, emotion is the new 80/20 Rule. Emotion is how people decide, how you start conversations and rouse movements. Donald Calne: “Reason leads to conclusions, emotion leads to action.”


Lovemarks have three key ingredients.

Mystery taps into Dreams; Past / Present / Future; Icons and Symbols; Inspiration and Great Stories.

It’s what we don’t know that matters, the unexpected, the intriguing. Why would you go to a movie in which you know the ending?

All too often marketers kill their communication by being obsessed with information about benefits and features. This doesn’t sell product, you get all this information on the website. Buyers want to be engaged, entertained, inspired.

Apple shrouds new product launches in mystery by carefully spreading 
rumors, dropping hints and releasing limited editions.

Sensuality is Sight, Sound, Scent, Touch and Taste, the enthrallers of emotions. What is the taste of your brand (assuming you’re not in the food business)? What is the soundtrack of your brand?

In New Zealand, Cadbury has spent six months capturing the sounds people associate with joy. Now it’s writing a song using them all – 
the first national anthem of pure happiness.

Intimacy empathy, commitment and passion. It’s the thoughtful touch, the surprises that connect with a consumer’s heart.


It’s not about the brand or product, it’s about the unreasonable power of creativity. The future rewards the “what if?” questions:

  • McDonald’s asked “What if we make people healthy?”
  • IBM asked “What if we go into services?”
  • Toyota asked “What if we create hybrid cars?”

The answers changed each company’s fortune.

A great idea reframes, and often surprises with the obvious.

  • Toyota Prius gave us a button start ignition.
  • Microsoft Kinect replaces a game controller with the human body.
  • Apple opened retail stores.


In the now, everything is digital and there is only one world, not offline or on, connected by sight, sound and motion travelling through screens at warp speed.

TV is the most emotionally powerful medium and will be the dominant medium of our lifetime – as a device, a format, a host of news, sport, drama, entertainment, gaming, social media, Web, advertising

We remember 20% of what we read, 80% of what we see. Online video is taking off big time. Is it TV? You betcha – but not TV as we knew it! TV is forming a future we simply call sisomo – sight, sound and motion. Sisomo in the street, on the go, in-store, in the moment.

In this future, TV, mobile, social, internet are one. The victors will be those who outplay others on the field of great content. People are drawn to compelling stories.

If you’ve got a great story to tell in a compelling way, you’ll have an audience – and revenue.


In the Age of Now marketers need to move with the moment. Live in a state of perpetual motion. Act now and beg for forgiveness later. Make 100 day plans. It’s as far out as you can see. Don’t spend all of your efforts trying to come up with the perfect plan.

The key is not to get things done, it’s to make things happen. Because emotion leads to action. You can:

  • Reply to emails OR Organize a community
  • Cross off the ‘to dos’ OR Set ambitious goals
  • Repeat what you heard OR Change perceptions
  • Go with the flow OR Forge a new path
  • Anticipate roadblocks OR Create possibilities

To sum up, here are five ‘E’ words to fire your world with emotion.

  • Enthusiasm: Be an irresistible force of nature!
  • Engage: Emotion begins with participation. Get involved. Make friends. Start a conversation.
  • Empathy: Connect with priceless value. Show the consumer you really care. Create Lovemarks with Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy.
  • Evolve: Fire up your content with creativity, then deliver on screen with sisomo.
  • Execute: Do it! Now! The consumer won’t wait – life is too short not to make things happen…phone home now…

How to Win in the Age of Now


Spanning creativity, leadership and execution, Kevin Roberts’ presentation to the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Wellington Chapter is an inspirational primer in: Wanting to Win, Ways to Win Now and Ways to Keep Winning – the secrets of Peak Performance so that winning becomes a habit.

Up, Up and Away – Rotary Newmarket


Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, talks to the Newmarket Rotary Club about Winning in the Age of Now, and how to turn a brand into an irresistible Lovemark for the next generation.

Start Me Up


Kevin Roberts gives keynote speech at the 6th Annual Global Competitiveness Forum “The Entrepreneurship Imperative” held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, sharing three ways to win in the region.

Set Fire To The Rain


In this presentation to Spotlight On Lancaster at Lancaster University, Kevin Roberts talks about enabling, energizing and activating creative partnerships and achieving Vibrant, Crazy, Unreal and Astounding impact.

Brighter Than Sunshine


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Just Can’t Get Enough


Presenting to the Institute of Development Professionals in Education in Oxfordshire, Kevin Roberts presents three ideas on creating Loyalty Beyond Reason and creating frameworks for development discussions.

Rhythm of Love


Speaking at the National Speakers Association of Australia Convention, Melbourne, Kevin Roberts shares 5 big ideas to put you on the path to creating Lovemarks.