Touch Me

Thursday, 18 March 2004 - Athens, Greece

Touch Me Sunset

Presentation Summary

A keynote address at the Greek Effie Hella Awards 2004. In fragile times, how can advertising sustain business, communicate worthy ideas and unlock innovations that improve lives and engage people’s emotions? Four ideas that create vital links between producers and consumers.

We live in a complex, fragile world. Fear, uncertainty and distrust reach everyone everywhere. The events in Madrid have shocked the world. For Europe, for Greece in August, the implications are real. The Olympics are coming home at a testing time.

Tonight’s effectiveness celebration cannot be separated from global context. We are all much more than marketers. To get results we must be in spirit. We have to look at people’s lives in their entirety, the things they hope for and dream about, the things they fear, the things they love.

People don’t park their emotions outside the marketplace. They put them in the driver’s seat. Emotion rules our life choices. Emotion is the key to effectiveness.

Business is vital in this equation. The role of business is to make the world a better place for everyone.

Only business creates jobs, choices, and self-esteem. Only business can unlock the innovations that improve lives.

Business not Government is the engine of human progress. Advertising and ideas lubricate that engine.

Advertising is the vital link between producers and consumers because it inspires action. Its role is to communicate ethical, true, entertaining ideas that translate thought into action.

If business is to sustain itself it must move from exclusion to inclusion. And it must be sustainable – in four areas.

  • We have to create a Winning Zone – by delivering long term economic abundance.
  • We have to love our Planet Home – by protecting, restoring and enhancing the environment.
  • We have to build a Family of One – by improving the social well-being of everyone.
  • We have to provide Safe Hands – by acting within a transparent, ethical framework. 

Power has moved on from manufacturing in the 80s, to retailers in the 90s and now – finally – to the consumer. Choose not listen and you will become extinct. Ask the last Spanish Government.

How do you that? How do you go beyond brands? You connect with Love. You create Lovemarks.


They are the sweet spot that combines the passion of your heart with the arithmetic of your wallet. They inspire loyalty beyond reason.

We have proven this. We have quantified the link between being loved and being effective.

There are three secret doors into the world of Lovemarks: Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy.

MYSTERY draws together the stories, metaphors, dreams and symbols that give a relationship its texture. Mystery cuts through. Once you know everything there is to know about something you lose interest. The less you know, the more curious you are.

The second avenue to Lovemarks is SENSUALITY. Sight, sound, scent, touch, taste. This is how we experience the world.

  • The Vision of the monasteries of Meteora.
  • The Smell of wild herbs on Crete.
  • The Sound of children laughing.
  • Taste that seduces. Remember Apple’s first iMacs? Names like Strawberry and Grape. Yum!
  • And Touch. Not touch points as a framework for technology. As a warm blanket embracing consumers.

Third is INTIMACY, the secret of long-term relationships.

Real love needs intimacy – the small moments with emotional resonance. Empathy, commitment, passion. All the stuff hardest to calculate. All the stuff that matters to consumers.

Brands must tell authentic stories. They must reduce stress and provide security. They must be part of social networks and word-of-mouth.

Emotional creativity is the key to the kingdom of effective advertising. Touch people’s hearts through mystery, sensuality and intimacy, and you will create Lovemarks.

Lovemarks are the difference between being irreplaceable and being irresistible.

As the world grows more fragile and uncertain, the power of love will grow. You represent the future. As masters of communication it is your responsibility and opportunity to inspire inclusive actions.

  • Be a force for good.
  • Make a difference.
  • Create a Lovemark.

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