Winning In the Age of Now – AECOC Conference 2012

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 - Barcelona, Spain

AECOC Conference Barcelona

Presentation Summary

Kevin Roberts speaks to the AECOC Congress in Spain about how having a winning mentality and embracing Lovemarks elements can turn something we love, into something we can’t live without.

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.” – Vince Lombari

Winning is why you are here, winning is clearly what Spain must do, because the alternatives are ripping life apart in this great country.

Winning is a habit, not a one-off event, and for Spain to win every year, every quarter, every day, we must look to the thrust of enterprise – not to bailouts.

The makers and movers of stuff are the engine of Spain’s future, as global lights driving external demand constantly.

I’m going to talk about how you can scale as businesses and win, which means taking Spain out into the world to bring home wealth, jobs and joy.

Winners reframe, first mentally. As Vince Lombardi said: “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.”

Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous.

To beat VUCA, Spain must reframe this as superVUCA, in a reality where nothing is impossible.

Vibrant – Radical optimism is the operating system.

Unreal – An idea is all you need to scale.

Crazy – ‘Crazy’ creates instant billionaires. Jobs: ‘Who wants to join the navy, when you can be pirate?’

Astounding – ‘New’ is old, and value happens now.

Quite the challenge.

The context for winning has shifted from production to people.

People are ground down, and yet empowered, indulged and accelerated by technology and choice.

It’s a world where excitement, comparison, feedback improvement and delivery are on instant demand.

New is dead in this time compression. Now is alive. It’s the Age of Now, where emotional velocity outstrips strategy, management and marketing.

Winning is about velocity, being in permanent beta mode, seizing opportunity, being ready to adjust with customers, colleagues, partners – and ready to accelerate past threats in an instant.

Attention Participation
Inform Inspire
Interruption Interaction
Return on Investment Return on Involvement
Pumping Markets Creating Movements

Emotion has always trumped reason, today even faster, because emotion rules the moment world. The currency of the Now is emotion.

15, 70, 15 Happiness. And the 70% now zone is natural territory for Spain.

So walk in the consumer’s shoes, work back from how she feels.

Design and deliver for people, for now, not for tradition or convention or business as usual. This will radically alter what you make, how you package it, sell it, brand it and distribute it.

Donald Calne: Reason leads to conclusions, emotion leads to action



Winning starts with Purpose. People rise to purpose – work to play, screen to store, home to travel, consuming to sustaining.

Leadership is about dreams and inspiration. Dreams are at the heart of all great endeavors, businesses to brands, communities to countries.

  • MLK did not say “I have a mission statement.”
  • Apple: “Think Different”
  • The London Olympics: Inspire a Generation
  • And Spain, what is Spain’s dream so it unites to win?

Revolution starts with language. ‘Economic structuring programs’ is banker language; what’s the language for Spanish people to unite behind in the Age of Now?

For me, my country New Zealand’s purpose is “winning the world from the edge.” So what captures and catalyzes Spain’s dream? How to drive export stronger, wider and faster? Move from GTD to making things happen. Might it be “Spain Now!”

Purpose is in the heart of all your audiences today. Your customer’s first question is not: “How cheap are you?” but “How will you improve my life?” Make me the hero, not your product!

This is the switch from ‘price-focused’ to ‘priceless’, the win zone where value = quality x price.


In business, reengineering and restructuring and re-everything have exhausted people and only add incremental growth.

How to jump shift Spain’s per capita exports from US$5,000 to $70,000 like Singapore? To export across the track like Germany? To create entire new sectors that proliferate jobs?

The answer is creativity, creative leadership, where CEO means Chief Excitement Officer and CMO is Chief Magic Officer.

Here’s how to be a Creative Leader:

1. Have lots of small ideas, continuously.

… because we live in the Age of Now.

Ideas for Spain:

  • Go bigger than Sushi with Arrozushi!  (arroz = rice.) Reconstitute traditional Spanish food in a “world” context.
  • Eliminate the two hour lunch.
  • Up the joy through Church. 75% of Spain professes to be Catholic; 15% of Catholics attend church every Sunday.
  • Be 50+ million – more Spaniards please!
  • Re-colonize digitally, be the spiritual home of 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide.
  • Make your treasure of sports and cultural superstars the ambassadors of Brand Spain.

Small ideas…

2. Reframe constantly.

  • Steve Jobs reframe: presence into absence
  • Reframe Us: Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi España
  • Reframe Spain

Be hard-edged, technical and techno, as well as passionate, sensual and tasty – like your strength in wind power.

  • Liberate women into the workplace! The Now is about connecting and inspiring not commanding and controlling.
  • As the world’s biggest fashion retailer (Zara), invent wearable computing!!

Here’s an idea.

3. Surprise with the Obvious

  • To develop a pen that could write in space, NASA spent millions on advanced technology. The Russians used a pencil.
  • Spain: Be world champions in economic turnarounds, not just in football.


The Age of Now is won in the space beyond brands:

  • Brands are owned by companies, marketers and stockholders. Lovemarks are owned by the people who love them.
  • Brands are built on Respect. Lovemarks are created out of Respect and Love.


  • Low Respect. Low Love. Commodities.
  • High Love. Low Respect. Fads.
  • High Respect. Low Love. Brand land.
  • High Love. High Respect. Lovemarks, Apple to… the beautiful game.
  • Brands build Loyalty for a Reason. Lovemarks inspire Loyalty Beyond Reason. Beyond Attribute, Benefit. Loyalty Beyond Recession.
  • Great brands were irreplaceable. Lovemarks are irresistible.

Build your Lovemark with three secrets.

Mystery: Inspirations, dreams, icons, symbols, past / present / future, and stories… the premiums are in what we don’t know.

Sensuality enthralls the emotions. Vision, Sound, Scent, Touch, Taste are the backbone of experience.

Consumers operate on all five senses. Most brands operate on one or two.

Intimacy is empathy, commitment, passion. It’s manufacturers, retailers and customers working in concert to expand the value equation.

It’s your enterprise in the audience’s heart, not the audience at your heart.

  • The Ritz-Carlton changed “Please stay with us” to “Let us stay with you.”
  • World’s first NFC (near field communications) supermarket in Paris – app gives clear pricing and nutrition info, running purchase total, stops cashier error, link to loyalty card.


The accelerators of mystery, sensuality and intimacy are sight, sound and motion, SiSoMo – the compelling ingredients to win people over in the Age of Now.

TV, the original sisomo, is integrating technology and absorbing and colonizing new media as it’s introduced.

Everything supposed to kill TV actually makes it better!

Your audience has 3 questions of anything you create:

  • Do I want to see it again?
  • Do I want to share it?
  • Do I want to improve it?

Today we are all Screenagers in a multi-screen world, roaming cross-platform on a family of screens, from Outdoor to TVs to PCs to tablets and mobiles.

  1. Organizing Idea: Everything is digital, nothing is digital.
  2. Business model: Great content – the ‘magic’ and just the beginning. People want to be connected to the content they love and on an immeasurable scale.
  3. Delivery System: The more platforms we invent, the more stories we need. Great stories hold it all together, show compelling truth fast, and travel.
  4. Future Play: Mobile. There are 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world now. The intimate screen is the hub organizing life. The content should be sharable, personal, and it may even be about you or from you.
  5. Thriller Space: Store. Shopping is emotional adventure, nothing less. Deliver bursts of convenience, relevance, surprise and fun.

Winning is about building and integrating buying momentum across multi-channel living, whether the first impression is at home, on the move, or in the store.

Tailor for each screen not what people want, but what they never dreamed possible.


E1 is Enthusiasm: Something great to come out of Greece – enthousiasmos (literally, having the god within you.).

Spain needs your leadership and enterprise. Be an irresistible force of nature, an Inspirational Player.

The first job is enthuse young talent. Don’t lose your best and brightest to other countries:

  • Responsibility
  • Learning
  • Recognition
  • Joy

E2 is Execution: The killer app.

Shimon Peres: “It’s not enough to be up to date; you have to be up tomorrow.”

Success is the difference between getting things done and making things happen.

Fail Fast, Learn Fast, Fix Fast.

Drive the important not the urgent.

Get your retaliation in first.

Blue Ocean: Eliminate – Reduce – Raise – Create.

De Bono:There’s no point at being brilliant at the wrong thing.

From To
Assess 50% 20%
Decide 30% 10%
Execute 20% 70%

E3 is Everyone:

Corporates look for balance; solutions to the world’s problems will come from crazy and creative individuals who deliver on the role of business.

  • WELCH – create shareholder value
  • DRUCKER – create and grow a customer
  • KR – make the world a better place for everyone.

Creative ideas change the world, not strategic meetings, declarations or ‘to do’ lists.

Don’t wait for change; make things happen.

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


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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


Presenting to AAC Saatchi & Saatchi in Bermuda, Kevin Roberts shares three key ideas on connecting people around ideas that create Loyalty Beyond Reason.

Magic Time


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

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


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