Do you happen to recall the book Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts? There is now a website where you can enter your own lovemark. Impressive, I know.
I would understand if you asked, “What in the world is a lovemark?” According to Saatchi & Saatchi, “Lovemarks are the future beyond brands…”
Purpose, not just products. We live in what I call, The Belief Economy, driven mainly by millennials and iGen, which demands that brands have a defined, authentic belief system and act accordingly…Brands without a communicated set of values will be left behind as the economic buying power of Millennials and iGen continues to grow over the next 40 years.
Baldwin’s article also claims in a sensational way that it is time to forget about David Ogilvy, and the lessons he imparted because the ad world he inhabited is long gone. It’s an outrageous claim, and I was pleased to see it properly challenged by JP Hanson, chief executive of international brand development consultancy firm Rouser.
Hanson’s rebuttal, also published in The Drum, pulls no punches:
In the world according to Baldwin, marketing is no longer about selling, but selling ‘more relevantly’. The distinction between the two at first glance identical objectives, he argues, is made up by the ever-popular platitude of ‘connecting’ people with ‘core beliefs’ and ‘values’.
Modern marketers in general, and digital marketers in particular, love to bring up beliefs and values. Unfortunately, the reason for it appears rooted in marketers’ adamant refusal to admit that ‘getting people to buy things’ is, really, what they do for a living. When said aloud at social events, it perhaps sounds less evil to ‘connect communities with purpose’. But the fact of the matter is that consumers don’t actually consider the brand values as they make their bi-weekly purchase of toilet paper, nor do they feel emotionally connected to it at the moment of usage.
TP aside, it’s clear that people do feel strongly about their favorite lifestyle brands, and this is interesting and important to scholars and marketers alike. The successful marketer must know why shoppers act on an offer? It could be the price, it could be the packaging or advertising, and it could be love. There’s rarely just one answer in a world of ever-shifting variables; yet, there’s a consistent need to condense the complexity into boardroom bites and to repeat what worked, while weeding out what didn’t.
Baldwin says, “Ogilvy himself never had to create for the Internet, mobile devices, apps, video games or social media feeds.” Naturally, the medium matters, but the fundamentals matter more. My concern with flighty theories in Marcom is how they may work to distract people from the fundamentals.
David Ogilvy was a force of nature, a professional contrarian, and a copywriter who ended up retiring to a castle in France. He said, “The enemies of advertising are the enemies of freedom.” I love that and I miss his brand of mid-century honesty.
Baldwin, Roberts, and other lovemarkers are not enemies of advertising. They’re also not fundamentalists, which is a luxury afforded to some. Everyone else has to sell and great advertising helps. When advertising is at its best, it is one of the most powerful and effective forms of communication in the world. When it’s at its worst, it’s pollution and no one loves pollution.