The Book That Cluetrainers Love To Hate Just Landed Saatchi A Fat Account

Lovemarks, the book by Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts that was thoroughly ridiculed in the bloatosphere, is now responsible for landing Saatchi the J.C. Penny account, a $430 million piece of business.
Here’s what Ad Age indicates:

Love was in the air this spring for Kevin Roberts and JC Penney. It all began aboard a corporate jet early in the season when Penney Chief Marketing Officer Mike Boylson heard about his boss’s new crush, Saatchi & Saatchi chief Kevin Roberts, a silver-tongued New Zealander whom Penney CEO Myron “Mike” Ullman had seen speak at a conference.
On a cocktail napkin, Mr. Ullman sketched out the axis of love and respect — Mr. Roberts’ way of understanding how consumers relate to brands, as articulated in his 2004 book “Lovemarks.” A “love-mark” — an Apple or a Nike — occupies the upper-right quadrant where it gets high degrees of both love and respect.
“He gave me a copy of the book and said that it was worth looking into and that JC Penney needed to be a love mark with middle America,” Mr. Boylson said in an interview just one day after the fast-blooming romance was consummated Aug. 31 with Penney’s decision to move it’s $430 million creative account to Saatchi.

Hugh MacLeod, one of the louder doubters had this to say two falls ago, “The reason I don’t buy it is simple: Lovemarks is just a sweetened, cutey-pie metaphor to justify his company’s and industry’s behavior. But the basic behavior, the basic biz model remains fundementally unchanged.”

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.