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.”

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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 head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.