Feet in the Clouds

Thursday, 15 May 2008 - Mexico City, Mexico

Feet Clouds Kevin Roberts

Presentation Summary

Back in the day, brands were in control. Today, they’re not. The Consumer is Boss and she wants ideas, inspiration and dreams. In this speech at the Televisa Conference in Mexico City, Kevin Roberts demonstrates how ideas will be the currency of the future and uses Lovemarks, Sisomo, and Flow to guide his argument.

This is a fantastic event: all Televisa’s partners in one place with the same focus.

“Heart Sell: Connecting Emotions to your Brand.”

Televisa gets it. To win, brands need to be inspired by emotion.

  • Emotion makes up about 80% of how we think; reason, 20%. Human beings think with emotion. That’s what I call a heart sell.
  • Emotion makes our biggest life decisions – house, car, husband, wife.
  • Emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.

And action is why we’re here today. This is the action business.

AG Lafley, CEO of P&G, says the Consumer is Boss. That makes sense to anyone who lived the 60s – like me. Power to the People.

Back in the day, brands were in control. Today, we’re not. And The People want more than price, performance and quality. They want relationships. They want ideas, inspiration and dreams.

We’re not here to give CPR to any technology, media, company. We’re here to connect with people through emotion.

Even Rupert Murdoch gets it: “Media companies don’t control the conversation any more.” And neither do brands, advertisers, marketing managers.

Digital has ignited the power shift to consumers started by choice and competition.

People want to watch what they want, where they want, on the device they want.

Mass marketing has gone viral. The people decide what is mass, not us. Targeting is history. Customization is tablestakes. We need better, richer integration. We need to connect across all touch-points.

Fantastic new brands are being built on the bones of mass marketing.

Fact. Google made its first billion dollars in less than six years. It took McDonald’s 24 years to do the same.
Mexico is in the right place. You can be on the front-lines of this revolution.

  • Your people are young and the young adopt fast to new formats, devices, ways to pay for what they want. [Note: 53% of Mexico’s population is under 24]
  • You’re on the doorstep of the digital gorilla. Millions of people of Latino heritage want to accelerate your success.
  • Your digital infrastructure is growing fast. Last year 28.5% of internet users connected through their mobile phones. Source: Saatchi & Saatchi Mexico
  • You’re brilliant story-tellers in any medium. No one does emotion better than telenovelas. The x in Mexico is no mistake – it’s your X-factor.

As media, marketers, advertisers, you have the potential to be a fantastic seedbed of innovation and entertainment.

How to get started? Start with ideas.

  • Ideas are the currency of the future.
  • Ideas offer differentiation in a world increasingly at parity.
  • Ideas open up new products, new possibilities, new connections.

Example. Starbucks set up MyStarbucksidea.com as a social networking community. Within the first week they got more than 100,000 posts and ideas like: coffee ice cubes, flavored foam, birthday brew and vegan options. This could also be taken to more out-there ideas: Starbucks TV, Starbucks sleeping pods.
Ideas power all of us forward….so here are five.


A couple of years back I had an idea. As digital transformed the market place with new opportunities, we started to obsess over what made media different. I loved what made media the same.

People don’t care whether something is digital or not. They just care about what’s on the screen. Their big, bright, beautiful TV screen or the intimate screen they take everywhere.

Fact. There are 63.2 million mobile phones in Mexico. While 40% of people have a cell phone, 30% don’t have either a cell phone or land line.
Source: Saatchi & Saatchi Mexico
Everything we talk about – TV, computers, iPods, games consoles, shopping carts, outdoor, elevators, gas pumps – has a screen.

Sight, Sound and Motion on screen. I even wrote the book on it.

Sisomo puts us in the right space. It’s not about tools and technologies. It’s about people and emotion, ideas and creativity, authenticity and truth.

Our sisomo challenge is clear: be inspired by people, not just by technology.


Today winning is about connecting with people. It’s not giving them what they want. It’s giving them what they never dreamed possible.

You can’t seize people’s attention in a cluttered and fragmented marketplace. The era of selling by yelling is over. Today the only way to win is to attract people.

From Information Economy, Knowledge Economy, Experience Economy, Attention Economy to the ATTRACTION ECONOMY.

Interrupt Engage
Directors Connectors
One-to-many Many-to-one
Reactive Interactive
Distribution Ideas
Marketing at Connecting with
Brands Lovemarks


….and transform your brands into Lovemarks.

In the Attraction Economy “like” is not enough. Whether you’re selling a product, a service, a channel, a magazine … you have to be loved.

  1. Brands are built on Respect. Lovemarks are created out of Love and Respect.
  2. Brands build Loyalty for a Reason. Lovemarks inspire Loyalty Beyond Reason. They inspire Emotion.
  3. Brands are owned by managers, marketers, and shareholders. Lovemarks are owned by the people who love them.
  4. Brands invest in Trust, Performance and Reputation. Lovemarks involve with Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy.
  5. Great brands are Irreplaceable. Lovemarks are Irresistible.



Low Love/ Low Respect. Commodities – without differentiation. Boring TV. Banal advertising. Cool technology that doesn’t work.

High Love/ Low Respect. Fads – Online contests, giveaways, promotions. Short-term, fun, fast.

Toyota tapped into the World of Warcraft online (a virtual gaming community of around nine million players) to show off a new truck on YouTube.

Low Love/ High Respect. Brands – This is where most marketing investment has gone for the last 50 years. The result? People bored by the “e-r” words: Faster, bigger, cheaper.

High Love/ High Respect. Lovemarks – Authentic, true, sustainable – and Loved.

As P&G’s largest communications partner, Saatchi & Saatchi’s job has been to emotionalize P&G. To inspire Love. Not demos, benefits and attributes, but emotion and empathy.

Work like this got P&G named 2008’s Advertiser of the Year at Cannes.

When Steve Heyer was at Coca-Cola he nailed the challenge for brands. “Presence is easy – impact is hard.” [“Madison and Vine”, 2003]

The stakes have gone up.

Lovemarks are even more demanding. They demand connection. Where does connection sit?

Success belongs to those who can make emotional connections in the market – on screen, in store, on the street, in the home.

The only smart response is to open the doors to ideas with emotional pull.

Brands are made of ideas, emotions, inspirations and meanings. They’re not just products.

The idea of Product Placement needs to grow. A branded cup on the judge’s table – OK, a Coke cup in American Idol – is now spotted in a flash. So is Burger King in Iron Man. It’s not big enough or deep enough.

Branded entertainment bothers me too. Too much about us. Not enough about the people we want to attract, the emotion we want to inspire.

We’re at the start of a revolution. We need a rallying cry – for brand managers, creatives, account directors, designers, media gurus, interactives.

Steve Jobs: “Creativity is just connecting things.”

Example. And did it with iTunes. Apple connects around 70% of all people online with what they want most: music.

IDEA 5. Step up to be a Creative Connector – or lose.

Creativity and ideas are more important than ever. The market is ruthlessly competitive. Only the smart, the connected, the intuitive, are fast enough to survive.

Here are THE FAST FOUR Connectors:


People say TV is dead. Someone forgot to tell the millions who watch it.

The average US household spends more than eight times as much time in front of TV as it does online. [source: American Time Use Survey 2006] A habit built over 60 years is not going anywhere fast.

What’s changed now is people want control. They want on-demand. They want to time-shift. And people under 25 want it most.

TV is becoming more important, not less important. Why? Because TV is an idea, not a box. TV is pure sisomo.

Digital, High Def, DVR, mobile Wi-Fi, addressable will only make TV more irresistible. Take a compelling story. Get smart about the elements that matter most. Let them loose where they can connect and inspire best.

Games, comic books, trading cards, live events, merchandise, quizzes, back story, character analysis, predictions, communities, fan sites, blogs.

Example. The hit TV show Heroes leveraged an amazing array of opportunities: Recaps online; incentives to watch TV and internet at the same time – one enhances the other; video commentary; Wiki deep dive; Fan site for people to post their own artwork, theories; video game – in store by the end of this year; graphic novel online; mobile phone game; quizzes and contexts; Create your own hero; print novel; magazine; blogs and MySpace.

It’s not either/ or. It’s and/ and.

  • High-end Network production and low cost, digital material
  • Prize-winning professional creative and kids in a garage with passion and talent.
  • Living room and bedroom and the car and in your pocket.

Our challenge is to attract people to TV, not push them to turn off. Advertisers have to step up. Only put your name to exciting, emotional sisomo. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune but it does need a great idea.


In the old world we had commercial breaks. Intrusive and disruptive. The value equation is shifting fast.

People are looking for new relationships, not to exchange the programs they like, for commercials they don’t.

Advertising is in high demand. Globally, advertising sales are up 6.5% in 2008. People want to be excited and inspired by the stuff they buy.

To get a natural connection between entertainment and advertising, start acting like real people.

  • Become inspirers, not intruders. Be part of the story.
  • Join the game early when the creative juice is flowing, rather than attaching a product to a finished show.
  • Value the idea and the insight.
  • Start conversations. Brilliant ideas come from anywhere. You and me. Advertisers as well as TV producers.

Our big question is simple: do you want to watch it again? Not, here it comes again. And again. There are no formulas. Do something brilliant once, people will be looking for something even better next time.

The possibilities online and broadcast are fantastic:

Pop-up formats invented for radio and reinvented with sisomo. Two or three days full-on focus on whatever people are passionate about:

  • Baseball
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Dia de los Muertos [Day of the Dead from October 31 to November 2]

Themed formats. Channel 4 is looking to wrap its top-rated show “Grand Designs” with spots from invited advertisers with a strong design ethos. Nintendo, Smart Car, Dyson have signed. A bold effort to make the media channel the advocate of viewers’ experience.

Live formats. People like sports and news live – so why not Ellen?


Who do you believe? Brad Pitt or your best friend? People believe people. There are now more than one billion people online – connecting, creating, searching, shopping, playing. It’s the biggest market the world has ever seen.

The fastest-growing sisomo is the one people create and share among themselves. It’s an entertainment revolution. Emotional, funny, committed, young.

Fact. 16% of the world’s time online is spent on ‘social connections’ – blogs virtual worlds, widgets, communities. Source: Morgan Stanley, Internet Trends, April 2008.

People use:

  • YouTube to share sisomo
  • Facebook to share their lives.
  • Neopets to share their love.
  • Second Life to share their fantasies.
  • Wikipedia to share their knowledge.
  • eBay to share their belongings!

We have a fantastic opportunity to stop interrupting viewers and start connecting, creating, engaging, and rewarding people.


If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo … go to the jungle.

Bottom-line. There is no insight in formal research. Just more facts. Every company in this room has tons of data. But when you all ask the same questions, there’s no breakthrough connection. And certainly no emotional understanding.

Information and knowledge are table stakes. Insight and foresight win.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s Xploring takes on the big challenge: to uncover the difference between how business thinks about consumers, and how real people feel about themselves.

Emotion is at its heart. Truthful, Real, Simple, Actionable.


  1. Connect. Partnerships thrive on relationships, not contracts. Start connecting with media companies, ad agencies, specialist start-ups, Hollywood talent firms, client shops [e.g. Sony], PR.
  2. Talent, talent, talent. Find and reward people who enjoy chaos. Give them responsibility, recognition and joy.
  3. Follow your hearts for the big decisions, and your heads for the minor ones.
  4. Be bold, fast and imaginative. Fail fast, learn fast, fix fast. Create ideas that have never been seen before. And don’t back off because an idea is tough to test and tougher to measure.

The role of business is to make the world a better place. If sustainability is not on your radar it should be.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s Dream: “To be revered as the hot-house for world-changing ideas that create sustainable growth for our clients.”

Our future is not about technology. It’s about inspiration. It’s about being in front, being in touch.

People want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

We formed Saatchi & Saatchi S to ignite change through emotional connectivity. To inspire people to make the right choices – for themselves, their communities, our planet. We believe:

  1. In heading from limits to possibilities
  2. In the power of consumers to change the world
  3. Sustainability is a catalyst for business growth
  4. No sustainability, no Lovemark

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


Kevin Roberts gives keynote speech at the 6th Annual Global Competitiveness Forum “The Entrepreneurship Imperative” held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, sharing three ways to win in the region.

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.