Thursday, 2 October 2008 - Manchester, United Kingdom
Some of the most innovative ideas are generated during tough times. Kevin Roberts Presentation at the Insider’s Creative Forum in Manchester, focuses on five ideas to help transform MediaCity UK into a Lovemark and a creative hub. Kevin reiterates the importance of the creative community as a powerful tool against the current economic slowdown.
I’ve been asked to talk about what it takes to be a creative hub… As CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, I face this question daily.
A high-tech, hard-wired service center won’t do it. The future is soft. It’s not about facilities, however impressive. It’s about the personality of your product, and also your people. It’s actually a story, a narrative.
Danish futurist Rolf Jensen: “The highest-paid person in the first half of this century will be the story-teller.”
Imagine if your product is so distinctive, so compelling to watch that it’s instantly recognizable as yours, where people say: “What do they put in the water in Manchester?” “Get me some of that.”
Your product will rise if it boils with: “truth, drama, courage, passion and daring.”
Manchester gave birth to the modern world. Now, you have to bring it back home. Quite the challenge.
Creativity, like culture, is difficult to pin down.
It’s not about the speed of your fiber optics. Today we’re saturated by information. Everything is media.
From Information Economy, Knowledge Economy, Experience Economy, Attention Economy to the ATTRACTION ECONOMY.
|ATTENTION ECONOMY||ATTRACTION ECONOMY|
|Return on Investment||Return on Involvement|
|Marketing at||Connecting with|
You can’t attract growth through process, concrete, cranes and brains. You have to inspire it. With JCPenney we set out to “inspire everyday lives”. We stopped marketing, and started connecting.
“Every Day Matters” was named Marketing Campaign of the Year at the World Retail Awards in Barcelona
MediaCityUK is designed for the attraction industries. Is it a sweet spot, though? Will it draw businesses and people in, enthrall them and connect them?
This is the premium territory everywhere seeks, where people simply say: “I love you.” We call it Lovemarks. Not “Likemarks”, not “Trustmarks”, but Lovemarks, the future beyond brands.
- Brands are built on Respect. Lovemarks are built on Love and Respect.
- Brands create loyalty for a reason. Lovemarks create Loyalty Beyond Reason.
- Brands are owned by managers, marketers and shareholders. Lovemarks are owned by the people who love them.
- Great brands are Irreplaceable. Lovemarks are Irresistible.
LOVE / RESPECT AXIS
- Low Respect. Low Love. Commodities. US Airlines. Strip malls in the US, the London 2012 Olympic Logo. Torremolinos.
- High Love. Low Respect. Fads and infatuations. Paris Hilton to Oasis to Ibiza. When your product is instant, as yours is, use this zone to get warp speed. Mobile texting did. Most mobile applications don’t, and burn out.
- High Respect. Low love. “e-r” words: faster, bigger… cheaper. Germany.
- High Love. High Respect. Lovemarks, Buenos Aires. Morrissey. The Love parade in Berlin. Irresistible, loved, enduring – and real.
Here are five ideas to help transform MediaCityUK into a Lovemark
IDEA #1 TO BE A CREATIVE HUB: THINK WITH YOUR HEART
The Attraction economy is powered by emotion.
Creatives look for freedom and community, deep emotional territories. The community stirred into Berlin. The artistic space of Brooklyn (vs. Manhattan). SXSW, in Austin. La Rive Gauche!!
Pop stars to football, Manchester is all heart. Now stir emotional responses to MediaCityUK. Create 200 acres of heat and passion.
Emotional hot zones: Rio, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Boulder Colorado, Dubai;
Rational cold zones: Frankfurt, Singapore, Brussels, Leeds!
Neurologist Donald Calne: “reason leads to conclusions. Emotion leads to action.”
IDEA #2 TO BE A CREATIVE HUB: REVEL IN IDEAS
We live in the Age of the Idea. Mass marketing is dead, the consumer is boss, and she lives for ideas.
Creativity is “just connecting things” as Steve Jobs says – with emotion poured in. The Northwest leads the UK in this endeavour. And it’s about interconnecting talent, a Porterian cluster with lustre.
Position yourselves at the extreme end of the creative range, take risks. Oliviero Toscani, the Benetton crazy nails it: “Creativity has to be subversive. It requires a state of non-control – of limitless courage.”
Fabrica, Benetton’s applied creative lab, blurs the boundaries of culture, language and media to churn raw creative attitude. It’s the magic sauce of Miami Ad School and Parsons Design School.
Train the “new” creatives here in every field, and build the UK’s first “creative” campus. Make it about ideas fusion, not media provision.
IDEA #3 TO BE A CREATIVE HUB: USE THE THREE SECRETS
Mystery mixes dreams, stories and icons to create the attraction of the unknown. Seattle managed to brew Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon and Kurt Cobain.
“MediaCityUK” is bland, more wonk than wonky, Microsoft not Google, short on personality. For starters, I’d consider ‘LowryMediaCityUK’…. Or -RobinhoMediaCity…
Fuse past, present and future. An Imperial War Museum, The Lowry and BBC 2.0 is a good start.
Remember, it’s the story that attracts and connects. Stories share the dream, and weave the myth.
Load LowryMediaCityUK with meaning, fast.
Sensuality Sight, sound, smell, touch and taste are portals to the emotions.
Sensuality is the seducer of creatives. Fresh air and natural light are prized in Japan and South Korea.
It’s about sunshine, loft living, pop culture, flowing water, youth, cuisine, cobblestones, art, design, cheap rent, fresh coffee, clean living and access to nature. Think emerging places like Lisbon. Movie and coffee, and culture infusers like Wellington. Super serene experiences like South Beach’s Setai hotel.
Intimacy is Empathy, commitment, passion. Intimacy creates an emotionally-powerful space for tribes of people to fill. It’s the small touch, the perfect gesture.
A luxury boutique hotel in Singapore (the Naumi) has designed a woman-only floor. That’s an idea with mystery, sensuality and intimacy. No blokes.
IDEA #4 TO BE A CREATIVE HUB: SIZZLE WITH SISOMO
With myriad media choices, and a screen in every pocket, brands have become entertainment.
Welcome to the Screen Age. From wrist screens to giant outdoor displays, it’s the global commons.
Attracting is not about broadcasting or technology or media. It’s about bringing the screen alive.
We call it SISOMO, sight, sound and motion that compels, heat that people want to share with their best mates.
- YouTube to share Sisomo.
- Facebook, MySpace and Bebo to share their lives.
- Wikipedia to share their knowledge.
- eBay to share their belongings!
- LinkedIn and XING to share their business networks.
Connect every screen inside, across and outside, and the world will come to you.
IDEA #5 TO BE A CREATIVE HUB: BE PARADOX PLAYERS
To grow a creative space, it’s And / And. Not Either / Or.
The creative hubs of the world are magicians of And / And.
They work with complex opposites at the same time so they enhance each other, without compromise. Think convergence AND divergence, rundown AND built up, artist AND scientist, possible AND impossible.
To master paradox, study Toyota . Toyota:
- Grows steadily AND remains paranoid
- Moves slowly AND takes great leaps
- Is frugal AND splurges on key areas
- Is simple AND complex
- Is experimental AND rigorous
- AND……is Green AND Blue
LowryMediaCityUK is designing Green into the project, fantastic, but Blue is the new Black. The future is about moving from limits to possibilities, from problems to passions, from fear to radical optimism.
Sustaining is about inspiring. It’s about people.