March 30, 2016

Kevin Roberts Doesn't Like Me

I guess I must be doing something right.

Kevin Roberts, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, wrote a nasty blog post about me last week. With the possible exception of Sir Martin Sorrell, there is probably no one in advertising I would rather have dislike me than Kevin Roberts.

Roberts is one of the all-time champion brand babblers. He was apparently upset by an article in Business Insider about a talk I gave in London last month in which I said:
"Creating a strong brand should be every marketer’s primary objective and the highest role of advertising is to create a strong brand. But our industry has taken these truths and twisted them into silly fantasies... There’s a widespread belief in our business that consumers are in love with brands. That consumers want to have brand experiences and brand relationships and be personally engaged with brands and read branded story telling. People...have a lot of things to care deeply about. It’s very unwise to believe that they care deeply about our batteries, our wet wipes and our chicken strips."
Here's what Roberts wrote in response:
"The radically optimistic reality check is that people have dreams, hopes and aspirations. They strive for magic moments in life amidst the dross and struggle, believe in a better future, and ways to make life more valuable, easier, and enjoyable. Products and brands have a vitally important role in helping people navigate their daily lives, bringing ongoing moments of convenience, utility and joy."
Do you want to just kill yourself, or what?

But you have to admit it -- this guy is good. I can see dimwit CMOs slurping up this bullshit with both hands.

I have written about Roberts and his hoary horseshit before. You can find it here and here.

Roberts is the guy who came up with the quintessence of insufferable brand babble: Love Marks...
“They reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can't live without.”
Someone pass the Kleenex.

I know these pompous aristocrats hate facts but, just for the record, Havas Media did a study on this stuff. They found that in the US and Europe people would not care if 92% of brands disappeared.

Well, anyway, it turns out that ol' Kev ain't having much success with his blog. I checked his last 25 blog posts and there is not a single comment on any of them. Not one.

Better get to work on that brand, Kev.

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