Young Upstarts

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[Review] Loveworks

The best examples of marketing are those that make emotional connections with its target audience. When a brand can engage and stir the deepest emotions of their consumers, it pushes beyond the boundaries of mere acceptance to winning their love – that’s the premise of the book “Loveworks: How the world’s top marketers make emotional connections to win in the marketplace” by Brian Sheehan.

And Sheehan may know a little about marketing and advertising – the associate professor of advertising at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University spent 25 years at global creative powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi and previously written “Basics: Online Marketing” and “Basics: Marketing Management“. In his latest book, he extracts some of the best real world marketing case studies from Saatchi & Saatchi’s experience that add onto the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts 2004 seminal work “Lovemarks: the future beyond brands“, which discussed how emotional connections at the heart of sustained relationships between producers, retailers, and consumers.

Loveworks” builds on that premise, and looks at how various marketing concepts – some of which, like virality, have become the epitome of hype – are exemplified through these marketing examples as executed by Saatchi & Saatchi across the world in various categories for different clients. It’s great insight into how creatives think – as someone from the F&B industry, I particularly enjoyed the examples of how Guinness conquered Africa (through a campaign that featured a James Bond-esuqe character called Michael Power), when SKOL leveraged on Brazil’s largest cultural event Carnival, or even Miller’s High Life, whose 2010 campaign tugged at heartstrings in support of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other examples cover the gamut of industries – there’s Cheerios and Pampers (FCMG), Reebok and Nike (sports apparel), Lenovo (technology), Ritz Carlton (hospitality), and Lexus (automotive), so no one’s really left out. It would have been interesting to see more examples of work in the NGO sector included within the book – aside from one on UNICEF – as that sector has always been a challenging one when it comes to marketing.

Of course, you can’t get away from the feeling that “Loveworks” is somewhat Saatchi & Saatchi’s self-congratulatory portfolio collection of sorts, but it is a very beautifully-compiled tome. If you’re any sort of creative or in marketing, “Loveworks” should prove to be a visually-stimulating, entertaining and enlightening weekend read.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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