The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Wet Wet Wet [Or Should I Say ‘The Troggs’] Were Right …
April 11, 2013, 6:11 am
Filed under: Comment

Kevin Roberts.

Love Marks.

Genius or bullshit?

Well, as with most things in life, it’s probably a bit of both – more dependent on what you do [& how you do it] than some magical process that suddenly makes society fall in love with you.

Or an ad only made by Saatchi&Saatchi.

The reason I say this is that I recently read an article that made me like the London Underground a bit more.

I know … I know … the carriages can get hot and very crowded – plus I don’t have to ride them on a daily basis any more – but that aside, Embankment station recently did a little gesture that potentially will have more impact on making people feel emotionally bonded to them than any amount of ads.

This is what they did:

How lovely is that eh?

The guys at Embankment station didn’t have to reuse Oswald’s voice for their ‘Mind The Gap’ announcement – the widow would have been happy to have just had a copy – but by showing some genuine compassion, they’ve not only made me feel good about them, they’ve made me want to tell as many people as possible.

[What a shame only 6 people read this blog and they’re not the sort of folk most people cross the road to avoid]

OK … OK … so the ‘value’ of this act only has merit if lots of people hear about it, plus there’s an incredible amount of data that suggests ‘brand love’ doesn’t translate to ‘brand loyalty’ [Look at slides 18 to 27 or simply read any book by Byron Sharp] … however even though I live in China and only ride the tube a few times a year, I will – from now on – always feel a little ‘pang’ of warmth when I arrive at Embankment station and will always purposefully listen out for Oswald’s instruction/warning … which is more than 99% of ads can ever make me do, despite being planned and executed by bunch of proprietary tools that supposedly have the answer to everything in the Universe.

So remember Mr Roberts, Love Marks isn’t a process, it’s an attitude and a behaviour and while your agency has lots of lovely clients doing lots of lovely work, the reality is it doesn’t need Saatchi to do it to get it.


37 Comments so far
Leave a comment

look at me being the first to comment. its just like old fucking times except i have a life these days and this is just a coincidence because no other sad fuck could be bothered to ramble on this shit.

youre a sentimental fucking fool campbell, but you also are prone to kicking lovemarks bullshit straight in the bollocks so even though every fucking part of me screams for me to run and hide, ill put up with you and your planning bollocks for a little bit longer.

Comment by andy@cynic

when did i suddenly lose the ability to write in proper fucking sentences. fucking hell, maybe being close to all these planner wankers has infected me. like avian flu but with more deadly fucking results.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your affliction is not due to your proximity to planners, it is a side effect of the process known as “teaching your child to talk”.

Comment by George

have you noticed how you sound more like a fucking management consultant the longer you dont work with me.

Comment by andy@cynic

Having a baby has unfortunately improved your memory.

Comment by Bazza

Look on the brightside, you’re still the backhanded compliment supremo.

Comment by Rob

and for all the stuff being spouted about brand love meaning fuck all because no bastard is loyal any more. no fucker mentions that if you don’t build any brand fucking love bollocks, you wont get the chance to be fucking replaced in the first place. its not bollocks its just not all you should fucking focus doing.

do i have to teach you fuckers everything?

Comment by andy@cynic

Succinctly put.

Comment by George

Careful Andy, you’re showing people that you’re more than just a vulgar mouth. It’s a good point though I don’t think people are questioning the importance of building a brand people want to emotionally connect to, just that being emotionally connected doesn’t mean myopic loyalty.

Though I seem to be living proof that view is not entirely correct given my unwavering focus on Queen, Birkenstocks and Apple stuff.

Comment by Rob

That is a very touching story about Oswald and Embankment Station. Of course what you’re saying is correct, advertising plays only a small, yet significant, role in developing brand love. The real generator is the consistent actions and behaviour of the brand at points of conflict or experience.
What your post also highlights is how small acts of emotional generosity have the capacity to overcome audience frustrations and annoyances. Not for ever, but quite possibly for longer and more meaningfully than a 30 second ad. Even one executed by Mr Roberts and his team.

Comment by George

There had also been a lot of complaints about the replacement message being over-complicated and confusing, but far be it from me to cast doubt on this heart-warming press release.

Comment by John

They did the right thing but maybe not simply for the reasons they publicised. And the widow sounded very happy in all the interviews she gave, though at that time they hadn’t actually replaced the announcement.

Comment by John

It’s a lovely story but if Oswald’s warning message is the same as the more contemporary version, the station management didn’t have to do too much to help. They did a great thing that will mean a lot to Mrs McCollum but what I’m saying is their actions still operated within their system, they didn’t change it just for her.

I think my bus ride to hell has just been secured.

Comment by Bazza

“There was a brief campaign to rebrand them “passenger-train interfaces”.”

Comment by John

You wouldn’t have seen this Rob because you were on holiday.

Comment by John

I obviously didn’t need to check the date, I just played the percentages.

Comment by John

If Lego can get global praise for sending a young boy a replacement piece of Lego after he lost the original, then Embankment Station more than deserve the same level of accolades. It’s not about how easy it was to do, but the fact they did it and did it beyond the expectations of the customer.

Comment by Pete

Nicely countered Peter.

Comment by George

Brilliant point.

The Lego thing was lovely mainly because of the charm that was infused in what they did … and while the same could be leveled at the Embankment Station story, the fact they went beyond just ‘giving a tape to the widow’ is worthy of even greater respect, even if it has been amplified by [admittedly great] PR … which, let’s not forget, could also be something Lego did too.

Comment by Rob

says the fucker who puts out job ads saying you have to be strategic and executional in the same fucking hour.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Rob

Brand generosity or opportunistic PR, reading this has made a few things clear to me.

1. Rob is still a bastard/softy hybrid.
2. I miss Andy’s comments, especially when he raises good points in his swearing.
3. If it’s spin, embankment station have the smartest PR team in England.
4. Lovemarks is spin without the credibility.
5. Baz and John could and possibly should, start cynic 2.0

Comment by Pete

ignore them pete, theyre both miserable motherfuckers. probably why i semi like them.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s certainly not because you will be receiving any free products in the future.

Comment by Bazza

youre mistaking me for campbell. which is the most fucking insulting thing you could ever do.

Comment by andy@cynic

Can we at least all agree Kev Roberts talks shit?

Comment by DH

If you brits are celebrating Maggie’s death, how big will the party be when Roberts loses the breathing pitch?

Comment by Billy Whizz

I know this post has only been up for a few hours but Billy has just made the best comment of the day.

Comment by DH

Inciting a riot. You ‘disappear’ if you do that in China. Fortunately this blog is like the Vatican State … not in terms of it being independent, but because no one cares what they say or do.

Comment by Rob

As we all know, sometimes the potential of reality is more powerful than reality itself. Regardless of the stories authenticity or the level of involvement required by Embankment to make it happen, it makes you feel good and changes your perception, even for a few seconds, of the underground service.

Comment by Lee Hill

You would say that Lee, because that’s basically the virgin m.o. ; )

I get the point. Seems you can take the boy out of cynic but can’t take etc etc. (Not that I was ever cynical until I worked with the deadly trio.)

Comment by Bazza

you should be thanking us for it you ungrateful fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

What Andy said.

Comment by Rob

The old ‘perception is reality’ schtick. Good point … sometimes selling the promise of wonderfulness is better than demonstrating the reality. Just ask Andy about wives #1 and #2. Boom Tish.

Comment by Rob

All good points.
I’ve often thought that relevance was more important than love.
I’m quite misty eyed about HMV, but can’t think of a reason to shop there these days.
Love is a dangerous word, in enables brand consultant wankers to equate a relationship with a brand with REAL love, for your wife, for your kids, for Star Wars.
It enables social media fools to spout how much people want to be part of brand, or even do stuff for it
The best metaphor is probably the kind of ‘love’ you get from a hooker. Men pay them for a service, and will pay more if they do it better and they’re attractive. But they also pay them to fuck off and leave them alone after the service has been provided. But sometimes, a flash of thigh doesn’t half get you in the mood for more

Comment by northern

Great point … it’s like when consultants try and equate a brand to a “celebrity”. As my wife keeps screaming, brands aren’t people … people are people. Besides, all people have asshole sides (allegedly) and so if a brand was really like a person, they’d be days when they wouldn’t want to get up and if forced to, they’d sulk then scream.

As for your ‘prostitute’ analogy – that’s really good because they have told me that one of the most common things they see is the man phoning their other half within minutes of finishing the ‘act’ as if that nullifies their guilt … which is a bit like people buying a brand other than the one they claim to be loyal to, but then going on how they prefer the other.

OK, enough of these prostitute analogies, I have to go call my wife. Ahem.

Comment by Rob

Late to the post, but I thought this was a classy way to respond. Who wouldn’t feel better about them after that?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: