Love & Attraction in the New Age

Paris Hilton - just a fad or an enduring icon in the age of attraction?

I have been reading Derrick Daye's awesome blog for its unique branding insights and came across the idea of the Attraction Economy and its accompanying concept of Lovemarks. Both were created by CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, Kevin Roberts.

According to Kevin,

"Human attention was the principal coinage of the Attention Economy; human emotion is what funds the Attraction Economy. Emotion is tough to nail down because its complexities are beyond measure. Just take that at face value. Our facial muscles can move in 10,000 possible combinations to reveal what we are feeling. The Attraction Economy is not "one hit and you're it." Attraction demands emotion, but emotion with purpose."

Like any good marketing concept, there are 10 principles in the Attraction Economy. To me, they seem pretty much like a mashup (amalgamation) of similar ideas in emotional marketing, experiential marketing and the entertainment economy. They are very elegantly crafted though and I thought it would be useful to reproduce them here (with some customisation):

1. Emotion attracts action. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned. Of course, love can also move mountains.

2. The senses attract the emotions. Notice how the fragrance of a familiar dish, tingle of a favourite song or sight of old photographs can trigger a wave of feeling?

3. Like attracts like. Empathy is the energy of the Attraction Economy. In fact, this priciple is what I would also call resonance. The moving of hearts amongst kindred spirits.

4. Surprise attracts delight. Nobody is interested in the same-old thing day in and day out. Mystery keeps attraction alive.

5. Interactivity attracts commitment. Whether we click, dial or press, once we commit ourselves we are more likely to do it again, and again. After all, humans are creatures of habit. In Nike's words, "Just Do It".

6. Stories attract memories. 77% of Americans can name at least two of Snow White’s dwarves. Only 24% of them can name two Supreme Court Justices. The difference? The dwarves have better stories than the Justices. I think this same principle is true everywhere.

7. Entertainment attracts connection. People just like to have fun. It engenders a deeper and more robust connection, and is hence a cornerstone of the Attraction Economy.

8. Music attracts meaning. People have been finding themselves in music for 30,000 years and today it is music my way. Also studies have shown that sound and scent have deeper and more lasting emotional reach than sight.

9. Communities attract loyalty. Together they stand. Divided they call each other on their cellphones (or SMS, IM, chat, video conference and twitter).

10. Lovemarks attract inspirational consumers. They are the people who love to get involved. They are passionate about their Lovemarks, spread their story and innovate for free.

And what are Lovemarks? According to Kevin,

"Lovemarks transcend brands. They deliver beyond your expectations of great performance. Like great brands, they sit on top of high levels of respect - but there the similarities end. Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without. Ever."

Kevin created a Love-Respect Axis which show how they all sit together.

Courtesy of

Low Respect. Low Love. Commodities. The black hole for white noise. Advertising that yells. Spam slams. Online ads contaminated by click fraud.

High Love. Low Respect. Hero today, zero tomorrow. Jeans. Shock and awe media. Paris Hilton Channel on YouTube.

High Respect. Low Love. Brands. Stuck on the “-er” words: bigger, better, faster. Search advertising and terminator targeting are here.

High Love. High Respect. Perpetual attraction. Irresistible appeal. Customized, differentiated. Loyalty beyond reason.

Nice bit of reasoning there by one of the global leaders in the advertising business. I like the idea of combining emotional connection with sensory stimulation to create enduring customer experiences.

Any thoughts on how we can make it work here in Singapore?

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