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Innovation in Communication

Kevin Roberts lectures at the American University in Dubai


The School of Business Administration at the American University in Dubai (AUD) hosted Kevin Roberts, retired Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi and Head Coach of Publicis Groupe. An international business leader, founder, and educator, his new company Red Rose Consulting counsels business leaders and employees on creative thinking, marketing, and leadership.


A CEO for 22 years, Kevin has an uncompromisingly positive and inspirational leadership style, with an ability to generate ideas and emotional connections that accelerate extraordinary value. Kevin’s latest book 64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World (2016) offers frameworks and solutions for winning in a business world that has become volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous.


During his talk attended by faculty and students from business administration as well as visual communication, Roberts urged students to be ambitious and not to hesitate because self-confidence is the key to success.


He stressed the need to work hard and always look for that great idea by embracing innovation and creativity. He explained that ambition, courage and audacity to the point of madness are a must for those planning on joining the advertising and marketing fields upon graduation. He said: “That’s what we’re looking! Graduates who are able to challenge the community, in order to change and improve the situation for the better.”


He expressed his delight when told about the successful careers AUD graduates are enjoying, and in this regard asked the students to keep up with the evolution of Dubai, which has become a global icon.


He also explained the approach to building brands, referring to them as Lovemarks. Roberts is known for writing Lovemarks: the Future Beyond Brands, a ground-breaking business book published in 18 languages, showing how emotion can inspire businesses and brands to deliver sustainable value. Lovemarks was named one of the ten Ideas of the Decade by Advertising Age in 2009.


“At the American University in Dubai we continuously encourage interaction between Industry and Academia as it is the collaboration of these that expands and diversifies knowledge, skills and competitiveness,” comments Raj Kapoor, Associate Dean, Operations & Administration, School of Business Administration. “To have Kevin Roberts address our constituents on campus was nothing short of remarkable. It was a memorable experience for those who attended; every single person in a highly diversified audience benefited from Kevin’s vast experiences and expertise.”


AUD has had the pleasure of hosting Kevin Roberts before. Indeed, back in April 2009, he had motivated students and faculty about the power of creativity, notably saying “You are at the crossroads of culture, commerce and creative, just like Dubai.”