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Acceptance speech for Citizens of New York Award

Kevin Roberts acceptance speech for the New Yorker for New York award from the Citizens of New York Wed 14 April 2004 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

My thanks to Mike Wallace and to Superman, Christopher Reeve.

Thank you Citizens for N.Y.C. Thank you Henry Cornell, Osborn Elliott and Michael Clark.

Congratulations for providing leadership and care for this city we love.

I lead a global ideas company.

We communicate ideas to markets, to countries, to families, to people.

For business. For change makers. For people who want to improve the world.

For me, everything starts in the local.

I have never met a global consumer.

Everything happens in the neighborhood.

The work of the Citizens for N.Y.C to build stronger neighborhoods is as important to the economy as it is to our spirit.

My home is Tribeca, my work is in Hudson Street, and my city is New York.

The city of dreams, of ideas, of working hard.

I grew up in the industrial northwest of England with no money, few options, surrounded by economic and social decay.

For many people in the world for whom this is their story, New York is their symbol of freedom. Still. And, I hope, forever.

The roots of our New York agency go back to 1921.

Our inspirational dream is to be the hothouse for world-changing creative ideas that transform our clients’ businesses, brands and reputations.

I believe that business is the engine room of human progress.
I believe that the role of business is to make the world a better place for everyone.

By creating self-esteem, opportunity and choice.

Creating products, services and experiences that are both loved, and respected, in the market, is the way we can help do this.

By creating Lovemarks.

Anyone, anything, deeply and widely cared about, can be a Lovemark.

It is an invitation to enjoy life on inclusive, human terms.

There is no coercion.

Love cannot be commanded. It must be given.

New York is a Lovemark.

I thank the Citizens for N.Y.C. for honoring me, for recognizing Saatchi & Saatchi, and our work creating ideas for the greater good.

To reciprocate, I have one secret to share, and one world premiere to present, of a television commercial for a set of the greatest ideals for our time.

The secret is that I have another home, a long way from here, but this place perfectly counterpoints New York.

This place is New Zealand.

There’s a new book out, The Island at the Center of the World, about the founding of New York.

My other home is the Island at the Edge of the World.

The center and the edge.

N Y N Z. New York New Zealand.

The power of the edge is a force to draw inspiration from.

Some New Yorkers already know of this.

Julian Robertson. Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne from New Line Cinema with their Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The collaboration of that country and this city is one of the most interesting ideas around.

I hope that in accepting this award from the Citizens for N.Y.C, that New Zealand can become one of your neighborhoods. Come visit us.

To conclude, may I offer you the world premiere of a message for tolerance, equality, fair play and, most of all, peace.

These are the first in a series of commercials for our client, the International Olympic Committee, made by Saatchi & Saatchi in New York.

They will start screening worldwide in ten days.

I hope we’ll soon be welcoming these great games to this great city of New York.


PLAY TVC OLYMPICS (Reeve and Bocelli)

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