From Rat Race to Snail’s Pace

Weren’t we supposed to have more leisure time this century?

I remember sitting with my parents in front of the box watching the presenters of Tomorrow’s World evangelising a new high tech future. Even my “Baby Boomer” parents could not quite grasp the new “futuristic” concepts, but they weren’t meant to – this was to be my generation’s “pleasure”. We would have more leisure time and not have to work as hard as our long-suffering parents. Sir Clive Sinclair’s C5 may have come and gone (quicker than its top speed) but other predictions of labour and time-saving innovations are here today – part of daily routines, and memories of life without them left behind in a world of rollerblades and pressure cookers. So where did it all go wrong and where did all our promised extra time go?

In a world characterised by globalisation and increased competition, companies want their pound of flesh. And we nod our heads and run faster on the treadmill, working longer hours and seeing less of our families and friends. The need for commerce to increase sales and lower costs is matched only by our hunger to have the latest gadget, the biggest house or the flash car – possessions, ironically, we have less time enjoy.

However on this road to heart disease, new routes have slowly been developing (and the pace is increasing) – routes engineered by a trend that contradicts the speed we are living our lives, the trend of taking time to have pleasure.

We can all cite examples of people who have taken control of their work-life balance – people who are seeking more from life than work can deliver or the “moments rush” a new purchase can provide. This has not been a sudden shift in society’s thinking – it has been building for some time. From the desire to detox ourselves, meditate, take time to “scratch cook” (like Jamie) or just kick back and lose ourselves in the dream of having the courage to spend “A Year in Provence” – we are starting to demand experiences from life that allow us to savour small pleasures.

And we can see the trend in the way brands are responding to this shift from rat race preoccupation to the rediscovery of life and the enjoyment of the simple things – Galaxy Chocolate’s long-running and successful ‘Pleasure Worth Taking’ campaign,  Bulmers returning to its roots with ‘Not a Moment Too Soon’,  McCain’s ‘Real Teatimes’… the list goes on.

The reality is, for most of us, jumping completely off the treadmill is unrealistic… mortgages need to be paid and our fascination with the new needs to be fuelled. However the concept is resonating with common culture and little by little, step by step, we are inviting (and embracing) slow, refreshing pleasure into our otherwise hectic lives.

At the Space People, we pride ourselves on building brands in-line with the ever-changing social and technological environments of the 21st century whilst seamlessly connecting them with peoples’ multi-channel lives. 

If you’d like to speak to our team of experts about your brand, please do get in touch with us for a chat – call our Leeds office on +44 (0) 1133 365 365 or email us at leeds@thespacepeople.com.