More sex please, we're British
I was doing a job the other day for a friend who owns a small promotions agency in London, and he gave me a copy of very interesting piece of research he had commissioned called “The Upside of Down.” It is all about some of the unexpectedly positive consequences of the recession and it's fascinating.
For example, did you know there is a growing market for dog-friendly holidays because people want to cut back on kennel fees? Or that on average people are much more likely to buy budget brands than be arsed to find their way around an unfamilar but cheaper supermarket? That sales of reading glasses will probably start going through the roof as the babyboomers attack their piles of paperback books or discover their local library. Or that many people are actually secretly relieved that the pressure is off them to go out all the time and plan to get seriously stuck in to Sudoku, crosswords and other forms of cheap brain exercise? There is also the added bonus that the recession appears to have killed stone dead all those aggravating dinner party conversations about property prices and bonuses, and, on a brighter note, the percentage of people who say that they are “really struggling” is thankfully still only 8%.
However, the bit I liked the best was the fact that 27% of people expect to have more sex as a result of staying in more. Admittedly, the percentage among under 35s is 40% but there is still a healthy 21% of over 35s who expect to be bonking a bit more. And as you would probably expect men (31%) are more up for it than women (25%).
This got me thinking about what complementary products might also experience a surge in sales as a result of all of this potential horizontal action. Well the most obvious is of course Viagra. I wonder if Pfizer have a campaign ready to go. Moreover, those annoying people with names like Aston Fuddruckers or Vicky LaLa who fill up your inbox with badly spelt emails to defeat your spamfilter might suddenly find they are actually getting a big increase in response. I expect Ann Summers could also be a major beneficiary - if you have been a bit lax in the love department, you might need to go find a large vibrating purple thing to get kick-started. For the man whose wife isn't yet convinced that recession = more bedroom action, a trip down to Jo Malone for couple of those candles that fill your bedroom with a heady musky smell and excites the pheromones. They are guaranteed to send you partner wild with desire even if she has just finished a big pile of ironing because she can't afford the cleaner any more. Thinking forward, it sounds as if the board of Mothercare should be bracing themslelves for a stampede in a few months time and in 2014 head teachers will be thanking their lucky stars for the recession of 2009 as they have to open up extra infant classes in their schools.
However as all good marketeers know, it is not what people say they are going to do that matters, it is what they actually do that counts. Wanting to stave off the worst effects of the recession by indulging in a bit more nookie is totally understandable, but we might all just be too damn recession-stressed to actually perform. Maybe I got hung up on the wrong figures in the report. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the 41% who said “worries about money are reducing my pleasure from my leisure time.” It's no bloody good trading down from Hotel du Vin to Cineworld if all you do is sit through a “feelgood” movie like Mamma Mia or Slumdog worrying about whether you will still have a job on Monday. Or thought more about the 37% who are planning to cut back on holidays and the whopping 84% of really grumpy people who think that suppliers should be making it easier for them to save money and I don't think they mean two for one pizza. Maybe but I have just had a text telling me a good mate of ours is pregnant with her third child and my husband has just walked in with a bottle of Tesco Value champagne!