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The need to decelerate and Kronenbourg 1664 beer!

Categories: Food for thought

Posted on 01-07-11 at 11:49 a.m.

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Click here to see the ad on YouTube


It has been five years since we first introduced the trend that we call Deceleration into our Panorama (3SC) program. As its name suggests, this trend measures the need to slow down the pace of life, the feeling that life is going too fast and, in the daily frenzy, we might be missing out on certain pleasures. This trend is especially expressed in the need to create and enjoy experiences that allow us to relax from time to time, to calm down, experiences that offer a temporary escape from the usual hectic pace of life.

This trend of deceleration, which was created in 2005, today includes (at its peak) about 1 in 6 Canadians. Our studies indicate that 15% of Canadians are extremely strong followers of this trend. They feel like they are constantly in a rush and heartily embrace experiences that are conducive to relaxation. We have observed that in these moments of respite, they enjoy sensual experiences that allow them to savour certain pleasures and recharge before once again facing their hectic lives (as they tend to be high achievers).

However, if we add to this number all those who, albeit occasionally, dream about these types of relaxing experiences, the proportion of Canadians characterized by the need to slow down increases substantially to include one in two Canadians (53%, if we rely on this indicator alone)! It’s very interesting that we created this trend in 2005 and over the following two years it made dazzling progress in Canada, growth that was temporarily reversed during the 2008 recession but has increased again since 2010 (now situated at more than 1 in 2 Canadians). Although the trend is somewhat stable at the moment, it still includes a significant segment of the population who strongly value experiences of relaxation, serenity and escape.

It is equally interesting to observe that these individuals who feel this need to decelerate also exhibit all the characteristics of high achievers in our society: people who feel the need to assert themselves, to accomplish and set new goals for themselves, thus creating a hectic pace of life. These high achievers need to accomplish projects, whether in their professional or personal lives; they are people who constantly feel the need to try new things, express their creativity, and as a result, live their lives to the fullest. They are truly people who rarely stop and are always thinking up new ways of fulfilling their maximum potential.

Still, they seem to realize that they must "recharge their batteries" from time to time and are therefore looking for relaxing experiences and quiet time. This doesn’t mean that they want to sit around and do nothing during those times; they are, after all, people focused on achievement! For them, relaxation means discovering new things but at a different pace; experiences that are calming but at the same time intellectually and emotionally stimulating. People who long to decelerate are strongly attracted by “Polysensoriality″, meaning that they seek unique experiences that they can feel with all their senses. They are interested in learning about other people, they enjoy discovering about other cultures; our statistics show that they are fascinated by different cultural influences. They are also attracted to innovation and consumption; they want to know all about new things in life and on the market, therefore, due to their desire for discovery and experimentation, they make very good consumers.

It is interesting to note that this group of trends is only slightly related to specific sociodemographic or socioeconomic factors as we have observed only a minor over-representation of young people and women. We therefore seem to be looking at a sociocultural phenomenon, a mental attitude that includes people from all sections of society.


We are drawing attention to this trend because we recently came across an advertisement on the Internet that perfectly expresses this need to decelerate. In fact, due to the large percentage of Canadians who are touched by this phenomenon (depending on its intensity, it can affect from 1 in 4 to 1 in 2 people), we would like to emphasize that this sociocultural trend is extremely important as it represents important positioning opportunities for brands, products and services that promise calming and relaxing experiences that are also intellectually and/or sensually stimulating. This British beer advertisement marvellously expresses this spirit of deceleration! It is part of an advertising campaign called “Slow the Pace″.

This ad promises the consumer of Kronenbourg 1664 beer a calming, sensual and stimulating experience. It takes place in a bar and the scene begins with a close-up on a clock showing that it is 6:37 PM; we can imagine that the people have just finished work and have come to the bar to relax and have a beer. Then we see the musicians from the band Motörhead, with the group’s founder and singer Lemmy Kilmister singing a wonderful blues version of their song “Ace of Spades″ at a much slower rhythm than the original version, a hypnotising rhythm that expresses all the relaxation and contentment one could hope for, listening to good music and savouring a good beer.

However, if we make a semiotic analysis of the details, meaning that when we identify the sociocultural trends, values and motivations that are expressed by this ad, we realize that it is highly charged with symbols and significance. This advertisement perfectly expresses certain trends from our Panorama (3SC) program such as Polysensoriality: we can almost taste the beer, we see the foam on people’s lips and we feel that they are savouring the bitterness and the freshness. Also, throughout the scene, none of the colours assault the eyes. The music is a feast for the ears and the senses.

The Kronenbourg 1664 beer ad also expresses Cultural Fusion: the bar brings together people from different social groups; young people, old people, workers and students rub elbows and form an eclectic social patchwork during this moment of relaxation. Moreover, by choosing to place the action in a French bar, we witness Brand Genuineness (as the beer originated in a Strasbourg brewery in 1664), further emphasized by the genuineness of the characters. The singer clearly doesn’t fit within classical standards of beauty and the camera angles do not minimize his “faults″; the bar clientele is composed of people who are ordinary and real-looking.

In short, the whole ad is a wonderful call to the senses and to the spirit, demonstrating extraordinary creativity on the part of the creators. We therefore have a cocktail of sociocultural trends and motivations that precisely reflects the lifestyles and desires of people who are, in one way or another, strong on the Deceleration trend. It expresses “stimulating idleness″ and invokes the desire to have an experience that is both sensual and cerebral. This ad wonderfully positions the brand in relation to calming experiences and polysensorial deceleration. We consider it an excellent example of expressing a brand promise that responds to the need that many of us feel to slow down the pace of our lives.

Once again, let us mention that a significant portion of the population is centered on deceleration and our statistics indicate that the need to relax causes them, for example, to regularly drink premium alcoholic beverages. Their desire to have stimulating sensual experiences inspires them to choose products that express refinement. In light of this, we can see that this beer is positioned in a niche of sophistication and sensuality that perfectly corresponds to the desires of this type of consumer.

And on top of all this, the music is fantastic!

We thought that you might find this ad interesting: it might inspire you if you have brands or products or services that provide moments of deceleration.

Watch this wonderful ad – we hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!