On my radar this week

Alain Giguère

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Life in a time of COVID-19 - Limited, more prudent consumption and more engaged citizens!

Categories: On my radar this week

Posted on 10-05-20 at 1:45 p.m.

COVID-19 will probably lead to sustainable changes for consumers. As for how it will affect individuals in their role as citizens, we will just have to wait and see!

This blog post marks the start of the publication of the results from our Panorama Program, our annual study of the values of Canadian consumers and citizens. The Panorama survey was conducted in June of this year during the "deconfinement," when the lockdown was lifted.

The 2010 decade saw the explosion of an enthusiastic consumer culture across the country. This trend was fueled in part by the desire to discover what innovation could offer. It was also motivated by pure gratification (the pleasures of shopping). However, the momentum had already started to wane by 2019. COVID-19 appears to have accelerated the reversal of this trend, and perhaps even created a new attitude of prudence for the years ahead.

The satisfaction in consuming simply for the pleasure of buying something, the attraction to innovation for the new experiences it offers, early adoption, the desire to consume stimulated by advertising, and even confidence in advertising as a source of information: these are all phenomena that experienced tremendous growth until 2018.

And then, a certain uneasiness about the future associated in part with a gradual rise in consumer debt levels spelled the end of this trend in 2019. The COVID-19 crisis and its economic impact has accelerated this cautious attitude, which was already beginning to gain a foothold in people's consumption habits.

The most influential phenomenon among these trends is undoubtedly the decline in the attraction to innovation. This attraction was, by far, one of the most important engines stimulating consumption in recent years (the reason you need to change your car is because new models offer unique features that improve the experience, etc.). The fact that this appeal has markedly declined over the past two years does not bode well for the country's domestic market, even as the COVID-19 crisis accelerates this countertrend.

If this trend had only begun this year in the midst of the pandemic, we might have been led to believe that when the current crisis was over, consumers would return to their frenzy of recent years. However, our view that COVID-19 has only accelerated a movement already underway leads us to believe that a new culture of frugality is in the process of taking its place.

This new trend is detrimental to the economy, particularly to retail: the demand for goods and services will continue to decline, amplifying job losses that, in turn, will diminish the shopping zeal of consumers. A self-perpetuating cycle that risks playing out over several years - when prudence will be the watchword in the marketplace.

An overall index for consumption enthusiasm

In order to measure the evolution in consumption enthusiasm in the country and assess the desire of consumers to take advantage of the products and services being marketed to them, we combine the relevant indicators each year to create an overall index. The evolution of this axis provides a wonderful snapshot of all the consumption attitudes that we measure. This index rose very significantly from 2015 to 2018 and has declined markedly since 2019.

Men, women, young, old, regions, etc.

One of the most astonishing characteristics of these new results is the homogeneity in the trends in almost all the sociodemographic and socio-economic subgroups studied. Naturally, none of these groups is positioned in exactly the same way on the measured indicators. But the trends, upwards or downwards as the case may be, are for all practical purposes identical (even for Quebec, which often stands apart from the rest of Canada on several of the indicators we measure. On the consumption trends discussed here, the curves overlap almost perfectly with the rest of Canada).

The citizen

In parallel with the consumer trends, other phenomena shed a revealing light on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our society.

For years, the citizens of the country have been divided almost equally, between those who give precedence to their sense of duty towards their family and community and those who prioritize happiness and pleasure above all (on this value, Quebec stands out, in favour of happiness).

However, in 2020, there has been a significant rise in the sense of duty (particularly in Québec, incidentally).

Cynicism towards elites and institutions, as well as fantasies of civil disobedience, which had risen substantially since 2012, have also significantly declined this year.

Faced with a pandemic, people have become more responsible, both personally and socially. They have developed a new sense of civility, a willingness to do their part, while granting renewed legitimacy to institutions and elites so that they can do what is necessary to deal with the current crisis.

A new ethic of responsibility seems to have emerged from our adaptation to the consequences of the pandemic: personal financial responsibility, more prudent and frugal consumption, a more pronounced commitment to one's obligations (both personal and societal), along with a greater respect for social rules and norms.

As for the future ...

Without attempting to predict the future, it is always interesting to imagine scenarios based on the probable evolution of recent trends.

The continuation in 2020 of the waning wave of enthusiasm for consumption that began in 2019 suggests that a new frugality is settling into our purchasing habits, a trend that the COVID-19 crisis could further energize.

On the other hand, the new civility could end up evaporating if the pandemic continues indefinitely and if the restrictions imposed on the population end up eroding everyone's morale!

The next few months should prove interesting in this regard.

How to support consumption in such a context ... and is that even desirable?

On this issue, there is an ongoing debate between those greatly concerned about the need to fight climate change and those who prioritize the economy.

A reduction in consumption and its associated trade flows would reduce our carbon footprint as a society, which is what the most committed environmentalists advocate.

On the other hand, the socioeconomic cost would be very high.

Retailers, manufacturers and service providers must, first and foremost, ensure their survival, even if it means doing whatever they can to optimally reduce their carbon footprint.

The results presented in this blog post deal with the country's global situation, its markets and its fellow citizens.

However, some sectors have been less affected than others; some customers are less frugal than others.

Our consumption enthusiasm index for consumers overall may have displayed a uniform trend (in 2020, compared to the last two years), but the fact remains that it varies considerably depending on the specific customers.

Our consumption enthusiasm index may have dropped by 8 points since 2019, but 51% of Canadians are still enthusiastic about consumption

Therefore, we will need to have an exceedingly good grasp of people's needs, as consumers and as citizens. We need to be tuned in to their expectations, to their predisposition to consume, to their civic engagement, to ensure that these are met with the strictest congruence.

The Jewelry song from Gounod's Faust

Once again, I feel compelled to return to "L'Air des bijoux" (Jewelry song) from Gounod's opera, Faust, which I used to illustrate the joy of consumption in an earlier post, published in March 2017.

A reference that is undoubtedly familiar to anyone who read The Adventures of Tintin when they were young. It is the aria sung by Bianca Castafiore in The Calculus Affair, to the exasperation of Captain Haddock. The lyrics couldn't be more evocative ... "Ah! I laugh to see how beautiful I am in this mirror ... Is it you, Marguerite? ... No, it is no longer you! No ... It is the daughter of a king ..."

For many enthusiastic consumers, the dream of being transformed into "the daughter (or son) of a king" by the products and services they buy is still alive and well.

Faust, Charles Gounod: Jonas Kaufmann, René Pape, Marina Poplavskaya, Orchestra & Chorus of The Metropolitan Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, New York, 2014, Decca.

CROP LAUNCHES “MILIEUS" – THE ULTIMATE CUSTOMER ACQUISITION PROGRAM!

Categories: CROP in the news

Posted on 09-29-20 at 3:35 p.m.

This program identifies the "life milieus" where brands are found - the milieus where brands "live" and where they can grow. Our goal is to grow brands by helping them thrive where they already have a foothold.

In partnership with Vividata, which measures media habits and consumer behaviour, CROP has identified some 100 life milieus in the countries where brands have opportunities to expand their base of customers/users.

Depending on the brand, the milieus are regrouped into a smaller number of segments - the potential growth targets (that can also become personas). Access to Vividata's database provides clients with more than 40,000 pieces of information to describe consumers, such as...

• lifestyles
• consumption habits
• the brands, products and services used (almost everything on the market)
• personal activities, interests and sources of entertainment
• media habits
• needs, values, mental postures and hot buttons
• motivations for consumer choices in the marketplace, ...
• and the know-how to stimulate these choices

Brands don't have a significant and meaningful presence in the milieus by accident. They are there because they meet practical, emotional and cultural needs. The Milieus program is dedicated to understanding all these needs in order to chart the best ways for brands to address them.

The basic premise of the program is to identify the consumers in these milieus who share all the same characteristics as a brand's users, especially their motivations, but who are not yet users of the brand. Our job is to ensure that they end up becoming customers.

The ultimate goal of the program is to drive brand growth through the acquisition of new customers.

Learn more...

Do you believe that vaccines are dangerous for our children? - And Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner

Categories: On my radar this week

Posted on 02-14-20 at 11:18 a.m.

One in three Canadians thinks so!

In these days of concern about a possible coronavirus pandemic, I remembered a question that we asked last year in our study of the values of Canadians about the attitude to vaccines. Even though we have not found a vaccine for this current virus, the issue continues to be topical, especially when 23% of Canadians agree with the notion that "vaccines pose a greater risk to  the health of our children than we are led to believe"!

Diseases that were thought to be eradicated are re-emerging and are at risk of spreading rapidly if such a sizable proportion of the population persists in its scepticism toward vaccinations or simply decides not to get vaccinated or not to get their children vaccinated. We need only recall the medical alert declared in Portland, Oregon, last year, when nearly 200 cases of measles were identified, including in individuals who had never been vaccinated. This region in the United States is one of the most resistant to vaccinations. Smaller outbreaks have also occurred in Canada, including in Quebec, as well as in Europe and elsewhere in the world in recent years.

On February 6th, NBC reported the death of a four-year-old child in Colorado from influenza after his mother refused to give him antivirals because of "advice" on the Facebook page of an anti-vaxxeers group!

Thus, misinformation on the subject abounds on the Internet and on social media, warning that vaccinations have more potential risks than benefits. Some content even makes a causal link between autism and vaccinations! All this has been debunked by the health and scientific authorities. Yet, despite everything, even people with the best interests of their children at heart believe these pseudo-scientific theories, while running the risk of a resurgence in and the spread of infectious diseases that have been beaten in the past, such as measles, rubella and mumps!

Young parents with precarious socio-economic status

The socio-economic and demographic characteristics of this phenomenon is very apparent. Even if we cannot project the profile to every one of these "sceptics," in general, this distrust of vaccinations is clearly over-represented in people with children, in those under 35, in those with the lowest incomes and levels of education in society, as well as among blue-collar workers.

Note that there are no real regional differences across the country on this question, except perhaps a slight over-representation in Quebec at 26%.

Thus, economic and social vulnerability constitutes a breeding ground for this scepticism toward vaccines, potentially fertile ground for the disinformation about the alleged dangers of vaccinations. Parental worry and lack of critical benchmarks (low levels of education) among these groups encourage a receptiveness to these anti-vaccine discourses. Not only do they have to deal with the rigours of a difficult lot in life, they also have to worry that their children might be in danger!


Fatalism and cynicism toward the elites

Beyond their difficult socio-economic situation, our analyses indicate that the "mental postures," view of life and personal values of these sceptics are even more decisive in explaining their distrust of vaccinations: a "sociocultural" profile influenced notably by their low levels of education and income.

Indeed, on a statistical level, we clearly see that they express an extremely fatalistic view of life, associated with a deep sense of lack of control. They feel burdened by a life full of uncertainties:  that there is absolutely nothing they can do to change the course of their lives or even improve their lot. For them, life is nothing more than a series of challenges, with the worst yet to come!

This feeling pervades almost every aspect of their lives. They expect things to go wrong. If they are going to catch a disease, there is nothing they can do about it, vaccinated or not. And now, what if vaccines are the cause of even more problems?

Our findings tell us that they have little confidence in society's elites. Their view of life is very "Darwinist." For them, life is all about winners and losers, and they certainly see themselves among the latter group. For them, the elites, no matter which ones - political, business, scientific, journalists, etc. - have only one goal: to enrich themselves and gain power at the expense of the common good. They are convinced that there is an ongoing conflict of interest, a conspiracy, that is marginalizing them.

They tend to believe that vaccines serve only to enrich the pharmaceutical companies and, by extension, doctors and politicians, without any consideration for the population.

Hence, their fatalism, cynical attitude toward the elites and Darwinist view of society produce a very receptive audience for the dissemination of fake information about vaccinations.

A communications and educational challenge

This type of socio-cultural context poses a major challenge for public health authorities. Short of politicians making vaccinations compulsory, awareness campaigns will encounter resistance (from potentially up to one in four people in the country). These sceptics do not consider health and scientific authorities to be credible, but rather complicit in a plot hatched by the elites. There's no point in invoking rational scientific fact, they simply refuse to believe it, while denouncing what they perceive as a conflict of interest.

On the other hand, when we analyze their hot buttons more closely, we find some potential levers that could lead them to modify their positions.

They place great importance on their networks of "friends" and acquaintances, while expressing a strong need for recognition. They may very well allow themselves to be convinced of a different point of view if it comes from people they admire and / or from influencers they follow.

An effective communications strategy aimed at reducing the influence of this movement of distrust should therefore be based on word of mouth and the relaying of information by credible influencers within these communities of vaccine opponents.

These sceptical groups must be infiltrated in order to propagate the truth. The idea is to encourage conversations on the issue among credible and trusted individuals (friends, influencers, etc.). This way of disseminating information is often used in marketing communications when dealing with segments of individuals who no longer trust traditional advertising.

Furthermore, these distrustful individuals also display a very strong sense of social responsibility and a willingness to help one other. Vaccinations could therefore become a vector of social responsibility in these targeted conversations.

Thus, the cause is not completely lost, even though the proportion of sceptics in Canada may appear alarming.

One simply has to find the right communications approach.

Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner

My musical clip appropriate for this post is an excerpt from the opera, Tristan and Isolde. At the heart of this opera is a potion, an elixir that bewitches the protagonists of a lost love! We could consider these magic potions to be the medieval equivalent of our modern vaccines, electuaries, both evil and beneficent, that capture the populace's imagination.

In this clip, Isolde had ordered her servant, Brangäne, to prepare a poisoned drink designed to kill herself along with Tristan, whose mission was to "deliver" her to King Marke of Cornwall. Brangäne, sensing the love his mistress has for Tristan, replaces the death potion with a love potion. The clip presents the moment when the magic takes effect. It is one of the greatest arias in the history of opera.

Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Ian Storey, Waltraud Meier, Matti Salminen, Gerd Grochowski, Willi Hartmann, Patrice Chéreau (Prod.), Daniel Barenboim (Cond.), Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 2007.

The end of retail as we know it! — And L'Elisir d'Amore by Gaetano Donizetti

Categories: On my radar this week

Posted on 11-27-19 at 4:16 p.m.

More and more consumers prefer to shop online

Back in April 2018, I wrote a post about how the majority of consumers were still more attracted to in-store than online shopping. This was based on data from 2017. At that time, despite the growing appeal of e-commerce, two in three Canadians (68%) said they preferred to shop in stores (with no significant regional variances across the country).

However, our 2019 data reveals that interest in online shopping has grown considerably. In fact, while 19% of Canadian consumers preferred to shop online in 2017, that number has risen to 25%, while preference for in-store shopping has dropped to 60% (still with no significant regional variances).

When offered the option of visiting a store to familiarize themselves with products and then to order online to get the exact desired product delivered to their home, 14% said they preferred this option (virtually unchanged from 13% in 2017).

The future is online!

Unquestionably. While a six-point rise from 2017 to 2019 may seem modest, there was an 8-point rise among people under 55 and those with above-average incomes. Note, too, that among professionals and administrators, preference for online shopping has risen from 23% in 2017 to 36% in 2019 (a 13-point bump in two years!).

Based on this data, if the trend continues, within five years more than half of consumers under the age of 55 will prefer to shop online, a market share that "brick-and-mortar" merchants cannot afford to lose (and this does not account for the new younger generations of consumers who will enter the market by then). What's more, the younger the consumer, the more they prefer to shop online-yet another harbinger of what's to come.

At the supply level, too, the current trend will not hold. The pace of change will speed up exponentially! We live in an era of technological innovation that will see increasingly sophisticated, effective and targeted consumer marketing further accelerate the penetration of e-commerce (personalized offers using data science, geolocation, etc.).

There are too many stores!

In response to the momentum of online shopping, we will see a pushback by brick-and-mortar stores. This has already begun in some places. The in-store experience will certainly have to change to counter the trend. It will have to become part of an ecosystem of experiences in which the store and online shopping complement instead of compete with each other. Too often, the transactional website is seen as just an extra "store," instead of being designed for a specific and complementary role.


Apple is a good example of this new business model. Apple only has few physical stores, and they carry only a limited selection of products and options, just enough to let customers handle their products, provide service and monetize the investment, while sending consumers to their website to buy exactly what they need. As such, they are optimizing their real estate investment and their inventory management.

For example, in the entire Greater Montreal Area, Apple has only four stores. Compare that to a typical clothing chain. And this is a product category whose online sales are growing steadily!

Which brings us back to the third option we offered consumers: visiting a store to familiarize themselves with the products and then ordering a specific product online for home delivery. An option that is not all that popular at the moment, but one that is set to take off in coming years.

Inevitably, the number of freestanding stores and stores in shopping centres is going to decline over time. Online shopping will render the current store model obsolete. With the exception of very specialized stores offering a high level of expertise from vendors, as well as those selling everyday products, such as grocery stores and drugstores (for the time being, because even these sectors may eventually undergo significant transformation).

There will definitely be no shortage of available commercial space in the coming years!

Transforming the in-store experience based on consumer hot buttons

However, all is not lost for stores, provided they radically transform the customer experience. By offering what the industry calls "experiential marketing"-creating a place where consumers can "experience" products and services in person, where they can have a pleasant brand experience. They are then sent to the website to see a broader range of products.

To drive consumers who prefer to shop online into their physical stores, stores must respond to consumers' motivations, values and hot buttons by providing a fun and enjoyable place-a destination-that is aligned with what is available on the website, which complements the store.

Online consumers are hungry for innovation, exploration and discovery. They want to play. They are willing to take some monetary risk to enjoy new, rewarding, stimulating and unusual experiences, or an experience that checks off at least one of these attributes. And the better job a store can do of offering this type of live experience, the more popular a destination it will become. A store no longer has to stock every product and every option, only what is necessary to provide a desired experience because its website is there to fulfill more specific needs.

Stores and shopping centres must become playgrounds! A place of discovery, a place to familiarize oneself with products, and especially with innovations. A place for entertainment, enjoyment, relaxation and escape. When we shop, we want to have fun, explore and enjoy life. We seek unique places of indulgence.

It is interesting that online consumers feel the same way. Obviously, there is a limit to what a website can do to meet such expectations! It seems to me that a physical locale with all its experience possibilities lends itself infinitely better to adequately responding to the needs expressed by the online consumer.

One of the rare traits that distinguishes consumers who prefer to shop in-store (given their still very large number) is what we call "polysensoriality," a desire for stimulating experiences that engage all the senses, not just sight. A desire to feel, touch, taste and hear, all things that a store can deliver very well (and certainly much better than it does now).

An opportunity, not just a threat!

The current trends in consumer habits, expectations and needs may appear to threaten the retail store, whether freestanding or in a shopping centre, but they may also represent a great opportunity! Transforming a store into a place of discovery and enjoyable experiences for customers does not necessarily involve a huge investment. You just have to make sure that you know what your customers need and expect, in order to make the correct modifications so that they can have a little fun! (Forgive the not-so-subtle plug for our services.)

L'Elisir d'Amore by Gaetano Donizetti

This post's musical clip is an excerpt from Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore (The Elixir of Love), where we find one of the oldest ways of delivering goods to consumers: the travelling salesman. In this opera, an itinerant "doctor" is promoting a cure-all elixir to the townsfolk!

Gaetano Donizetti : L’Elisir d’Amore, Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon, Leo Nucci, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper, Otto Schenk, Alfred Eschwé, Virgin Classics, Wiener Staatsoper, April, 2005.

The “incels” – And Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Categories:

Posted on 10-25-19 at 1:46 p.m.

One in three Canadians (33%) think that if a lot of men are staying single, it is because women are too superficial to accept them!

My post this week deals with the manosphere, the subject of an article that appeared in L'Actualité on October 9 and a documentary on Télé-Québec on October 16. The manosphere refers to those web-based communities, forums and groups dedicated to men who, to put it mildly, do not have the most harmonious relationships with women!

The comments on these sites range from accounts of trouble forming romantic relationships with women to expressions of visceral hatred toward them, a phenomenon unfortunately consistent with the 25-year-old Ontarian who, in April 2018, drove his truck into pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk in a deliberate attempt to murder as many women as possible (killing eight women, along with two men, in the process)!

The author of the L'Actualité article, Marc-André Sabourin, identified four categories of lonely men:

Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), heterosexuals who strive to live without women; masculinists whose mission is to defend men's rights (men are victims of discrimination, apparently); pickup artists specializing in one-night stands; and, finally, the "incels," involuntary celibates, misogynists who self-define as being unable to find a sexual partner due to the cold indifference of women!

Although we haven't delved as deeply into the topic as journalist Marc- André Sabourin, we have been interested for some time in the incel phenomenon, which, in our opinion, represents another manifestation of some of the dysfunctions of our society. In fact, we added a question about it in the latest survey of our Panorama program on the values of Canadian consumers and citizens.

Among a series of questions asking people if they agree with certain statements, we inserted this one to measure the incidence of incels in the country:

"If some men stay single for a long time even though they would like to be in a relationship, it's because women are generally too superficial and are only attracted to men with a perfect body."

To our amazement, 33% of Canadians, one in three, agreed with this statement! Out of curiosity, we had put this question to the entire population (with a sample reflecting that): 39% of men agreed, along with 27% of women, some of them probably taking pity on men!

Moreover, when we isolate the subset of single men (without a partner, separated, divorced or widowed), the proportion of these target males, so to speak, rises to 46%. Given these astonishingly high these numbers, we checked and rechecked our data and the way they were processed many times.

Young people and those with low income and educational levels

Sociodemographically and socio-economically, it is surprising to observe that it is young people who are the most in agreement with our statement (42% of those under 35 versus 26% of those age 55 and older). Given all the online dating services, dating algorithms and younger people's familiarity with social media, we might have expected different results.


There have been many studies published in recent years on how much better women are doing scholastically than men. Perhaps they are having trouble connecting to less educated young men, a hypothesis that remains to be examined.

We also find that the proportion of people in agreement with the statement systematically rises as their level of income and education falls below the average for the population. A person's socio-economic level appears to be an important determinant of this kind of mentality.

However, it should be noted that there is some gradation in agreement with our statement: 11% strongly agree (they are truly furious with women), while 22% somewhat agree (even so, being somewhat in agreement with such a blatant statement still expresses a great deal of recrimination). It should also be noted that this double difference between "strongly" and "somewhat" agree (11% versus 22%) is found in about the same proportions in all the subgroups studied.

A high degree of conservatism

Who exactly are these men who say they agree with our statement? By looking at all of their responses to our Panorama survey on personal values, we were able to identify the following three characteristics:

1. A very traditional and stereotypical view of gender roles in the couple, the family and in society at large.

2. Eager social climbers seeking admiration from everyone (in reaction to their awareness of their low socio-economic status).

3. A feeling that they have little control over their lives, that they don't fit into today's world and consequently, a marked retreat to traditional social values as a bulwark against a society that is passing them by.

They also tend to value mainly the members of their own ethnic group. Noteworthy, too, is the over-representation of immigrants, especially those most inclined to identify with traditional values.

We can deduce that for these men, a woman is a possession, an object they hope to possess, a marker of social status and their standing with others (just like a house, a car, designer clothes, fancy electronics, etc.).

When it is impossible to acquire the object in question (women), they feel stigmatized and powerless (no control) and feel that it is legitimate to blame women for their situation. Thus, their sense of exclusion leads them to lash out.

Moreover, because of their traditionalism, they consider women to be socially inferior to men and unjustified in rejecting them. They believe that women should be subject to the desires, needs and dictates of men!

Consequently, these incels are desperately angry with women who refuse to submit, dismissing them as rabid feminists who have forgotten their place or lost their sense of their supposed lot in life (who exactly are the rabid ones here?)-their fury giving rise to all the vociferous outrages found on these web-based incel communities.

This unfortunate phenomenon slots perfectly into the long list of collateral damage that our society inflicts in the course of its development: baldly put, our society produces rejects. As I have stressed time and time again in my blog, for many, our society is changing too fast and not everyone can keep up. Based on our various indicators, we regularly produce numbers showing that approximately one in three Canadians feel this way. Social disaffection, aimlessness, the impression of living in an exclusionist Darwinist society, a cynical attitude toward elites: it manifests in multiple ways.

In such an environment, how can men who feel excluded from society be expected to have enough self-confidence to even know how to speak properly to women? Hence, their feelings of rejection.

A reflection on educate and the social-engagement of organizations

What kind of education would help these angry men? I don't want to appear too defeatist, but I believe that by a certain age, this kind of mindset tends to crystallize in a person's character (although it's hard to pin down exactly at what age this happens) and when it does, there's not much to be done.

But for younger people, and precisely because this phenomenon is more prevalent in this age group, education to counter the development of such ideas about male/female relationships could prove effective. Teaching young men how to respect women and themselves should certainly be considered in light of this phenomenon.

In the sex-education lesson plans in schools (where sex-ed is actually taught), there should be a chapter on this issue. If you can get to children early enough, we may be able to avoid these repercussions altogether.

For all the brands, companies and organizations looking for a social-engagement project, here is a very good cause to get involved in: teaching young men how to respect women and themselves.

If you are at all concerned about the kind of society taking shape before our very eyes, this is definitely worth considering!

Mozart's Don Giovanni

For my musical clip, I've chosen an excerpt appropriate to Marc-André Sabourin's thesis. Based on his categories, we can easily classify Don Giovanni as a pickup artist.

This piece, "Fin ch'han dal vino," shows Don Giovanni bubbling with excitement at the prospect of seducing all the young women attending the ball he is organizing on his property! With so many conquests that his valet has to keep a catalogue of them, Don Giovanni prepares to lure as many women as possible to his party. Nevertheless, this is one of the finest arias in the repertoire, brilliantly performed by Bryn Terfel.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni, Bryn Terfel, Renée Flemming, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Solveig Kringelborn, etc., James Levine, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Deutsche Grammophon, New York, 2000.