Featured | 31 January 2024
What does escapism mean to you?
SOME PEOPLE LUST AFTER IT, OTHERS NEED IT, BRANDS CAN CREATE IT.
The beginning of a fresh calendar year is often accompanied by a surge of expectations, resolutions, and pressures that can become overwhelming. January's unique blend of aspirations and pressures makes escapism not just a desire but a coping mechanism to navigate the start of the year with a bit more ease.
What does Escapism mean to you? The term escapism can throw up divided opinions, some believe it is harmful and can lead to the avoidance of dealing with reality. However, on the flip side, and for the majority, it is their chance to take a break, unwind and relax.
Escapism is often seen as a coping strategy, it can be a form of procrastination or a way of finding solace in a time when you are stressed, and anxiety is creeping in. From getting cosy under blankets and reading a book, to unwinding in a hot bath or getting on the first plane to another destination, there are many ways you can ‘escape’ or rather ‘unwind’. Everyone has an alternate universe they go to, as Sigmund Freud once wrote ‘People cannot survive with the little satisfaction they can steal from reality’.
Although escapism shouldn’t be a solution, it can sometimes be healthy to take a break from stressful situations and in the long run can allow us to better deal with a world that can often become overwhelming. There has been a rise in the awareness of a healthy wellbeing, and the topic has become a major focus for macro trends in recent years. Anxiety and stress can be a major cause for adverse effects on a person’s wellbeing and customers are in search of ways to ease these effects, however those who do not deal with their emotions may only end up amplifying them, so it is important to be aware of your escapism strategy.
For example, many people see going on a holiday as a form of escapism, this can either be done in a positive or negative way, as trips can be used to explore a new place or escape one that has become unbearable. Exploring new surroundings, lazing by a pool, free from distractions and the hustle and bustle of every-day life can be a great opportunity to recharge your batteries and restore a healthy wellbeing so that you feel stronger and more prepared to face the problem head on when you return.
Across multiple industries brands are creating products that tap into the wellbeing market, often using typical ‘escapism’ associations that enable consumers to improve their wellbeing, be it through mental or physical methods.
To tap into the holiday escapism experience for example, there are many products that are influenced by destinations associated with going on vacation, for example candles that smell like the Mediterranean coast with notes of solar, sweet citrus’ and salty ozonic accords. Hair care products with notes of coconut and botanicals that can help you reminisce of tropical beaches. There are many types of products that will help you let your imagination conjure thoughts of unwinding on holiday.
Products that create an experience can also help the consumer focus their attention on the process – a form of escapism in itself – whilst indulging in the product. For example, a skin care product, you could use massage techniques to apply it, like you would in a facial, add in a scented spa candle, a soft robe and ocean sounds that will deepen the experience, enabling you to use your imagination and ‘escape’ to a spa or a place in your mind where you feel relaxed, whilst the product does the work.
Some consumers retreat to a pastime as a form of escapism, such as cooking, like Mandy Lee, author of ‘The Art of Escapism Cooking’ who explores how and why she retreated to the kitchen to evade other realties. Some choose sport as an escape, pounding the pavements, reading a book is a common escapism tool, utilising the whole experience by getting comfortable, creating an ambience without any distractions and letting yourself be swept up into the storyline.
We all deserve a little escape every now and again, whatever form of escaping you choose, turn it into an experience that will enable you to feel refreshed and ready to face the world and its realities.