Roy Dahl on Management, Trends and Marketing

About Management, Trends, Marketing, Word of Mouth and Life In General. My thoughts will primaraly be based on the theories of Tom Peters, Faith Popcorn and Seth Godin - and of course, my own experiences.

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Location: Norway

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pleasurism – the act of having pleasure


According to Dictionary.com the definition of pleasure is “enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one's liking; gratification; delight.”

What does this definition implies?

“Enjoyment derived from what is to one’s liking”
Meaning we first of all should know what we like. And that shouldn’t be too difficult. And if we participate in something we like and enjoy it, we have pleasure

“Satisfaction derived from what is to one’s liking”
We still know what we like, and should have satisfaction from participate.

Some of us like music, other like theatre or watching a movie. So – we sit at home in our sofa, listening to some music we like, or watching a movie or a play on television. This gives us a sort of enjoyment. That’s the reason for listening or watching, isn’t it. But we are not fully satisfied. What if we could have been to a concert with our favourite artist, been on a great theatre watching a good play or a marvellous musical. Or – what if we just went to the city where we could watch the great movie on a cinema. A movie is best watched in the cinema, they say. Which is perfectly true. Watching a movie in a cinema, or going to a concert not only gives us enjoyment. We are also more satisfied after having a good and nice evening. We’ve had pleasure.

Faith Popcorn in her book “The Popcorn Report” tells us about Small Indulgences, A small reward – a little luxury which sometimes is enough to make us happy and delighted, even if it’s only for a very short time. Because, as Popcorn says, sometimes it is only the moment which make it happen. Going to a café is a sort of a small indulgence. Paying some coins for a cup of coffee gives us a moment in peace at a table where we can sit an watch other people passing by or sitting in the café. Or we can sit together with friends and acquaintances having a chat, or we can sit by ourselves reading a newspaper or a book. To be honest, this is something we could have done at home to a small percentage of the cost. But we go out. Cause when going out, we get enjoyment and satisfaction and it’s worth the cost of the cup. “We’re looking for an emotional ego-trip, without having to worry about the costs or the risk of really having to pay an overprice far beyond what it’s worth (even if an overprice is part of the enjoyment). Hey – paying too much is part of the enjoyment? And gives us satisfaction? Ok – we have a pleasure doing it.

And since our wages all differ from person to person, small indulgences for one person (Bill Gates buying a new Rolls Royce) will be a great indulgence for most people, e.g. me.

On the other hand there may also be pleasure in anger and naughtyness. Again Faith Popcorn tells us that “Pleasure Revenge means we’re fed up with self-deprivation in the sanctified name of Health and Correct Behavior. As consumers we’re ready, willing, and able to Click into the pursuit of pleasure. Not sweet and pure, but the dark side of pleasure, the underbelly pleasure. We’re boomeranging back to fun …. with a vengeance.” (Clicking / Popcorn, Marigold) “In Pleasure Revenge, there’s an anger, a distinct decision to go ahead and be naughty, a vengefulness.” (The Popcorn Report”) In Norway it’s prohibited to smoke on your working place if it’s inside. It’s prohibited to smoke on a pub or a restaurant, or in a cinema or a concert hall. So the smokers have to get out, even if it’s below 20 degrees Celcius. The smokers stick together outside, often hiding in a dark corner for no-one to see them having their pleasure revenge.

The same happened when drinking alcohol was prohibited during the 1930’s. At that time people made their moonshine whisky which was no good for the health and made you break the law. That gave some kind of pleasure. An underbelly pleasure. When you drive your car too fast on the motorway, it is just the same. You know you are breaking the law, but you have done your calculations regarding the risk of being stopped by a police, and you are enjoying yourself having the satisfaction of testing your car. You have pleasure, Pleasure Revenge.

How do marketers act upon pleasurism? How do they make it an advantage? Or do they take advantage of it at all? What are your thoughts with regards to this?

The author, Roy Dahl, is the Festival Manager of 11musikk (http://www.11musikk.no/) a music festival in Larvik, Norway. Some years ago he did articles about Servicism and Narrativism on PSFK.

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