You don’t need us to tell you that being social is very different to being sociable. Especially these days. While one has come to signify busily tapping and swiping away at our phones, the other used to mean actually talking into it.
Let’s rewind to a time when social activity was about engaging – with real people, in real conversations in real time. Seems like ages ago doesn’t it? Mind you, everything goes in circles and just as we’re being encouraged to recycle bottles (like we used to), eat seasonally and cook from scratch (like we used to) and take digital detoxes (which we didn’t have to), we’re also being reminded of the importance of face time. Not via the phone we might add but actually face to face.
Pernod Ricard have long been exponents of the power of sociability. In fact, the company, (which just happens to be behind some of our favourite tipples including Chivas Regal, Beefeater gin, Plymouth, Perrier Jouët Champagne and Martell cognac), has made ‘Creators of Conviviality’ its mantra for several years. It makes sense. What could be more conducive to good old fashioned congeniality than sharing what precious down time we allow ourselves to enjoy than with family and friends? Add any one of the quality tipples from their premium portfolio into the equation and you’ve got yourself a memorable moment right there. Whilst sipping responsibly of course.
That’s the aperitif as it were, the taster to open the palate for something more contemplative. In this case it’s the launch of Pernod Ricard’s global campaign called ‘Be A Convivialist’. It’s a biggie, and one that’s clearly important to the brand. So much so, they’ve worked with OpinionWay, a top market research company, to get the low down on what conviviality means around the world today.
If you love numbers, this section is for you (if you don’t, bear with us as it makes for pretty sobering reading…)
In total 11,500 people (okay 11,487 but who’s counting?) from 11 countries in five continents voiced their opinions in the OpinionWay Survey for Pernod Ricard, so when they say they’ve gone global, they really mean it. Get this: more than half of those who took part consider their country to be a less friendly place than it was five years ago (the French are particularly peeved with 76% saying that conviviality is declining where they live). Then there are the Millennials, those 18 to 34 year-olds we hear so much about. As you might expect they’re into social big time which is backed up by 67% admitting that they meet up with their friends less due to the power of social networks, and 60% saying that their relationships are more superficial as a result.
Mind you, it’s not just those under 35 who are guilty on that front. 63% of respondents said they used various forms of electronic messaging to contact relatives. Guess who scored highest here? Brazil at a staggering 93%. And if you thought that was bad, 77% of those sampled ‘fessed up to refusing to go out with friends because they preferred to stream a series or film at home. How sad is that?
That’s the bad news, on the positive side, the power of conviviality comes out well with 91% of respondents regarding it as a source of wellbeing and 90% equating it with happiness. So while we may not actually being putting conviviality into practice, we’re totally aware that embracing it will do us the power of good. “There’s a real yearning for connection and sharing in today’s world,” confims Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard. “Convivialité is more than just a corporate value for Pernod Ricard, it’s our raison d’être – and it’s proudly embodied every day by our 19,000 employees across the globe. This mindset echoes the lifelong motto of my grandfather Paul Ricard, who launched an invitation to all his employees to make a new friend every day.” Which brings us back rather nicely to the Be A Convivialist campaign…
First off, this is more than a cool concept with a punchy headline. Pernod Ricard have put big money where their mouths are and invested in a dedicated website and a whole bunch of cool stuff to get us to fully embrace the theme. Central to it all is a full-on documentary featuring a host of characters from around the world. These aren’t actors or influencers, they’re real people from all walks of life – in total, the film crew travelled to 12 destinations , capturing what conviviality means to 15 people ranging from a video producer in Goa to a social entrepreneur in Johannesburg. Their backgrounds and stories may be different but the core message is the same: take time out to reconnect with family and friends.
The Convivialist website is a great place to start. Ah, but isn’t that going against everything that we’ve spoken about? You’d think so but tech and social media does have it’s plus-points. In fact, 22% of people said that they’d made a new and genuine friend via social media within the last six months, showing that networks can also help to bring people together. A factor that the convivialist campaign also takes on board.
So watch the film, check the research, take the quiz to find out what kind of convivialist you are, then do yourself a favour and get your diary out and plan a get together. It doesn’t have to be fancy like Nicelle’s lavish house parties in New Orleans; it needn’t mean sitting in the same seat in the same pub which happen’s to be Anna’s meet up place of choice in Dublin, and you don’t need to show off your vocal talent in a karaoke bar like Martin in Shanghai – unless those things rock your boat. Find what works for you and resolve to do it.
To help get the party started, we’re giving away six bottles (from the Pernod Ricard portfolio naturellement). All you have to do is watch the film below and tell us which of the Convivialists is most like you and why.*
Meet the convivialists at theconvivialists.com then sign up to join the movement. Simple.
To enter The Cocktail Lovers Be A Convivialist competition, please send an email with ‘I’m a Convivialist’ in the header to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entry closes 22nd March. The winner will be notified by email.
*Entrants MUST be over 18.
Join the movement #BeAConvivialist