It’s that time of year again: we’re in the month of August.
It’s a strange month. In France, for example, everything seems to close down. Are we, in the UK, starting to ape French model?
Since the credit crunch, and the general slow down in the economy post 2008, it makes sense for individuals to be more careful with their money, more careful with budgeting. At a corporate level, decision making is often more of a shared activity, and there are fewer knee jerk reactions. The downside of the corporate decision making unit is, of course, that, if everyone is not present, then nothing gets done. In August, with employees taking holidays, fewer are present. The time frame for decision making seems to drift: the fact that someone is on holiday, or about to go on holiday, or even just thinking about taking a holiday seems to be a standard excuse.
The media call it the silly season because of the dearth of hard news stories.
And on the subject of seasons, the advertising world seems to be a little confused at the moment.
First, we had the Sky Sports campaign, which first appeared back in July: “It’s been a long summer, let’s get back to footie.” Fair enough, but the campaign kicked off in July. We had hardly experienced a long summer by that time! We’ve always complained about long, bleak winters, but now we’re moaning about long summers in July.
Then there is the Co-op’s advertisement, you know, the one that goes: “It’s the most won-der-ful time of the year.” Well, yes the summer is nice (unless you’re a Sky Sports football fan), but using traditional Christmas music in August is more than a little disorientating.
The schools seem to have only just broken up, but already we have the ‘Back to School’ posters prominently displayed in a range of stores selling anything from footwear, to pens and pencils. Why can’t we let our youngsters enjoy their summer break without reminding them, almost at the outset, that they’ll be back at school in September?
So what have we learned? Summer is too long; Christmas is an all year round event; and the kids are being ushered back to school even before they’ve begun to be bored by the long summer break.
Yes, it’s most definitely August.