If something has been talked about in recent months on a recurring basis, it has been mental health. The topic was already one of those that was on the agenda before the coronavirus crisis, but now it has become a much more prominent one.
One of the effects of the crisis has been, precisely, to have a notable impact on the mental health of citizens. In fact, studies have focused on analyzing how this has happened and what effects it has had. Last April, for example, an Ipsos study was presented for the World Economic Forum on how the pandemic had affected mental health: Spain was one of the countries in the world in which it had worsened.
45% of Spaniards even assured that they would not return to ‘normal’ pre-pandemic life for up to a year and were among the most pessimistic. Overall, 45% of adults worldwide reported that their mental and emotional health had worsened since the start of the pandemic.
In Spain, they were 51%. All this has meant more work for health systems and greater visibility in the media of what mental health means and how we should also take it into account. For companies and brands, this initially involved being aware of the situation and working with it in mind when managing their own workforce and communicating with consumers. Now, however, the next phase has been reached.
All that boom of stressed and anxious adults has already turned into a market opportunity. If you are being haunted by advertisements for gummies and pills that help you sleep better, you may have noticed. If not, an analysis by The Wall Street Journal makes it clear: anti-stress products and all those that improve mental health – or more or less promise to do so – have become the new fashion of corporate sales strategy.
It also matters little what you want to sell: everything is already anti-stress and positive. “No matter what industry or business you’re in, health and wellness should always be on your mind,” explains Alison Angus, head of lifestyle research to the Journal , further adding that “mental wellness is absolutely crucial.” The newspaper’s analysis focuses on the US market to see how this has become the last market opportunity and the last marketing lever, but its conclusions are quite transferable.
From cars to bottles of water
The interesting thing is not only that there are things that are sold as anti-stress and relaxing, but that anything goes in this area. Ford, for example, presented its Lincoln Nautilus, they note in the Journal , as “a sanctuary.” They have changed the sounds of the car to be less aggressive or they have changed the circulation of the air to be more pleasant and zen.
They are an example. Another is that of Post-It manufacturers, who have seen sales of products that connect to self-care grow (such as, curiously, pastel-colored Post-It). The greats of the beverages have also entered the battle: Pepsi have launched a flavor of water with lavender to reach the market of calm and Coca-Cola has designed a tranquility version of one of their water brands.
If all industries are launching relaxing products and all are using mental health in their marketing strategy, it is because stress and anxiety have become widespread. Young adults and the population with education below the institute are those who show the highest peak in symptoms of stress and anxiety, according to data handled by the economic environment, but the rise is registered in all demographic groups. Everyone is bad and everyone can be sold products that soothe. Younger consumers buy the most products that help them relax, from bath bombs to plants.