Consumer Behaviour

The Best of times

Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

Praying with my Dog

February is known to be the most depressing month. It’s grey, wet, cold, costs are higher and we’re stuck indoors more to see each other’s faults.  This is why YouCom Direct decided to run a competition to find what motivates people and to share the positive in that which surrounds us.  A positive prayer is worth a ton of negative thoughts…  


We are living in a time of progress.  Events such as Putin in Russia, Trump in America, Assad in Syria, restriction of speech in China etc. make us worry for democracy.  But democracy is in no danger, it is in fact at an all-time high.  Peaceful government transitions occurred in 2016 in Morocco, Japan, Ghana, Iceland, Croatia, Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and yes even in the USA.  
Gambia saw the end of a 22 year rule of fear by President Jammeh when he was beaten democratically by the opposition candidate Adama Barrow and after many attempts to hang on to power, finally left office.  


For the first time in 50 years, Myanmar had their first civilian leader, elected by the people.  Gambia banned child marriage in 2016 along with Tanzania.  Plus, the pan-African parliament gave their endorsement to a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) across Africa.  These are most certainly good things to smile about.  


A WHO report showed that since 2000, worldwide deaths caused by Malaria have declined by 60 per cent!  Deaths caused by AIDS have also fallen by 45 percent.  Mothers dying in childbirth have decreased by 44 percent since 1990 and infant deaths have fallen by 50 percent too.  We undoubtedly live in the best of times.   Did you know from 2016, people can now expect to live seven extra years on average compared to those born in 1990?   The WHO also told us in 2016 that measles has been wiped out from all the Americas and that polio could be wiped out within a year!  And in western countries, incidents involving colon cancer, dementia and heart disease are all decreasing.  So, we can look forward to healthier times too it seems.  


How about those cute fluffy animals for you animal lovers out there?  Well, more than 20 economies have agreed £5.3 billion to conserve the world’s oceans.  2016 saw Wolves reintroduced to Europe (umm, shouldn’t this be in the list of bad things?) and the big bad grizzly is back in Yellowstone national park! Plus, green sea turtles, humpback whales and giant panda’s are now all finally off the endangered species list whilst the number of tigers in the wild rose for the first time in 100 years – How great are we for finally getting our act together to protect the creatures we share this planet with!?  


These positive things we don’t usually get to hear.  The media seems to be full of doom and gloom.  But take the environment for instance.  For 3 years now, worldwide Co2 emissions did not rise at all.  China has decreased use of coal since 2014 and India has announced no intention to build new coal plants for the foreseeable future.  Acid pollution is at the lowest level since the 1930’s and guess what!?  The Ozone hole (remember that?) continues to shrink from our great efforts to do something about it and is expected to be fully healed by 2050. 🙂  


How about money?  Well, the amount of people below the poverty line fell by 10 percent for the first time ever.  In the last 26 years, over 1 billion people have escaped severe poverty.  In the UK, the average household income grew at its fastest rate for the last 15 years.  Plus the numbers employed is at a record high of 75 percent (although this is weighted heavily against the young with most unemployment being seen among University graduates and younger people).  We also had the introduction of the national living wage to address inequality.  With the growth of digital media, we’re also able to go shopping at any time on any day, in any place.  Meaning we rarely go without things we want.  How lucky are we to live in this age?  


At YouCom Direct, we try to be just as positive with others.  We decided to send our clients, suppliers and mystery shoppers a free ‘Seize the day’ calendar of daily motivational quotes and positive sayings.  Because we understand that when good people come into your life we will all contribute to a happier, stress-free world, if we communicate and stay in touch with others instead of losing good friends.


We asked our large online community if you knew what the most important thing in life is and give you this video clip from the heart-warming comedy Holy Man which contains the answer:

We invited you all to enter a competition to win a copy of this DVD.  Entrants simply had to tell us what they live by to lead a positive life.  

Here are the winners and all will receive a free DVD of this Hollywood film!

‘Make them understand with love.’

– Safia Qureshi’s words to her daughter Amber.  “In all interactions, I process life and people with this!!!” says Amber.  

“For a good happy life, I live by smiling at everyone, engaging with strangers, selflessly helping others and making sure my family and friends are happy around me. This genuinely makes me happy – Leyla Preston, Brand Ambassador and Chief Editor of Motherhood Diaries.  Read more from her blog here:  

“My motto is ‘Do what you love, love what you do’. Try to make most of your life about the things that you really enjoy and love and put effort and love into those things too.” – Petra Robertson editor of A Mum Reviews.  Read more from her blog here:  

“Not every day is good but there is good in every day” – Sabina Green editor of MummyMatters Read more from her blog here:  

“Try to live each day by the laws of love, the love of family, the love of friends, the more love we put out into the world the more we get back, in life, love, business, just use love and always remember and I mean always, You are good enough and never let anyone try to tell you differently” – Mandy Charlton, Travel and Commercial Photographer See her beautifully professional photos here:   

“I live by always being honest not just to my family but anybody that I talk too and spending more time with my family.” – Amy Bryant, Kentucky, USA.  

“I live life to travel to spend my days enjoying the time I’m not at work, enjoying time with my 9 year old. This year I’m enjoying taking him to Disney World Florida. As a surprise :)”Lucy Greens  

And here’s a few more inspired words to hopefully restore some positivity to all of us;

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” – Unknown  

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt  

“Let your hook always be cast.  In the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.” – Ovid  

“To love deeply & be loved in return, that’s a rare gift from God, everything else is just packaging.” – T. Tolis  
“Trust in your dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.”Kahlil Gibran  

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Glossary: FGM – Female Genital Mutilation WHO – World Health Organisation  

Data source: The Times columnist P. Collins.  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, February 2017, London, ‘The Best of Times.



Matt Roberts