M&S well­be­ing drive seeks to com­bat au­topi­lot trend

Campaign UK - - NEWS - By Si­mon Gwynn

Marks & Spencer is aim­ing to im­prove the well­be­ing of Brits by en­cour­ag­ing them to snap out of “au­topi­lot” be­hav­iours, its top mar­keter has said.

On 1 June, the re­tailer will hold “Make It Mat­ter Day”, com­pris­ing ac­tiv­ity in stores and across digital chan­nels. The event will en­cour­age peo­ple to make small changes, such as lim­it­ing tech­nol­ogy us­age, to gain more con­trol of their lives.

The ini­tia­tive fol­lows re­search by M&S and Opinium in­volv­ing 3,000 adults. The study found that mak­ing de­ci­sions with­out con­scious think­ing was com­mon, with 96% of par­tic­i­pants ad­mit­ting to it. This habit was also re­vealed to be hav­ing dam­ag­ing ef­fects: 39% of those sur­veyed said they were on au­topi­lot while re­lax­ing at home, lim­it­ing time that could be spent en­gag­ing with fam­ily and friends, and 44% have for­got­ten some­thing im­por­tant, such as lock­ing the front door, while on au­topi­lot.

Pa­trick Bous­quet-cha­vanne, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for cus­tomer, mar­ket­ing and M&s.com, said Make It Mat­ter Day is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of M&S’S new cam­paign, “Spend it well”, which was cre­ated by Grey Lon­don and launched this month. The TV spot en­cour­ages con­sumers to re­ject as­pects of life that do not ul­ti­mately con­trib­ute any­thing worth­while.

The strat­egy came from ef­forts to “un­der­stand the psy­che” of the M&S shop­per, Bous­quet-cha­vanne said, in or­der to iden­tify mes­sag­ing that would res­onate with the “wide church” of the brand’s 30 mil­lion-plus cus­tomers.

He con­tin­ued: “They had much more in com­mon than we thought in terms of how they looked at life in the con­text of the changes in so­ci­ety, cul­ture and the econ­omy. We re­alised they shared a de­sire for greater qual­ity of time, whether it was about things, events or peo­ple.”

The au­topi­lot phe­nom­e­non was be­ing per­pet­u­ated by a “deeper sense that life is mov­ing faster”, Bous­quetcha­vanne ex­plained. This habit was found equally across age groups and was linked to heavy so­cial media use.

Mak­ing small in­ter­rup­tive changes, such as al­ter­ing your com­mute or try­ing some­thing new each week, could be “great for men­tal health”, Bous­quet-cha­vanne added: “This is very much about mak­ing peo­ple feel bet­ter about them­selves. There is a great sense of em­pow­er­ment that this cam­paign can gen­er­ate as an out­put.”

Bous­quet-cha­vanne: ‘This is about mak­ing peo­ple feel bet­ter about them­selves’

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