Monday, 25 April 2016
Asda: Every Little Helps
This one isn’t so much about advertising. It’s more about how sometimes, the best PR happens when you simply create an environment for simple, good deeds.
(Yes, apparently doing nice things can make people think that you’re nice. I also recently heard that the Pope is a practising Catholic.)
But the story I want to talk about is this one – an Asda store manager in Manchester taking a very small, but powerful decision to introduce a “quiet hour” for shoppers, and especially those who struggle with loud, busy places due to autism.
The screens go off.
The escalators halt.
Voices are kept to a minimum.
It’s a simple but powerful gesture.
And no, it isn’t earth-shattering. It’s certainly not the basis for a mass media campaign, and it can’t be. But there’s something simple, identifiable and attractive about a shop that takes a little step to help even just a little part of their community that feels underserved.
More interesting, more eye-catching, and more memorable as a brand offering than your standard bland slogan.
And there’s another point you can make about the “quiet hour”. We always assume supermarkets have to be brand-consistent, blaring music, jauntily tuned and brightly coloured behemoths. But there’s something to be said for stripping back the sound and fury, for subtracting rather than adding to the noise.
Something to think about. Possibly something for a future article.
But for now – time to shut up.