Marketing communications - Consumer (annual fees more than £100k): Marks & Spencer with Unity

Schwoppers not Keepers

Marks & Spencer wanted to provide an antidote to throwaway culture with its Shwopping campaign. Consumers were encouraged to donate unwanted clothing every time they bought something new and, with the help of Oxfam, each ‘shwopped’ item went on to have a new life.

After the successful launch of the Shwopping initiative, Unity was asked to maintain momentum and continue to build interest. It ran a series of activities throughout the year to keep the initiative front of mind.

For example, it embraced the patriotic spirit conjured up by the Olympics and created a giant Union Jack from ‘shwopped’ clothes within the time gold medal hopeful Keri-Anne Payne could complete a 10km swim.

At Christmas, it released a story introducing the concept of ‘present face’ – the face we pull to disguise dislike – and produced a video with an acting coach teaching members of the public to master theirs. It also created a picture of Santa ‘shwopping’ his suit to attract the four million Brits that own Santa suits. It generated hits in the nationals.

So far, 3,849,793 items have been shwopped, with a value of £2,329,466 to Oxfam. Unity has now been brought on board to handle PR for the whole of Plan A, M&S’ sustainability initiative.

"A simple idea generated a standout campaign that powered a significant ROI – who could ask for more?"

Nicola Green Director of comms and reputation, Teléfónica UK

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