A.S. Watson lifts consumers' spirits amid coronavirus stress with Global Smile Campaign

By Austyn King 9-Sep-2020

With one third of consumers believing they don't smile enough, the Superdrug owner is aiming to promote mental wellbeing and positivity with its 'Chief Smile Officers'

A.S. Watson Group, the health and beauty retail conglomerate, is aiming to put a smile back on consumers' faces amid the stress and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic with the launch of its Global Smile Campaign.

In the company's Global Health Survey 2020, one third of respondents said that they didn't smile enough, despite 91% believing that smiling and laughing has positive health benefits.

Meanwhile, 90% of these cited stress as the main reason for their lack of smiles, closely followed by a busy life.

Now, the owner of Superdrug and The Perfume Shop is aiming to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing as well as encouraging its customers and employees to promote positivity and a “culture of happiness” during the unprecedented times.

Malina Ngai, Group COO of A.S. Watson Group and CEO of A.S. Watson (Asia & Europe), said: “The health and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and communities continues to be a key focus for A.S. Watson.

“Covid-19 has made both physical and mental health the top priority for everyone in the world.

“The implementation of social distancing and lockdown measures can really impact a person emotionally and we see mental health becoming an even bigger issue.

“Smile Inside-out advocates mental wellbeing and we want to build a culture of happiness for our colleagues and our customers.”

Serving up smiles

To kick off the campaign, the company has appointed a team of 13 millennial 'Chief Smile Officers' (CSOs), who will work to spread positivity throughout A.S. Watson's network of stores as well as its digital platforms.

CSO Christie Yeung added: “Our Millennials CSR Committee has tried to answer the needs of our customers in the ‘new normal’.

“We believe this campaign is the key to bringing more smiles to our customers in a sustainable way, with a life-changing impact.

“Mental wellbeing is as important as physical health in this rapidly changing world, and our brands from all over the world will help foster positivity in our communities, so that everyone can smile inside out.”

The campaign is A.S. Watson's first global initiative to kick off the company's 180th anniversary celebrations in 2021, recalling its origins as a small dispensary which gave out free medicine to those in need.

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Focusing on three main wellbeing aspects – Get Active, Think Positive and Love Yourself & Others – the conglomerate's brands and CSOs will work across social media content, in-store activities and charitable donations in a bid to raise awareness of mental wellbeing and promote positivity to its 5.3 billion customers over 15,800 stores in 25 markets worldwide.