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Diageo Launches Switch to Pub Mode Campaign

Diageo launched a new Guinness campaign in September, encouraging people to put their phones down and 'Switch to Pub Mode'.

To coincide with the launch, Diageo carried out a study which delved into the impact of phone use on a night out with friends. The research found that, despite the reliance on phones and the extent to which they're valued, participants said they had a better night out when their phones were put away - with 94% stating that they enjoyed a night out as much or more without their phone.

The study, conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, explored the quality of a night out with friends on two consecutive Thursday nights. On the second Thursday the groups were asked to put their phones down while everything else remained the same - the same night of the week, the same time, the same pub, the same people, even the same bar staff. The results showed a dramatic positive shift on the second Thursday when phones were not in use.

The research found that people who put their phone down felt more included in their group (18.4% positive shift), while another notable impact was that people felt closer to their friends as a result of putting their phones down (9.6% positive shift).

Across the participating pubs, Diageo will roll out specially created ‘bean bags’ for phones, as well as ‘phone stackers’.

Richard Layte, Head of Sociology at Trinity College and scientific advisor for the study, said: “This study provides new insights into our relationships with our phones in social settings. Phones can both enhance and erode our sociability; on the one hand smartphones enable us to connect and share updates with friends but they can also distract us and draw us away from the here and now when we’re with friends and family. The findings from this study are scientific evidence that if we put our phones down when we meet with friends and family, we not only enjoy the experience more but also feel closer to them and have a greater sense of belonging.”

Speaking today, Annmarie Phillips, On-Trade Channel Director, Diageo, said: “We all rely on our phones to organise meeting up with friends and have fun recording our nights out and there is no doubt that our phones are extremely useful devices. The study provides fascinating insight into our relationships with phones in social settings and the phones’ impact on the social group dynamic.

“Switching to Pub Mode is about enjoying those conversations with good friends and letting the chat flow for that little bit longer with your phones down and heads up. The research demonstrates that people certainly enjoy the night more when we give our phone a rest!”

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