Chains take to the airwaves in quest for consumers


walgreens and cvs launch new advertising campaigns in 2002



Chains take to the airwaves in quest for consumers

In the valley, near a river, there's a place called Perfect." This may sound like the prologue to a romance novel. But they are the opening words of a major new TV ad campaign for Walgreens.

The campaign, dubbed "Perfect," consists of six 30-second TV commercials that carry the tag line "That's Life. This is Walgreens."

In the first commercial, which broke prior to Valentine's Day, a soft-spoken announcer states that in the place called Perfect, "every day is filled with love, especially Feb. 14. Valentines are handmade and every man brings home roses. In Perfect, the only one in the doghouse is the dog. Of course, we don't live anywhere near Perfect, so we have Walgreens—open every day, many for 24 hours, where we can get what's needed in the real world. That's Life. This is Walgreens." The spot features a variety of items that can be purchased as gifts for Valentine's Day.

In the second message, which features beautiful scenery, the announcer states, "In Perfect, there are no last-minute parties, or belated birthday cards. Poems are only hummed in celebration, and in the evening there's an extra hour to play. Of course, we don't live anywhere near Perfect, so we have Walgreens."

Walgreens' spokesman Michael Polzin told Drug Topics, "We're trying to do a little more promotion on the front end of the store and highlight that as a destination for our consumers. In recent years, we haven't built the front end as a brand the way we have in pharmacy and photo finishing. Our strategy is to take what we've done in pharmacy and photo finishing and include the front end in it. We want to reinforce with our customers that when you need a quick trip for one or two items, Walgreens is the place where you want to go because we are right there in your neighborhood, we're easy to get to, and we have what you need."

David Bernauer, Walgreens president/CEO who unveiled the first two ads at the company's annual meeting, told shareholders, "We think it'll be very effective, and our intent is to do what we did for "The Pharmacy America Trusts" and "The Place Where America Takes Its Pictures." They're powerful messages, and this one particularly is focused on the front end of our business, the business that we can do through reminding all of America, that if you need a quick trip, the place to go is Walgreens.

Then there's Rite Aid. In its effort to entice customers to its stores via an advertising effort that has cozy undertones, Rite Aid Corp.'s TV campaign, which aired through February, carried the tag line "With us, it's personal." The campaign, which consisted of four TV commercials, highlights the personal relationships Rite Aid pharmacists have with their customers and underscored the company's focus on customer service. One ad called, "Blood Pressure," features a Rite Aid pharmacist who visits an elderly man at his home to take his blood pressure and to make sure he is taking his medicine. In "Breast Cancer," a Rite Aid pharmacist consoles and counsels a woman who has just learned she has breast cancer. In "Greeting Card," a pharmacist surprises a customer with a get-well card with her prescription. "Heart Attack" shows a Rite Aid pharmacist calling 911 while calming a customer who might be having a heart attack.

Not to be outdone by its rivals, CVS is running two new commercials. According to CVS spokesman Todd Andrews, "One spot focuses on the pharmacist and reminds people that the pharmacist is the central figure in the prescription-filling process, and the reason that people visit CVS is their relationship with the pharmacist." The commercial is airing in 32 markets. "In the past, we ran ads that focused on the pharmacy. This is an extension of those previous programs, reminding people that the pharmacist is the key to the pharmacy experience," said Andrews.

The second CVS TV commercial touts the chain's ExtraCare consumer discount card program This program provides in-store discounts on various items. Consumers earn "extra bucks" coupons that are mailed to their homes that can be redeemed on merchandise purchased in the store.

According to an Eckerd spokeswoman, the chain is utilizing print and broadcast media "to reinforce our convenience, quality photo processing, value pricing, and strong emphasis on personal healthcare solutions in our pharmacies."

Sandra Levy


Sandra Levy. Chains take to the airwaves in quest for consumers.

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