Walgreens Debuts History Making Private Brand National Campaign

Private Brand once again takes center stage as it is featured in an 850+ word feature article in the New York Times. The article presents an in depth look at the new national advertising campaign from drugstore Walgreens which firmly establishes Private Brands as a strategic imperative for the drug retailer. In a national campaign, Walgreens will appeal to budget-conscious economy weary consumers with “likeable” commercials.

The drugstore will begin their first ever-national advertising campaign for Walgreens Private brand health and wellness products. The campaign is the first time Walgreens has gone beyond their typical Sunday circulars and in-store signage to advertise its Private Brand.

According to the New York Times article:

“The campaign emphasizes the affordability and quality of the Walgreens brand products and uses the store’s 26,000 pharmacists as a central theme. Kim L. Feil, the chief marketing officer at Walgreens, said that while the ailing economy had spurred an increase in the number of people buying store-brand products, “It’s equally important that we elevate the Walgreens brand and product not just on the basis of lower cost.”

The effort is a fully integrated national campaign featuring, tv, print, instore and digital. The company partnered with Digitas, on the digital portion of the campaign. Last spring, Walgreens began a partnership with the health and parenting Web site ParentsAsk.com to present branded content.

On the page dedicated to Walgreens, viewers see ads for the new campaign along with health and wellness videos. The page also features advice from Walgreens pharmacist, Stacia Woodcock.

Banner ads comparing Walgreens Private Brands to name brands will also appear on the page and on Web sites like ABC.com and CBS.com, where the company has purchased commercials that will run prior to prime-time shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Modern Family,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Survivor” and “The Big Bang Theory.” The print portion of the campaign can be seen in Sundays Parade Magazine.

Walgreens also partnered with the female-centric blog publishing network, BlogHer, to reach its target demographic of women. The company provided seasonal products to bloggers at sites like TheFrugalGirl.com and SliceOfLemon.com so the bloggers could review them and encourage their readers to try them.

For its new television commercial and the print ads, Walgreens worked with its AOR, Downtown Partners. The work emphasizes pharmacists recommending the Walgreens Private Brand products.

On February 1, Walgreens also began donating a penny from the purchase of every Private Brand health and wellness product to its Walgreens Way to Well fund, which provides health services and educational efforts to local communities. Walgreens will donate up to $3 million annually.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.