Walgreens may be viewed as a corporate giant chain in the minds of many people, but in fact, its history is rooted in the corner drugstore nostalgia of a bygone era. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company is looking to bring some of that history to light with a new brand campaign from GSD&M.
In its first work for the retailer since winning the advertising account last May, the Austin, Texas-based agency looks to tout the company’s 111-year-history of innovation. A 30-second commercial begins by showing Charles Walgreen founding his namesake store in 1901, and tracking several innovations the company created that have since become commonplace, such as childproof caps and drive-through pharmacies.
Amid shots of different stores (including the company’s flagship, two-story store on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue) and its latest innovation (a prescription refill app for smartphones), a voiceover from actor John Corbett cites the company’s history, while the musical soundtrack is the signature groove from a re-record of John Fogerty’s “Down on the Corner.”
“What we’re trying to do is speak to the innovations that have been a part of the brand since Charles Walgreen started a company back in 1901,” Nancy Ryan, senior vice president and group account director at the agency, tells Marketing Daily. “What we found is that Walgreens didn’t get the credit for these innovations. When we took this work into testing, consumers were very interested in how Walgreens did these things.”
Using the tagline “At the corner of happy and healthy,” the effort is intended to evoke the convenience many people enjoy living in close proximity to a Walgreens, while also laying the groundwork for a more health-oriented platform that will include the rollout of more fresh foods and other items in the near future, Ryan says.
“[Walgreens] is a part of people’s daily lives, and it’s working to enhance their relationship,” she says. “Some people think of us as their drug store and some people think of it as a place to shop … It’s really the place you can go to for access to health and daily living.”