Walgreen's Stays Home For Christmas

So you have a hot retail account. Judging from the competition, you can stress low prices, multicultural offerings, exclusive brands or go upscale like Tar-jay. But the new Walgreen’s campaign from Euro/RSCG is aiming for perfect.

The newest installment in the “perfect” campaign bowed last week. The new TV spots are the latest in a continuing quest to position Walgreen’s against several other national chains by stressing its commitment to the neighborhood. Walgreen’s has been pitching itself as America’s hometown retailer with a low-key, reliable campaign that belies the fact that it has 4,000 stores. Don’t’ expect things to change anytime soon as Walgreen’s tries to crank it up to 7,000 stores by 2009.

”I think people see us as a store that provides real services to everyday people,” says Walgreen’s VP advertising Craig Sinclair. “We help fulfill their needs. We have excellent prices in the convenience items we sell in the front of the store. And the best service in our pharmacy. We’re not going to be the biggest and hottest retailing force on the planet. But we hit home for our consumer.”

The “Perfect” spots target the time-pressed consumer, the “hero of her household.” They have been placed as a universal buy on all major cable networks as well as spot. They show holiday experiences like breakfast and receiving holidays cards in Perfectville where of course Walgreen’s is the perfect store. No quick cuts. No loud music.

“It’s a very American brand,” said Jim Schmidt, chief creative officer for Euro/RSCG. “We wanted to create e this perfect town and this perfect world, almost similar to “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The slow pacing just naturally fits.”

Sinclair said he stays acutely aware of what other national [pharmacies as well as mass merchants are doing to drive store traffic. He is looking to Walgreen’s services to separate on a competitive basis, not just the ad campaigns. More than 1,000 Walgreen’s are open 24 hours a day, which he cites as a key competitive edge.”

In terms of placement, the campaign is heavy on TV and not as heavy on the FSI that run in Sunday newspapers. “There’s been a shift,” said Schmidt. “A lot of retailers are headed towards more broadcast. Wee feel like it adds depth and reach to our brand. Fewer people are reading newspapers and the FSIs that come with them.”

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