Walgreens Inks Ad, Content Deal With Tribune

  • by October 22, 2002
In an effort to build on the trust factor for its brand reputation, the pill-dispensing colossus has announced its newest venture into the health resource realm, “Walgreens Presents RxTV.”

] The half-hour weekly health and medical television show brings Walgreens together with Tribune Company’s national advertising and cross-media sales organization, Tribune Media Net, in a multi-million dollar deal. The Walgreens sponsored program will air Saturday mornings on WGN-TV and WGN Superstation, debuting November 16. Walgreen’s agency, Starcom, was involved in media planning and buying aspects.

The 24 station-strong Tribune Broadcasting Group will glean stories for the program from among reports it produces highlighting recent developments in the worlds of medicine, health and fitness. The stories will be chosen by Tribune’s Washington news bureau, and re-purposed for the news magazine style RxTV. Although the content will be dictated mainly by the news of the day, some segments will focus on seasonal themes such as allergies or the flu.

Comments Ron Goldberg, director of Tribune Cross-Media Sales, “Walgreens was looking for credible content for their customers, and from our perspective, delivering that to a national audience as a news magazine just made sense.”

According to Goldberg, Tribune originated the health show idea and Walgreens later jumped on board as the show’s sponsor. As per the agreement, the broadcast company will produce one year’s worth of Walgreens-sponsored shows which, besides news segments, will feature an "Ask the Expert" portion providing in-depth coverage of health topics with medical and industry experts. Goldberg believes the content will be of interest to a variety of viewers; however, the majority of watchers will probably fall into the 25-54 year-old adult category.

Advertising opportunities on the show may be made available to other marketers. Some commercial breaks during RxTV will be used for Walgreens’ ads and promotions, while the remainder will be sold by Walgreens to its vendors.

As part of the cross-media deal, Tribune will run commercial spots on WGN-TV and WGN Superstation to promote the show. In addition, Walgreens will push the show in its advertising circulars distributed in the Chicago Tribune, as well as through in-store promotions and signage.

Chances are RxTV will come as no surprise to loyal Walgreens customers, many of whom are familiar with the firm’s online Health Library found at www.walgreens.com/library. The resource site offers information provided by the Mayo Clinic, featuring research on drug information and pricing, first aid tips, expert answers to fitness questions and stories on topics like “The pros and cons of daytime napping.”

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