How Walgreens is pushing customers to get vaxxed for fall activities

Walgreens is working with VMLY&R and Mediacom for the creative and marketing aspects of the campaign, and H+K Strategies and CGI Health on the PR, earned media and social media components.

How Walgreens is pushing customers to get vaxxed for fall activities

DEERFIELD, IL: With back to school already here and fall seasonal activities around the corner, Walgreens is asking customers to come back to stores for COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots in a national marketing campaign set to launch on Sunday.  

The push includes a 30-second video with people heading to different destinations and congregating in groups and ends with a customer getting vaccinated at Walgreens. The narration says: “Before you go there, start here.”

“Coming out of COVID, we really wanted to remind people that Walgreens is a safe and convenient place for them to keep themselves and their family and friends safe by getting vaccinated,” said Walgreens CMO Pat McLean. “Getting a flu shot and as [the COVID] boosters come along, we’ll be ready for that as well.”

Walgreens’ agency of record is WPP, whose Walgreens Boots-focused team is known as The Pharm. It’s working with VMLY&R and Mediacom for the creative and marketing aspects of the campaign, and H+K Strategies and CGI Health on the PR, earned media and social media components. 

WBA extended its relationship with WPP as its global marketing and communications AOR in late 2020. WPP was first appointed in 2017 as WBA’s global marketing and communications agency. This extension followed a six-month review initiated in May of last year and will extend until the end of 2022, with an option to further extend until the end of 2024.

The campaign consists of broadcast TV, online video, paid social media, streaming radio through MyCultura, programmatic digital, paid search, earned media, owned social and other communications including email, SMS and the vaccination landing page on Walgreens’ site. Walgreens also plans to work with Aki to personalize online video targeting and messaging. 

The drug-store chain wants to reach vaccine-hesitant populations and younger people. But Walgreens also is trying to build on the customers who have come to Walgreens for vaccinations. The retail pharmacy giant has vaccinated 30 million people to date against COVID-19. 

“Our goal is just to remind people that getting vaccinated is the best thing you can do to protect yourself from COVID, as it has always been the best thing you can do to protect yourself from a flu infection,” said McLean. “And that we’re here.”

Parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance, which also operates the Boots chain in the U.K., reported $34 billion in Q3 sales, a year-over-year increase of 10.4%, and net earnings from continuing operations of $1.6 billion, up from a loss of $157 million a year prior.

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