From celebrity-led dance-a-thons to digital takeovers to around-the-clock TV ads, NBC and Walgreens are using the full weight of their brands to rally the nation around Red Nose Day. The effort supports charities that help lift children and young people out of poverty through fun and humorous fundraising efforts.
NBC, Walgreens and M&M's are working with the U.K.'s Comic Relief to bring Red Nose Day, which launched in 1988, to America for the first time. The event, set to take place in the U.S. on May 21, will culminate in a three-hour live TV benefit on NBC.
Walgreens is the exclusive retailer for Red Nose Day, which means supporters can only buy the campaign's signature red noses at Walgreens-owned stores, including Duane Reade. The noses are $1 each and all proceeds go to Red Nose Day charities.
In the two weeks since Walgreens began selling the red noses, it reached more than half of its goal to sell "millions" of red noses, according to Linn Jordan, marketing director of cause marketing at Walgreens. "We have a very generous American public, and they have truly stepped up," she said.
The retailer is also working closely with NBC to promote the event through on-air integrations, including pushes on "The Voice," the "Today" show and "Late Night with Seth Meyers." The efforts promote the TV special and encourage viewers to join the cause by buying a red nose at Walgreens.
NBC is working with Funny or Die on the TV event, which will feature dozens of stars including Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams, Will Ferrell and Sam Smith.
"The full force of NBC Universal is behind this project," said Dan Lovinger, exec VP for entertainment group advertising sales at NBC. "It's starting to remind me of the momentum that was built around the 'SNL' 40th."