Walgreens rolls out first COVID-19 vaccine campaign
As promised, Walgreens has reached the point where COVID-19 vaccine supply is outstripping demand enough to turn on marketing. This Sunday, the Deerfield, Illinois-based drugstore chain will begin airing a campaign encouraging consumers to get vaccinated.
Called “This Is Our Shot,” the push includes a 30-second commercial featuring many of the things—such as cap-throwing at graduations, hand clapping at sporting events and candle blowing at birthday parties—Americans could enjoy after they get their inoculation. Such activities are shown happening in reverse, cycling back to the coronavirus shot and branded Walgreens red bandage as a new beginning.
It’s a stark contrast from seven weeks ago, when drugstore chains including Walgreens and rival CVS were still waiting for an increase in supply, including the third Johnson & Johnson vaccine, to meet growing demand. Retailers held back marketing at the time, with Chief Marketing Officer Patrick McLean anticipating a late-March or early-April start to marketing the vaccine.
The new spot includes a voiceover by John Legend. “This is our shot—the COVID-19 vaccines are ready and so is Walgreens, with pharmacy experts ready to make it easy for you to get it safely for free because this is our shot at getting back together,” Legend says. The campaign will air on TV, social media and on Walgreens website.
Yet, as some states, including New York, New Jersey and Illinois, increase vaccine eligibility, many consumers are having a hard time finding appointments. If Walgreens is marketing itself as a vaccine destination, that could lead to some disgruntled shoppers. Earlier this week, only a small handful of sites in Illinois, for example, showed appointment availability.
In addition, the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this week that Walgreens was having trouble matching vaccine brands for second doses for consumers, and canceling appointments as a result. The retailer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Walgreens worked with WPP, its global marketing and communications agency, on the new campaign.
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