Campaign Imminent: Walgreens taps new media AOR (Score 62)

Sales Lead: Walgreens just assigned its $200m media business to a new media AOR, Publicis's Epsilon, effective at the end of March 2023.

  • In the past, Epsilon has worked on Walgreens's data analytics and related issues, but now that relationship has reached media AOR status.
  • Walgreens has worked with WPP since 2017, when the two teamed up on a broader global marketing alliance with WBA.
  • The appointment seems to have replaced incumbent media AOR EssenceMediacom.
  • This hire concludes the review that kicked off in November 2022, which closely followed Walgreens's May 2022 appointment of CMO Linh Peters.
  • The company will likely:
    • Launch a campaign soon
    • Shift strategy and spend
    • Keep increasing national TV spend and return to higher digital spend
    • Seek additional new agency partners
  • Target demographic
    • Older millennials and Gen-X

Additional spending insights:

  • Broadcast insights (TV ad creative spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)
    • YTD spend: So far this year, Walgreens has spent approximately $41m on national TV commercials, almost double the approximately $21.1m spent within the same 2022 timeframe.
    • Last year: The pharmacy chain spent around $98.9m on this channel in 2022 and 4% more, around $94.8m, in 2021.
    • 2023 ad programming: Walgreens's 2023 commercials have targeted the Gen-X audience of shows such as NFL Football, The Golden Girls, Today 3rd Hour, Forensic Files, and NCIS.
  • Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)
    • YTD spend: The company has allocated roughly $10.6m toward digital ads YTD, only about half of the roughly $19.2m allocated within the same 2022 timeframe.
    • YTD data: Since the beginning of 2023, Walgreens has earned ~1.4b digital impressions via Facebook (78%), Instagram (9%), YouTube (8%), desktop display (4%), and mobile display (1%) ads.
    • Last year: The company's estimated full-year 2022 spend of $80.2m increased by 48% from that of $54.2m in 2021.
  • Additional channel insights  
    • The company utilizes print (magazines), digital, local broadcast, OOH, and radio ads.

Additional agency insights:

  • Opportunity: Get in touch soon to see if any additional agency reviews follow this one.
  • Current agency roster:

Insight Sources: Broadcast insights estimated by iSpot; digital spend insights estimated by Pathmatics; additional channel insights estimated by Vivvix.