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05/17/2021

Walgreens Helping Brands Engage Customers

New advertising group capabilities aim to drive ROI
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Walgreens Helping Brands Engage Customers Walgreens Advertising Group Media Data
Walgreens Advertising Group's capability expansion goes beyond the digital and programmatic areas into advanced and audience-based television, via over-the-top media services, connected TVs and traditional audience-based linear TV.

Walgreens has rolled out a new suite of capabilities giving brands more ways to engage its customers, including new offerings and expanding areas where brands can leverage Walgreens’ first-party data to drive return on investment. These additional capabilities further Walgreens’ media focus and build on the introduction of Walgreens Advertising Group last winter. 

The capability expansion goes beyond the digital and programmatic areas into advanced and audience-based television, via over-the-top (OTT) media services, connected TVs (CTV) and traditional audience-based linear TV, enabling brands to connect with even more customers wherever they consume media.  

“At Walgreens Advertising Group, we have three principles that are core to our DNA: to help brands deliver more relevant personalized experiences, to support audience-led and channel agnostic media approaches, and to make it easy to work with us,” noted Luke Kigel, VP of Walgreens integrated media and leader of Walgreens Advertising Group. “These new advanced TV capabilities are all in continuance of our principles, and will open new areas of value for our brand partners that mirror our programmatic offering.” 

The latest offering consists of two facets:

  • The addition of OTT and CTV inventory now accessible via the wagDSP, a proprietary programmatic buying technology that integrates Walgreens customer and transaction data with dynamic creative capabilities and real-time optimization. Inventory is sourced through more than 100 apps and 10 supply-side platforms, with 2.5 billion-plus available impressions daily, including access to inventory from key platforms. Brands activating against this inventory can do so with all of the same functionality, optimization and measurement capability as in digital video and display executed through the wagDSP. This permits people-based media targeting, with measurement and real-time optimization.
  • A first-to-market partnership with OpenAP, and integration with the OpenID that allows brands to reach audiences powered by Walgreens first-party data as part of their television buys. The ability for brands to team with Walgreens to execute against deterministic audiences is now available, with closed-loop measurement to be in place by the start of the broadcast year.

“Advanced data is completely transforming the way television advertising is bought and sold,” said David Levy, CEO of OpenAP, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles.  “With the next race in marketing focused on access to the most actionable data, Walgreens Advertising Group collaborating with brands and offering insights to deterministic data is something brands need to take notice of. The power of the data and the partnership with OpenAP will make it possible to deploy Walgreens data to better plan, optimize and measure TV campaigns across all programmers and screens and enable marketers to tie their campaign performance back to in-store purchases.”

Brands working with Walgreens Advertising Group will now be able to work with the retailer to leverage its scaled and differentiated first-party data, knowledge, and insights to develop media activation, determine optimization, and gauge performance in advanced television, as well as digital campaigns. Walgreens’ first-party data combines scale and quality by connecting 100 million known member profiles with media that’s most relevant to their needs. 

Walgreens operates more than 9,000 drug stores, with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food retailers in North America. Albertsons is No. 8 on PG’s list.

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