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Walgreens drives prescription refill app downloads via mobile ads

August 31, 2012

Walgreens is making mobile a big priority with a new advertising campaign that encourages downloads of its iPhone application.

The company is running the mobile ad within the Word with Friends iPhone application. Walgreens has used mobile advertising in the past to drive engagement.

“The campaign is not so much a nostalgia story – it’s a reminder that Walgreens was founded by one person, Charles Walgreen, who was always committed to his community, and it also highlights Walgreens rich history of innovation,” said David Lonczak, vice president of marketing for ecommerce at Walgreens, Deerfield, IL.

“Walgreens’ award-winning mobile app and the strong adoption of our mobile features are a continuation of the company’s prolific history of innovation, as well as an indicator of the kinds of innovations that will come in the future, further building on that history,” he said.

Download me
The Walgreens mobile ad reads “Over 100 years of innovation and we’re just getting started. Download our app.”

The ad also displays a 30-second video clip that promotes the brand’s current “At the Corner of Happy and Healthy” campaign. The videos are also part of Walgreens’ television marketing.

When consumers tap on the mobile ad they are redirected to Apple’s App Store where they can download the free mobile app.

A campaign such as this is a great way for Walgreens to drive downloads for its mobile applications.

Discovery is still a big issue in the mobile space. Therefore, using mobile ads that automatically take consumers to a page where they can download a mobile app is a smart move.

Big leap
Walgreens is no stranger to mobile.

Earlier this year, the company aimed to drive downloads of its iPhone application with an iAd campaign that promoted the its mobile prescription program.

The Walgreens mobile ad promoted the company’s mobile app that lets users refill prescriptions by scanning a bar code placed on medicine bottles (see story).

Most recently, Walgreens used mobile advertising to encourage consumers to download its application, as well as learn more about the company and see what it has to offer.

Walgreens ran audio and expandable mobile ads within Pandora’s iPhone application (see story).

“It is a good idea to promote an app in mobile marketing efforts, as long as the promotion is aimed toward the iPhone consumers that would be able to download that app, there is a very large mix of phones that are not the iPhone on the market,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Walgreens. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

“For a consumer to download and use an app for a brand means a few things, they are part of a loyalty program with that brand, or continuously see value in going to the app versus the mobile Web to interact pre, during or post shopping,” she said. “For a brand to bring in app downloads is locking those consumers into something special for that brand, it means loyal consumers that expect to be treated just a bit better than consumers that just browse the Web.

“That being said, for reach and frequency of mobile consumers to a brand there needs to be a solid mobile Web strategy, as well as a thought out app strategy for new and existing consumers that are increasingly on mobile and tablets more than they are on PC’s.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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