Campaign pushes pharmacists as more than pill dispensers

Ontario Pharmacists Association dispels myths in first-ever advertising campaign

In an effort to quash the stereotype that a pharmacist’s only role is to dispense medication, the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) has launched “Pharmacists Offer More”–the organization’s first-ever campaign.

Timed to coincide with Pharmacists Awareness Month in March, the campaign  includes radio, digital, print and OOH.

Creative utilizes a medication blister package to reveal the scope of services that pharmacists offer. Messages such as, “I can give you your flu shot,” “I can help you manage your diabetes” and “I can help you quit smoking” are revealed in online ads and on billboards and bus shelters in Toronto, Ottawa and several other Ontario cities.

“Pharmacists are really well-trained professionals and there’s a lot of misconceptions about what they offer,” said Michael Milardo, executive creative director at Cossette Vancouver, the agency that developed the campaign.


wanted to launch a campaign to speak to the right people, and make sure they were able to demonstrate how much more they had to offer than just dispensing pills…the idea that they’re partners in health is what they really wanted to get into the minds of people.”

In order to get pharmacists out from behind the counter and interacting with the public, the agency recently erected a wall of blister packages filled with pill-shaped magnets at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

While shoppers were encouraged to pop the packages, actual pharmacists were on hand to answer questions. A video of the stunt was shot, and is hosted on the OPA’s YouTube channel. A dedicated website, that provides information for both the public and pharmacy professionals, was also created.

Fifty PEZ dispensers shaped like pharmacists in white coats were also crafted and distributed to key stakeholders within the OPA. Each dispenser bore the headline, “More Than Just a Pill Dispenser.”

“Pharmacists Offer More” runs until the end of March. PR and media buying was handled in-house.

This article first appeared on

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds