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Pharmacy chain gets sincere in new campaign

Quebec's Brunet chain is focusing on its pharamcists with new TV ads, online strategy

Quebec-based pharmacy chain Brunet is changing its marketing approach with a new campaign focusing on its pharmacists and pharmacist owners.

Brunet’s other recent campaigns have promoted its MaSanté online service, which allows customers to access their personal file and renew prescriptions online.

Created by Publicis Montréal, the new “L’humain derrière le pharmacien” (“The people behind our pharmacists”) campaign provides a glimpse into the lives of seven Brunet pharmacists with a series of three 30-second TV spots, four online videos that range from 60 to 90 seconds, a revamped Facebook strategy and in-store signage.

Additional elements, including radio and a partnership with Quebec daily La Presse, will kick in towards the end of the month. The campaign launched Sept. 30 and will run for several months.

One of the TV spots, “Myriam,” focuses on a pharmacist in the small town of Les Escoumins. The spot combines shots of the region’s natural beauty with images of the pharmacist and her family as she explains her fondness for the community in a voiceover.

As the spot seamlessly shifts from the pharmacist outside of work to inside a Brunet store, the voiceover continues, “…I’m the owner of a Brunet pharmacy, and to me, your health is all that matters.”

Nicolas Massey, vice-president and creative director at Publicis, said that the spots aren’t commercials but mini-documentaries that capture the essence not only of Brunet and its pharmacists, but Quebec itself.

Consumers tend to select a pharmacy based on its proximity to their home or workplace. The campaign objective is to convince consumers to literally go the extra mile for one of its stores by personalizing Brunet pharmacists .

“We want to put them on a pedestal,” Massey said. “We wanted to follow them in their lives and see what they do for their clients and their families in order for people to really bond with them and have a new image of what a pharmacist is.”

Massey called Brunet the most health-conscious pharmacy chain in the province, eschewing forays into other business lines like grocery.

In August, it was announced that Brunet would own and operate 18 pharmacies that Target will open next summer in Quebec.

The campaign’s sincere approach is also a deliberate attempt by Brunet to distance itself from humour-based ads (such as Familiprix’s award-winning “Ah, ha!” campaign) that Quebec pharmacy chains have traditionally used.

“Everyone confuses the brands because they’ve all used humour, and all have the same structure,” said Massey. “We believe that health is serious and deals with a lot of emotion, so that’s the territory we wanted to occupy.

“When you build a relationship with your pharmacist, you’re talking about personal things, so you need to have someone who cares for you and you need to care for that person. This campaign is someone showing you who they are and what their values are, and when bond with that person I think there’s a better chance for them to become a client for many years.”

This article originally appeared in Marketing magazine.

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