Walgreens Makes Red Noses Sparkle, Presents 'Markets' Challenge

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Walgreens Makes Red Noses Sparkle, Presents 'Markets' Challenge

By Tim Binder - 04/10/2018
Red nose day charity cause marketing
M&M's Walgreens 'Red Nose Day' Endcap

Walgreens revealed a new twist to its annual Red Nose Day campaign as it kicked off the effort on April 2. This year, the emblematic red noses (as well as pins, wristbands and pens) got a sparkly makeover.

The retailer sells the red noses for $1, and all profits benefit Comic Relief's Red Nose Day. The eight-week campaign culminates May 24 as NBC-TV broadcasts "The Red Nose Day Special." Walgreens is the official retail partner of Red Nose Day in the U.S. for the fourth straight year.

"Our mission to improve health and wellness extends beyond the four walls of our stores," Adam Holyk, Walgreens chief marketing officer, said in a media release. "Walgreens aims to remove the external barriers that prevent people from having access to critical health care supplies and services. We accomplish this through our commitment to impactful, long-term initiatives focused on health and wellbeing, supporting young people, cancer programs and our communities. Whether it's buying a red nose, getting a flu shot or purchasing vitamins — even the smallest transactions can help provide much-needed support to populations in need."

Also new this year is an "Every One Counts Hometown Challenge," an informal competition between 10 large markets (deemed "Red Rally Markets") to raise the most money for the cause. Walgreens will announce the winner at the end of the campaign. One week into the effort on April 9, the retailer released current rankings, with Atlanta and Washington, D.C., taking the top two spots, followed by Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles and the retailer's hometown, Chicago.

The effort kicked off with a variety of in-store as well as online and social media activity, including posts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. (See video below.) Among the in-store activity is signage at store entrances, counter trays stocking the noses, multiple endcap displays, a dedicated inline section in the seasonal aisle and plastic shopping bags promoting the effort. The endcaps are executed in partnership with multiple product manufacturers, including Mars Inc., Coca-Cola Co., Kimberly-Clark and Henkel. 

At walgreens.com, a dedicated "Red Nose Day" landing page allows for bulk purchase of the noses as well as cash donations. It also calls out the numerous brands designated as "Proud Supporters." A similar page is available in the retailer's mobile app via the "Weekly Ad & Coupons" tab.

The retailer's April coupon book, which hit stores on April 8, calls out the campaign on its cover and highlights the supporters on an interior page. Circular features and emails to registered consumers support.