New ad campaign for Walgreen’s is at the corner of hokey and Main Street.

August 17, 2012


“What -No dirty magazines?”

There are many, many Walgreen’s in this country. In Chicago and San Francisco, it seems like there’s one on every corner. Which takes me to the part about Walgreen’s new ad campaign I sort of like, the tagline: “At the corner of Happy and Healthy.” I say “sort of” because its treacle makes me squirm. Especially when uttered by one of America’s biggest pussies, John Corbett. From his wife-pleasing turns in TV and movies (Oh, the 90’s era earnestness!) to his previous schilling for Applebees (yuck), this is a guy who seriously needs his ass kicked. Corbett is more Good Morning, America than Matt Lauer. And I don’t much like him either.


“The flyover people think I’m hip!”

But I respect the copy for what it’s trying to do. Walgreen’s stores are ubiquitous and, as GSD&M’s introductory anthem spot points out, they are also pioneers in health care (drive through pharmacy, child-proof tops) and happiness (inventing chocolate malts!)

Trying is the key word. This paint by numbers campaign tries like the dickens to be all things to all people. (In fairness, that is what Walgreen’s aspires to be as well.) Yet, the formula in this spot is so conspicuous I can see the storyboard. It’s just too linear and contrived. For example, the dutiful black and white images on the front end. Gee whiz, History! 2+2= bore

Given Walgreen’s went through a lengthy review, subsequently dinging their previous agency (Downtown Partners) this fluffy piece of advertising is a disappointment. Admittedly, I was a fan of Downtown Partner’s work. Highly stylized and very unorthodox, so unlike what we have here. Which is probably why it was killed. But that was then and this is now. Walgreen’s is bent on proving it owns the corners of mainstream America, along with cheap nail polish, Prozac and Gatorade.


Walgreen’s & Downtown Partners. I guess things weren’t so perfect after all…

About these ads

64 Responses to “New ad campaign for Walgreen’s is at the corner of hokey and Main Street.”

  1. Chris Williams said

    Not to mention the as predicted over use of “period film look” to somehow make it feel authentic… when all it really does is provide technique and disconnect a viewer from the story.

  2. lawrencemannino said

    Sigh…what would George Lois do…?

  3. I think that you have to be a pussy yourself to call someone as talented as John Corbett one!! Where would this world be without haters?

    • Steffan1 said

      Alex- I was being unnecessarily harsh on the guy. And I’m with you on “haters.” But I dislike Corbett as AVO in this and other commercials. His fabricated hipness makes my skin crawl.

      • Brian said

        He’s a giant douche, you hit the nail on the head.

        “I love you, Toula, you’re so unique and quirky!” Suck my ass.

      • Shelly said

        To be abe to call yourself a professional and use language like that…Phffft! Maybe you should go back to school and learn some new adjectives.

      • Mike B. said

        I don’t suppose it ever dawned on you self styled critics that John Corbett is just an ACTOR, trying to make a living doing these commercials? He doesn’t even write them. That’s left to writers on Madison Avenue who get paid a pile of money for what they do. Corbett is handed a script and told to read it into a microphone….period. The producer and director, if they like his style, approve his work and he gets paid. So get over it, boys, and leave they guy be. Your jealousy isn’t really going to attract any women or make you rich.

      • kinger1970 said

        You are spot on with that his fake hippie vibe rubs me the wrong way too. We are not the only ones obviously hollywood hasnt been knocking at his door in years either he is just happy being at the corner of irelivent and still colecting a paycheck for being a commercial voice over whore.

  4. Susanne said

    I guess it’s safe to say that you have a problem with Walgreen’s John Corbett and Applebee’s.

    W O W !!!!!!!!

  5. Jim said

    I first heard the Walgreens commercial and instantly thought “My God, Its Chris in the Morning From Northern Exposure.”

    Nothing wrong with John Corbett’s narration, the reviewer has a major bug up his butt.

    • john said

      Indeed; the narration is fine, I just felt that Corbett could be doing better things than Walgreen. But at least I can pretend I’m listening to KBHR in my car!

      • PamelaClaire Miller said

        Someone is bitter, jealous & has a HUGE gnarly bug up his butt:-/ Seriously, get over yourself! Who the heck raised you, wolves? Try being kind or zip it. Oh & this is said with true compassion cause I don’t want you to burn in hell for being so mean spirited =}

  6. G said

    Screw u. He’s no pussy. You’re Pure jealous!

  7. Alyssa said

    I LOVE John Corbett. The ad campaign may deserve the ridicule, but not John!

  8. Helina said

    Love John Corbett no matter what he is doing….what I hate is bully’s ….. You don’t know his situation,,,,everyone needs to work…LOVE YOU JOHN

  9. Helina said

    Go ahead and judge my grammar and call me illiterate …lighten up :)

  10. Stacey said

    Love John Corbett and his voice!!!! Very talented actor and that voice has all the comfort of warm apple pie. The Walgreens commercial played on the radio this morning and it was so good to hear something from him again. You didn’t need to go there. He’s a good guy.

  11. Tessb1 said

    I originally thought the voice was Kevin Costner…….but happy to find out that it is John Corbett because I like him too.

  12. Celeste said

    Me, too! Love John Corbett and his voice. There is something about his voice that always appealed to me….I hear joy, enthusiasm, honesty….really just a fantastic feel good kind of voice…makes you want to listen…..I like it.

  13. Sharon said

    John rocks! That voice is great, makes me want to hug him and watch reruns of anything he appeared in, again!

  14. Pam said

    Love, love, love John Corbett and his comforting, benevolent voice. He is a very talented actor and does a GREAT job with the Walgreen’s commercial. I too was glad to hear his voice again. Reviewer needs to find something more productive to do with his free time, and stop ridiculing good, decent people.

  15. [...] New ad campaing for Walgreens Review by Gods of Advertising [...]

  16. Karen said

    So glad to find this. I just couldn’t figure out whose voice it was. I have to agree with you that the “Town of Perfect” ads were much better and more clever!

  17. ann said

    Love this guys voice. Listening to it just makes me want to know him and would hope to run into him at my local Walgreen’s. I have been hooked on this ad campaign from the first. Must be a major jealous Joe to berate the actor when some of the best voices have done MAJOR ad campaigns in the past. Robert Mitchum, Loren Green, Robert Goulet…Distinct and clearly unique voices are far and few between. Too bad you find it demoralizing to be working this venue.

  18. Mr. Mehoff said

    Love John and love Walgreen’s. Don’t even need to be sold on the latter. I had the parent company as clients back in the ’90’s. Never worked with bigger corporate slime balls. And I’d never spend a penny at CVS..

  19. Ann#2 said

    John Corbett is the bomb!…..HE was Aiden on Sex & The City..how could someone ever call him a ‘pussy’…really?!
    He is smoking hot then and is smoking hot now…YOU go John

  20. janet said

    John’s voice is so soothing and comforting. I would go to Walgreens any day and hope I see a poster of him. His voice is cute and sexy. He could sell me anything. But…. I just think he is a great actor and good person. The people that have downed him are only because they are just jealous. Too funny. They should get a life and not make fun of other people.. Maybe they should take voice lessons and improve their own, (in more ways than one)

  21. Everytime I hear that damn commercial I wanna punch something…which let me to your story…I knew I wasn’t alone. I used to be an “Aiden” fan…now I can’t go by an Applebee’s without thinking of Walgreens and I still wanna punch something.

  22. mountaindogmama said

    LOOOOOVE John Corbett – awesome move, Walgreen’s

  23. B.Wire said

    Oh, thank you for not saying some warm and fuzzy statement about his voice and these commercials (yes, hokey and FF or mute worthy).
    Ever since I saw him in S&the City I can’t stand him. I think he was practicing for these commercials then with his “natural guy” and his voice just grates on me.
    I’m also just sick and tired of commercials creating wives into mothers of their husbands “making” him do things that make his face go sour!
    And yeah, he may have cleaned up and looked good with shorter hair, but he was still annoying.
    To each his own, and some love him, but I’m glad to read your take.

  24. Celia said

    Ugh! We are supposedly getting a Walgreens in our town next summer. I don’t care who does their commercials–I will not shop there. Walgreens is one of the top two stores that I hoped never to see here (of course the other one being Walmart and we have so far been fortunate to not have that particular devil arrive). John Corbett–I know you and Bo love Jackson Hole–please prevail upon the powers that be to cancel their plans to build a Walgreens here at the corner of Happy and Healthy (or in this cae the corner of Broadway and Budge Drive!).

  25. Becky said

    I love hearing John Corbett’s voice on the Walgreen’s commercials. It is the only commercial I stop and watch and listen to. John has a great voice and it makes me happy just to hear it! He is a wonderful actor and I watch every movie or show he is in. Keep John Corbett on the Walgreen’s commercials! I love it!

    • Becky….are you really that stupid? Do you know how much Walgreen and CVS Pharmacies rip the American public off with that CRAP that they spout. I suggest you do a little homework and compare prices of their “out of pocket” prices, compared with those from pharmacies like The Medicine Shoppe……and then tell us all how great they are!!!!!! You eat this shit up like all the “sheeple” that buy their RX’s at those buying the same drugs at the same prices as the Medicine Shoppe….and mark them up at %’s that are complete and utter rip offs…………!!!!!!!

  26. Mary Garcia said

    You go john. Your wonderful. I love our voice. When i hear your voice i stop to listen. Great commercial.

  27. I have no idea whether or not he’s a “pussy” nor that he “needs his ass kicked.” What I DO know is that he’s a talentless hack who somehow secures way more work than his talent and ability suggest. I hate both the Walgreen’s and Applebee’s ads.

  28. Roxie said

    Why can’t the world be less judge mental and just listen to the voice of John Corbett in this add. I think his voice is soothing and convincing. Put your ” too much information and opinionated minds to rest”. And use your energy to focus on the practice of loving kindness in your lives.

    • nancy4366 said

      You’re an advertiser’s wet dream. Keep gettin’ sucked right in. They love and live off you – an easy sell! TV is not real. Didn’t you know?

      • yeah, because feeling no need to dis the man and act like he just stole someone’s money or spouse – means I’m a pushover and ripe for the picking.

        yep, I guess that’s why others bully. Gotta keep that game going and prove I’m no advertiser’s ‘wet dream’.

  29. Allen Ed said

    His voice sounds like Jerry Houser. Not a good thing.

  30. nancy4366 said

    ” When you’re at the corner of ” < if I hear this one more time I may not go to Walgreens on purpose. – ever.

    When you're at the corner of "I really hate this commercial" and "I can't stand it anymore"…

    When you're at the corner of "I wish my kids would shut up" and "why can't my husband ever (fill in the blank)….

    ha ha there are soooo many others — better than Walgreens stupid commercial… but I really hate that saying….and I hate the boppy stupid music. I mean … nice white picket fence for all you folks aye….

    • You know, if you don’t like the commercial, hit the mute button! It’s a heck of a lot better than many of the other crappy ones. Folksy is better than stupid and moron -ish! john’s voice is pleasant and relaxed.. Much better than all those screamy shouting obnoxious ones!

  31. I smile every time I hear this commercial because having twin grandchildren I know how my children felt when they brought them home. John Corbett’s voice is perfect for the ad and the ad is perfect for Walgreens.
    I cannot believe how many people have to get a life and get off this kick.

  32. Cm said

    The writer of this article is a total F-tard and only wishes he were as cool as John Corbett…

  33. The writer of this article sounds like a jealous, bitter douchebag.

  34. Andrew said

    I like John Corbett and I LOVE Northern Exposure, but I agree with the article, John sounds like a moron in both the Walgreens and Applebees commercials. His vocal inflections are offensive to my intelligence. I don’t know why they encourage him to sound like a duffus. No one talks like that….

  35. pinkc said

    seriously… i think he’s great. There are a lot of famous actors who lend their voice, but draw a bundle from it… smart guy and he is the perfact man.. everyone wants a guy like him.

  36. “…and our reviewer is standing at the corner of Bitter and Jealous…”

  37. kinger1970 said

    Amazing you read my mind when it comes to these anoying ads and the over paid douchey actor John Corbett from chick movies and shows. I still have to remind myself he isnt doing an applebees commercial. why do big companies hire expensive well known actors? It anoyes me when im listening to a voice over and i recognise the actors voice makes me think they dont need my money if they are wasting it on high priced actors such as Jeff Bridges Duracell ,John Kranski Esurance easy money for esablished actors. Most people dont even recognise their voices ,anyone could do this and there are a ton who would at half the price but the ” ad gurus ” are convinced these douches like Cobert have our trust when its the oposite.They dont even make aperances which for some reason irks me even more.When i hear these bad commercials i am thinking ,John Corbett is at the corner of washed up and deperate when i hear these ads get a real job you hack.

  38. kinger1970 said

    Amazing you read my mind when it comes to these anoying ads and the over paid douchey actor John Corbett from chick movies and shows. I still have to remind myself he isnt doing an applebees commercial. why do big companies hire expensive well known actors? It anoyes me when im listening to a voice over and i recognise the actors voice makes me think they dont need my money if they are wasting it on high priced actors such as Jeff Bridges ,Duracell ,John Kranski ,Esurance easy money for esablished actors. Most people dont even recognise their voices ,anyone could do this and there are a ton who would at half the price but the ” ad gurus ” are convinced these douches like Corbertt have our trust when its the oposite.They dont even make aperances which for some reason irks me even more.When i hear these bad Walgreens commercials i am thinking ,John Corbett is at the corner of washed up and deperate get a real job you hack.

  39. carrol said

    Despite what you all say, i happen to think John Horbett has a sexy voice and one hell of a handsome man. I don’t get all the negative remarks. what did he get away with killing someone i’m not aware of???????? carrol

    • Mike said

      You hit the nail on the head carol John “Horbett” he will do anything for a $ hes at the corner of selling his ass for a $ and having his career end .

  40. AVA said

    I loved John Corbett in Sex and the City, but it seems like someone was giving him direction off-air, “A little more cheesy… okay, a LITTLE more cheesy…. say it like you’re talking to a fuzzy wuzzy widdle bunny…” The corner of happy and healthy is okay, but all of the other corners are tacky. Overall, this campaign drives me crazy.

  41. I’ve been using several network’s apps on my iPad and the ‘happy and healthy’ sctick is getting really thick and annoying right now. I thought it was Corbett’s voice but hoped it wasn’t; the affected lilt to his voice at the ends of sentences is grating and is apparently aimed at children – at least I hope so. It it’s aimed at adults, it’s so saccharin-laden that my teeth hurt and it’s a combination of writing, direction, and voice-over acting. As for Corbett, meh.

    • Steffan1 said

      This is my opinion as well. However, based on many comments you and I are in the minority. -SP

      • Mike said

        Yes lots of his fans come to his defense but thats no excuse for a bad anoying ad campagn i used to like walgreens before they were at the corner of over played and anoying.

      • Barbara Matthews said

        There must be a reason why Walgreens has been on the corner of Healthy and Happy and every other corner for so long.I hate the impersonal,lower life feeling I get when I go in Walmart. I would not go to a C V S if they were paying people to come in and I actually get paid as a personal shopper. Walgreens has proved their worth to me and much of America and John Corbett has the perfect voice to represent the feeling they purvey.I love the ad!!!

  42. jlwn111 said

    I have to ask – is it Jerry Houser or is it John Corbett or is it John Corbett “doing” Jerry Houser (circa 1983)?

  43. Terry said

    Methinks, Corbett’s detractors have inferiority complexes.

  44. […] every comment to that effect, unless they were patently offensive or obscene. Take a look at a piece I wrote about an ad campaign for Walgreens, featuring the cloying (in my opinion) voice-over talents of […]

  45. David said

    I stopped shopping at Walgreens this past week and not sure when I’ll be back again because they creep me out. First thing when you walk in the door any and all employees that see you all greet you and ask you how your doing as if you are best friends when you are not. Then some of them follow you around the store constantly asking you if you need help. Then when you want to purchase your products they keep hitting you over the head with this stupid rewards card. Why don’t they just give us the savings on the shelf that way they will attract more people. Besides I do not want to give them my phone number to sign up for yet another cliche stupid rewards card. Then as you turn to leave the cashier says “Stay healthy have a nice day…” as if you are best friends when you don’t know them outside the store. Then as you exit the store any and all employees that see you are all yelling “STAY HEALTHY” and basically chase you into the parking lot. I actually picture this being comical like a SNL skit in which they ball crying as they chase us to our cars screaming “Please come back to Walgreens for the love of god Stay Healthy Ahahahah!!!!!!!” Can you say DESPERATE???

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