“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…


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