All-new Boots aims high – and hits lower

Something seems to be stirring at UK retailer Boots, seemingly left to wither on the vine by owner Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The pandemic has been good for pharmacies, of course, and Boots has done its bit towards the vaccination and testing programme. It’s now inviting the nation to “feel as good as new” with a campaign from The Pharm (oh dear), comprising WPP’s VMLY&R, Ogilvy, Hogarth and Mediacom with WPP’s new Boots creative leader Sara Rose seemingly in charge.

Boots is also introducing 54 new beauty brands, including Drunk Elephant, Dr Jart and Anastasia Beverly Hills, over 40 new baby brands including a partnership with Mothercare, and the digital Boots Health Hub.

As if that wasn’t enough to save the nation it’s become the “official beauty partner” of ITV’s Love Island.

Boots CMO Pete Markey says: “Boots is back and better than ever thanks to the investments we’ve made in transforming our beauty, health, pharmacy and digital offerings behind the scenes during the last 12 months.

“As we ease out of lockdown and into the summer, we feel like now is the right time to share with our customers all that is new at Boots. Our ‘Feel Good as New’ campaign does exactly this. It’s energetic, dynamic and works across all channels. We’re excited to finally reveal new Boots to our customers.”

ECD Rose says: “This campaign captures the zeitgeist as we emerge from a post-lockdown world. After undergoing an incredible transformation over the last 18 months Boots is perfectly placed to help people on this new journey to ‘feel good as new.’

“Through the creative we show how Boots can facilitate a new extraordinary, celebration and inspire optimism and we can’t wait to see the reaction to the new campaign as it goes live.”

Steady on a bit. There’s understandable hype and then the frankly unbelievable. This may be OK as an announcement effort (a bit more than thirty seconds might have helped) but it’s hardly likely to get people dancing in the streets.

Like many an “integrated” agency, Pharm needs to up its creative game. Listing everything isn’t a substitution for a compelling narrative.

MAA creative scale: 4.

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