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05/18/2021

Walgreens Adds Tools to Retail Media Network

Walgreens is shoring up its retail media network capabilities in an increasingly competitive landscape.
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Specifically, Walgreens is adding new offerings and expanding areas for brands to leverage first-party data to drive return on investment. The additional investment builds upon Walgreens’ media focus within its Walgreens Advertising Group, which the pharmacy chain launched last year. 

The expansion goes beyond traditional digital platforms into advanced and audience-based television with over-the-top, or OTT media services, connected TV (CTV), and traditional audience based linear TV. Two new facets will be part of the offering, including OTT and CTV inventory accessible via the WAGDSP, Walgreens’ proprietary programmatic buying technology that integrates customer and transaction data with dynamic creative capabilities and real-time optimization. The ad inventory is sourced through 100 apps and 10 supply side platforms with more than 2.5 billion impressions daily, according to Walgreens.

In addition, the new offering has a first-to-market collaboration with OpenAP, and integration with the OpenID that enables brands to reach audiences powered by Walgreens first-party data as part of their television buys. Brands can collaborate with Walgreens to execute against deterministic audiences. Closed loop measurement will be in place by year-end, the company said.

“At Walgreens Advertising Group we have three principles that are core to our DNA: to help brands deliver more relevant personalized experiences, to support audience-led and channel agnostic media approaches, and to make it easy to work with us,” Luke Kigel, vice president of Walgreens integrated media and leader of Walgreens Advertising Group, said in a statement. “These new advanced TV capabilities are all in continuance of our principles, and will open new areas of value for our brand partners that mirror our programmatic offering."

Walgreens has already begun using the new capabilities for its own brands. Brands working with WAG will be able to work with the retailer to leverage its first-party data and insights to develop media activation, optimize efforts and measure performance in advanced television and digital campaigns.

“Advanced data is completely transforming the way television advertising is bought and sold. With the next race in marketing focused on access to the most actionable data, Walgreens Advertising Group collaborating with brands and offering insights to deterministic data is something brands need to take notice of,” said David Levy, CEO of OpenAP. “The power of the data and the partnership with OpenAP will make it possible to deploy Walgreens data to better plan, optimize, and measure TV campaigns across all programmers and screens and enable marketers to tie their campaign performance back to in-store purchases.”