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Agency behind Southwest Airlines, U.S. Air Force ads picks up Walgreens account

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday announced it has selected GSD&M to be its new brand and creative agency of record. The relationship will include broadcast, print and outdoor marketing efforts, as well as digital activation and creative.

“We are redefining the traditional drug store, and GSD&M brings the passion, experience and creativity to amplify our vision and to deliver our Well at Walgreens message to consumers in impactful ways,” stated Joe Magnacca, Walgreens president of daily living products and solutions. “As we create a new customer experience designed to delight customers and provide better, more personalized care to patients, we look forward to working with GSD&M to help tell that story.”

The first work from GSD&M is expected to break in the fall of 2012.

GSD&M is responsible for the Southwest Airlines series of "Bags Fly Free" and "Fare Play" commercials. An example of the "Fare Play" campaign, featuring a voice-over delivered by Hall of Fame football sportscaster Keith Jackson, can be seen here.

GSD&M also is the agency behind the U.S. Air Force’s "It’s Not Science Fiction" campaign.

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Food Lion announces reopening of Dunn, N.C., distribution center

BY Allison Cerra

SALISBURY, N.C. — A distribution center that services 270 Food Lion stores in North Carolina has reopened after being severely damage due to a tornado.

Food Lion said the Dunn, N.C.-based center, which first opened in 1988, now includes an expanded refrigerated and frozen section of an additional 54,000 sq. ft., which provides added storage for more than 4,000 dairy, meat and frozen food products. On average, the distribution facility ships more than 1.4 million cases of products each week and houses 12,800 items.

"Food Lion is extremely grateful for the dedication of the Dunn distribution and transportation associates who support our stores and enable us to deliver grocery products to our customers every day," Food Lion president Cathy Green Burns said. "We are proud of this most recent business expansion in North Carolina and the reopening of the center to serve our customers."

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Stater Bros. sees Q2 sales rise

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. reported its second-quarter results for the period ended March 25.

The retailer’s consolidated sales for the quarter rose nearly 2.7% to $937.7 million, compared with the year-ago period, while same-store sales also rose nearly 2.7%. Second-quarter net income totaled $16.4 million, compared with $9.3 million for second quarter of the prior year.

For the first half of the year, Stater Bros. reported sales were $1.9 billion, up 4.74% from the 26-week prior-year sales of $1.8 billion, while same-store sales also rose nearly 4.74%. Net income for the first half of the year was $25.4 million, compared to $12.2 million in the prior-year period.

"During these tough economic times, we made a conscious marketing decision to help our valued customers by continuing to provide them with low prices, quality and value on each of their visits to their Stater Bros. market," Stater Bros. chairman, president and CEO jack Brown said. "By keeping our prices low, our quality high and providing our customers great customer service, we have retained our valued customers and have grown customer counts even though the economy in our marketing area continues to be challenged. We continue our company wide expense reduction programs."

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