Boots Healthcare: Ask your local pharmacist


Newsworks Planning Awards 2016

  • Winner: Effectiveness Award
  • Winner: Chair's Award



Boots wanted to have a more natural conversation with its customers about the huge range of different healthcare products it sells. A lot of shoppers were also unaware of the expertise available to them in store in the form of Boots pharmacists.



When it comes to the nation’s health Boots are usually confined to product led conversations and don’t have a credible voice in that space. Boots were looking for a partner to help give them permission to play a greater role in customers’ lives and to help them communicate their range of healthcare solutions with an authentic, non-transactional voice through branded content. This was underpinned by driving footfall in-store to drive higher engagement with their pharmacists.



Boots’ brief aligned perfectly with Trinity Mirror’s editorial news agenda and our history of campaigning for the good of the NHS and for the health and wellbeing of mass market Britain. Speaking to our Mouthpiece audience research panel, we learned (amongst other things) that Modal Britain are health conscious but action unconscious, over 2/3rds of Modal Britain agreed that they try to take care of themselves but could do better. Their instinctive action was to ‘wait to see if it goes away’ when they’re feeling poorly and they were more likely to go straight to a GP if they did decide to take action. They understood the role of a pharmacist but there was a disconnect between their knowledge and their behaviour – and that’s what we set-out to change. We wanted our audience to ‘Ask Your Local Pharmacist’,. driving people in-store to re-educate them on the range of healthcare services a pharmacist can provide.

We devised a multiplatform content plan that placed ‘your’ local pharmacist at the heart of a lot of the content. There were three different strands:

  • Campaigning - A rallying cry to encourage our readers to ask their pharmacist first. Nationally, we highlighted topical issues such as obesity/cancer rates and smoking, creating a platform to position Boots’ pharmacists as the expert voice.  Campaigns in regional titles tailored to local issues did the same.
  • Advising – Personalising Boots UK products and services via a series of seasonal quizzes and online games.
  • Humanising – With a series of Q&A-style ask-the-pharmacist features, we highlighted the expertise and specialist support available at Boots UK.
    This content across the Big City brands was underpinned by a weekly page in the Daily Mirror and mirror.co.uk, that delivered a seasonal ‘calendar of conversations’ on topical healthcare issues.



  • Drive a significant increase in awareness of Boots pharmacy services – achieved an average increase 9percentage points.
  • Shift innovation brand health scores among those who have been exposed to the campaign – achieved an average increase of 2 percentage points.
  • People feel more positively about Boots among those who have been exposed to the campaign – achieved an average increase of 6 percentage points.
  • Create engaging content (people take action and people ‘like’ the content) – achieved, 50% actively liked the partnership content.
  • The digital content drove over 50% more unique users than targeted, over the course of the partnership.