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Advertising & Marketing | AD REVIEWS / DENISE GELLENE

A Helpful Drugstore by Any Other Name . . .

Ads are rated from $ to $$$$, based on tastefulness and probable effectiveness, with $$$$ being highest.

July 02, 1998|DENISE GELLENE

Advertiser: Longs Drug Stores

Agency: W.B. Doner, Detroit

Challenge: Establish Longs as a drugstore chain with a long-standing commitment to customers.

The Ads: In six television spots, a befuddled man randomly seeks advice on toiletries and medication from his neighbors. "Spray or roll-on?" he asks two teenage boys. "Extra-strength or maximum strength?" He climbs up a ladder to ask a satellite-dish installer, "What's your opinion of melatonin?" After sliding under a car next to a person doing repairs, he asks, "Is it wrong for a man to use a women's hair-care product?" The spots end with an announcer saying: "Have a question? Ask a neighbor. Just make sure it is the right neighbor--Longs Drugs."

Comment: Questions posed by the consumer clue viewers into the range of products sold at Longs while suggesting no inquiry is too silly for its employees to answer. These quirky spots depict Longs as a helpful place, without being sappy. But the spots don't go far enough to differentiate Longs from other drugstore chains that boast helpful employees. $$$

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