CVS Intros ‘Caring’ Effort From Hill, Holliday

BOSTON CVS today unveils a new campaign from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos that introduces the theme, “For all the ways you care.”

The ads attempt to subvert the selection/service pitch that frequently defines the pharmacy category, taking an inspirational tone to honor the “caring” roles of women.

CVS said its research showed that women find enjoyment and reward in their roles as caregivers, despite the sacrifices they are often called on to make, according to Helena Foulkes, svp, marketing and operation services at the client in Woonsocket, R.I. The campaign attempts to forge a bond with female consumers by celebrating their efforts and achievements, she said.

Rather than set a TV spot in the pharmacy itself, as most past CVS ads have done, the chain presents a fanciful animated effort that shows a woman pulling rainbows from the sky and offering a hair ribbon to help a bird build its nest. Ultimately, she is revealed to be a CVS pharmacist. The song “Ordinary Miracle” by singer/songwriter Kathy Fisher is used on the soundtrack. Acme Filmworks of Los Angeles created the animation.

The goal was to take the character “beyond the pharmacy and into the world,” said Foulkes.

The push also includes social networking elements, with a new Web site ( that features the ad and stories submitted by consumers who care for themselves or others.

In 2008, CVS will honor 10 people for their inspirational stories, selected by a panel of leading women. Online banner ads and CVS marketing vehicles will drive traffic to the site. The client spent $75 million in measured media during the first eight months of the year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The overall push is in keeping with the current trend of marketers forging online communities rather than simply selling. It mirrors to some extent a breaking push by Mullen for Stop & Shop. That campaign, also targeting women, includes social networking devices and aspirational themes, though it uses documentary techniques rather than animation.

CVS is the nation’s largest retail pharmacy, with 6,200 locations. Boston-based IPG shop Hill, Holliday has handled the business since 2002. Previous ads had been tagged, “Expect something extra.”