CASSIES Silver: Familiprix puts itself in consumers’ shoes

The pharmacy chain uses empathy and a touch of humour to build the business through a campaign by Lg2.

SILVER: Off to a Good Start

Situation Analysis: Familiprix is a chain of pharmacies in Quebec. It competes with several banners, amongst them Jean Coutu, which has nearly half the market share and has been the leader for many years. In the past, Familiprix had delivered impressive results with the “Ah! Ha!” campaign (CASSIES Grand Prix in 2003, Gold for Sustained Success in 2005), but the chain had been absent from advertising for two years.
The return to TV was highly anticipated, and the objective over the winter of 2010/11 was to increase sales by 10%, and to attract a new generation of pharmacists into the Familiprix network.

Strategy & Insight: Although a pharmacy is a health care destination, most banners rely on beauty products, loyalty programs, daily promotions and proximity (rather than the pharmacy) to demonstrate their added value. However, Quebec was experiencing a shortage of family physicians, so there was an opportunity to focus on the Familiprix pharmacist as a health care advisor. But what type of advisor? Familiprix took the pulse of the public and, unexpectedly, discovered that empathy and understanding were by far the most popular requirements in a pharmacist. Professional qualifications were a distant second.

Execution: This led to two 30-second commercials based on the thought, “We put ourselves in your shoes.” In “Granddad,” three young kids (one gigantic) play horsey, and bounce up and down on Granddad’s back. However, by the magic of television, we don’t see Granddad; we see a long-suffering young pharmacist in his place. “High School” follows the same pattern. A 40-ish pharmacist is part of a gaggle of schoolgirls. He goes to his locker, sees a zit on his forehead and screeches in girlish horror.

Results: Sales increased by 13.5% in a market that grew barely 2%. In addition, 17 new pharmacists brought their businesses into the chain, and Familiprix jumped five spots to eighth place in the Les Affaires rankings of most admired companies in Quebec.

Cause & Effect: The TV campaign was the only Familiprix advertising effort in 2010 and 2011. No promotion more aggressive than those of the past was undertaken during the campaign. In addition, if anything, competitive pressure increased, with heavyweight and new campaigns from most of the competitive banners.


VP marketing: André Rhéaume

CDs: Luc Du Sault and Marc Fortin
copywriters, ADs: Marc Fortin,
Luc Du Sault, Nicolas Boisvert
planners: Mireille Côté, Catherine Darius
account managers: Mireille Côté,  Christine Larouche

director: Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais
producer: Philippe Lalande
music: Studio Appollo
sound design: Boogie Studio
media planner: Carat
agency producer (Elli Production): Johanne Pelland

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