Boots kicks off Hearingcare campaign ahead of assimilation with new owner Walgreens

Boots has kicked off a new campaign for its Hearingcare business as it begins to open new locations within its pharmacies – a move that will see it resemble the offering of new parent company Walgreens.

The Great Big Hearing Check campaign, which runs until 19 September, is supported by charity, Action on Hearing Loss, and aims to raise awareness of Boots’ free test offering and the importance of receiving regular check-ups.

To drive engagement with the initiative, Boots Hearingcare has launched a creative above the line radio advert to bring home the importance of looking after your hearing. 

Radio listeners will hear a young children’s choir singing the song ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’, with all “ear” lyrics omitted to remind people not to forget their ears as part of their regular health checks.

The radio advert forms part of the fully integrated marketing initiative – also including in store and digital – which will run throughout the initiative. 

Currently housed in Boots Opticians, the Hearingcare business will be rolled out across 13 new locations within Boots pharmacies by the end of the year, to offer a more rounded healthcare experience to consumers.

Speaking to The Drum, Jonathan Gardner, ‎managing director, Boots Hearingcare, which is majority owned by healthcare solution provider Sonova, said that while the decision to move Hearingcare within Boots pharmacies wasn’t prompted by the takeover, it will afford the business an insight into how the US chain, which has “quite far reaching” healthcare services within its pharmacies, operates.

“Obviously there is plenty of interest from our Walgreen colleagues in areas of the business that Boots is really strong in,” commented Gardner. “We’ll continue working with them to understand the best of both businesses to take to the respective markets in North America and in the UK.

“We are also majority owned by Sonova who are the leading provider of hearing solutions globally so I think we are in a great position to learn from all three of our owners in terms of understanding what’s happening across the world and how we can utilise that to do better for customers in the UK.”

Gardner said that the decision to move the Hearingcare shops was in response to consumer needs.

“Our customers are almost demanding that we are more accessible for them now,” he said. “They want easier access to services and we see that the move into pharmacy complements brilliantly a wider healthcare strategy we have within Boots.

“It will help our customers receive the whole range of healthcare services that we offer from pharmacy, consumer healthcare, opticians and Hearingcare.”

Gardner added that the assimilation of the Hearingcare into pharmacies will offer the opportunity to “cross refer” patients between services that are provided in store.

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