Boots has launched its “biggest ever value campaign” aimed at extolling the benefits of its Advantage card. While the campaign is primarily designed to encourage customers to sign up for the loyalty programme, it also sees the brand extend its experimentation with shoppable ads.
The ‘Best for Less’ campaign describes the three main ways by which its consumers save money, and is set to reach 51 million adults in the UK through a mix of paid media channels. The ads allow users to click through to a product page directly from an ad hosted on Meta and TikTok.
Boots’s CMO Pete Markey told Marketing Week: “We know that social commerce continues to grow and we don’t see any signs of it slowing down. We have had a strong focus on exploring shoppable ads over the last 18 months, working with all our social partners, and we have seen strong results from our early ventures”.
Our focus now is on experimenting with different types of ads – testing and learning to find out how to optimise our performance through these formats.
Pete Markey, CMO, Boots
Boots was the first beauty retailer in Europe to test TikTok’s Video Shopping Ads (VSA), and this new phase of the experiment will see it continue to use that format in addition to Meta’s own option of Advantage Placements.
Shoppable ads have been hyped as being a necessary bridge between TV content and ecommerce. While Boots’s latest round of experimentation with shoppable ads are solely digital in nature Markey says they need to be entertaining pieces of content first and foremost:
“It’s so important to us that these ads are engaging pieces of content first and foremost – of course we want these ads to drive direct sales but they should also increase broader brand awareness. They need to stand out and resonate with our customers and show up on the platforms in a seamless way.”
While shoppable ads have been available as an option on social platforms for a few years, it has been predominantly digital-first retailers who have taken advantage of the format. Markey explains that, after the initial 18 month experiment with TikTok, Boots’s new focus is on optimising its use of the format. He says that its priority is predominantly on increasing conversion, though the retailer is also monitoring the “awareness and engagement our content generates” on the platforms.
Earlier this year the retailer reported strong sales, with overall sales in the UK increasing 10.2% year on year, including a 5.7% boost for its pharmacy business. Much of its reported strategy was reliant upon discounting, though it is also in the middle of a brand extension strategy – of which the Best For Less campaign and its digital element are a key part. The brand’s work with Ogilvy on ads in the past has led to a direct relationship on which this can build.
Given the growing propensity for younger consumers to shop via social platforms, it makes sense for Boots to deepen its investment in shoppable ads. Aligning that experiment with the Best For Less campaign allows the brand to both promote its Advantage card and ensure it is reaching the next generation of consumers.