Is Pharmacy the most successful Digital Out of Home ‘vertical’ channel?
All over; in New Zealand, France, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland and the UK – Pharmaceutical focused channels are a big hit with media buyers, advertisers and retailers alike.
In size (beaten only by Française des Jeux, the French National Lottery, with 12,600 venues) the 2nd largest network in France is Futuramedia’s Pharmacie Channel with well over 500 venues and anything between 1,100 and 1,500 screens.
In France also, Dycom have another large Pharmacy Channel with 389 venues and 480 screens.
The UK’s Pharmacy Channel, known for its well designed custom screens that look especially good in the retail pharmacy environment (“noticeable but not discordant” I like to say) has 1,000 venues.
Amavita Pharmacies (part of Galenicare AG the biggest company in
Switzerland for medicament distribution) is working with Neo Advertising and already has screens in 40 of the biggest Apotheke’s. In the next 18 months this network will cover the top 100.
Switzerland also sees an offline (flash card) screen system operating in 130 Pharmacies.
In Germany, DGN operate a very popular network called ApothekeTV
In Turkey, Digital Electronic Media Systems are starting to install between 200 and 250 screens in 100 individually held pharmacists (there are no pharmacy or drugstore chains in the country). DEMEDYA is working with an association of pharmacists which has relationnships with the biggest pharmacies in the country.
Even New Zealand (with a population of just over 4 Million people – and 1.4 Million of those living in Auckland) sees a pharmacy network of 30 stores (soon to grow to 60 stores), run by Wallflower Global.
What makes this vertical so successful I think is that the brands are happy to advertise in this medium and they also have large (often discretionary) advertising budgets.
The brands realised a long time ago (and have experienced first hand) the benefits of below the line and point of purchase merchandising.
None of this is exactly a license to print money for network operators but having brands that are willing to stump up the cash when you rollout a network is a good start to any business proposition.
What surprises me is that unlike in the drinks industry, where say, Heineken in the Netherlands have nurtured, invested and supported a suitable network, no-one from the Pharmaceutical world has yet done a pan-European equivalent.