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Duane Reade Dispenses a Large Dose of Marketing, as it Strengthens its Hometown Connection

NEW YORK, July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Looking to reinforce its positioning as the city's pre-eminent drugstore chain, Duane Reade is about to launch an aggressive new advertising campaign that speaks to New Yorkers as only a born and bred New Yorker can.

Carrying the tagline, "Your city. Your drugstore. Duane Reade", the campaign will begin appearing next week in thousands of subway cars and buses, as well as on phone kiosks, billboards and urban panels near rail stations. The campaign, created by the New York advertising agency DeVito/Verdi, marks the first new branding campaign in nearly a decade from the ubiquitous chain of New York drug stores.

The ads take a number of New York symbols, events and local references to help communicate the chain's unique understanding of what New Yorkers need, and when they need it.

One ad shows a self-conscious Lady Liberty unwilling to completely raise her lit torch. The copy reads: "Everything a New Yorker needs, like deodorant."

"Nearly 50 years ago, this company started as just one store on Broadway, between Duane and Reade streets. We're strengthening the connection between New Yorkers and a uniquely New York drugstore chain," said Joe Jackman, chief marketing officer at Duane Reade. "This campaign will help keep us top-of-mind with New Yorkers, and provide a quintessentially New York voice for our brand."

A number of other ads in the campaign play off what New Yorkers inevitably need after partaking in certain annual city events. One side-by-side ad simply shows a bottle of Pepto-Bismol next to copy that states, "Feast of San Gennaro. September 10-20." Another shows a package of Tiger Balm Muscle Rub next to the following information: "NYC Marathon, November 1, 2009."

"Despite being a part of the fabric of New York for nearly a half-century, what this company has lacked recently has been a 'New York voice'," said Ellis Verdi, president of DeVito/Verdi, the agency that created the campaign. "This campaign speaks to New Yorkers and lets them know that we know how you live, what you need to get through the day."

Some ads speak to the challenging and hectic nature of New York living. One ad shows the inside of a subway car with the reminder: "The pole you're holding has a gazillion germs on it." Another ad instructs shoppers to "Get everything you need in 15 minutes. Or as New Yorkers call it, lunch hour."

In total, the ads will be seen in one of every three subway cars, one of every 10 city buses; and inside one of every two Manhattan buses. The campaign will run throughout the year.

"We chose to run this campaign on out-of-home media exclusively for the simple reason that this is where New Yorkers tend to be -- outside of their homes or apartments," said Duane Reade's Mr. Jackman. "This campaign works particularly well on, and under, the streets of New York."

The company also announced that in 2010 it would explore the possibility of expanding the campaign to include other media.

About Duane Reade

Founded in 1960, Duane Reade is the largest drug store chain in the metropolitan New York City area, offering a wide variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, health and beauty care items, cosmetics, greeting cards, photo supplies and photofinishing. The company operates 253 stores throughout the metropolitan New York region.

About DeVito/Verdi

DeVito/Verdi, a privately held company, has been recognized as one of the most exceptional creative agencies in the industry. Its lengthy list of industry awards includes the top prizes at the Clios, Radio Mercury, Cannes, Andy, Addy and One Show award ceremonies.

DeVito/Verdi, which has been voted "Best Agency" six times over the last 12 years by the AAAA, has created some of the most memorable ad campaigns of the past 15 years. DeVito/Verdi strives for excellence and maintains a unique level of prestige within the advertising industry, as evidenced by its work for such clients as Meijer, The National Association of Broadcasters, Sony, Canon, BMW, Circuit City, Daffy's, Esquire Magazine, Men's Wearhouse, TimeOut Magazine, Grey Goose Vodka, SteinMart, Reebok, Massachusetts General Hospital,, Office Depot, Legal Sea Foods, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Pepsi/SOBE, Corazon Tequila, Empire Kosher Chicken, Acura, CarMax, Sports Authority and others. For more information on DeVito/Verdi, visit

SOURCE Duane Reade
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