CVS, H-E-B Elevate Self-Care Amid Pandemic
CVS Pharmacy and H-E-B are reminding consumers to take care of themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CVS has leaned in to its expanded product assortment and marketing messaging, particularly as the self-care category’s relevance grows. Keeping SKUs in stock appears to be a challenge, however, as evidenced by a bare in-line shelf set intended to merchandise CBD products, which was spotted by the Path to Purchase Institute at the end of April at one store in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.
CVS is also using email and social media to plug self-care products and ideas. An email blast last month, for example, shared at-home self-care tips such as practicing deep breathing and trying a “skin-brightening” sheet mask. The email linked to a "Self-Care" shop within cvs.com that spotlights categories including sleep support, fitness support and mood support. The email also subtly encouraged consumers to journal as a way to ease the mind while providing a couple writing prompts and linking to a “Paper & Notebooks” e-commerce web page.
In seasonal activity, the drugstore chain is currently employing a “Skin Care is Self-Care” message across channels to dangle a slew of offers on sun care products including a “buy one, get one 50% off” deal on brands including Johnson & Johnson’s Aveeno and Neutrogena.
Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B has elevated the self-care category primarily through its #TexansHelpingTexans initiative. The campaign encourages consumers to use the hashtag to share self-care tips that are helping them get through the pandemic.
H-E-B enlisted local companies and celebrities to share their tips on Instagram, such as Monica Aldama, coach of the cheer team at Navarro College in Texas that was the focus of the Netflix docuseries Cheer, who shared an at-home workout video update; and journalist Jessica Headley, who plugged “Tips for Vitamins and Greens” in a video update, which spotlighted Unilever’s Olly sleep vitamins and H-E-B’s organic kale salad. The Instagram updates were included in a May 8 email blast from H-E-B corralling several self-care updates that used the campaign hashtag on Instagram.
Austin-based activewear brand Outdoor Voices is also spotlighted in the missive, highlighting a partnership with H-E-B and linking to the events page within outdoorvoices.com. In partnership with H-E-B, the brand hosted 30-minute “Endorphin Boost” virtual classes via Zoom or Instagram Live every Saturday in May beginning on May 9. As part of the #TexansHelpingTexans initiative, those who RSVP'd on outdoorvoices.com were entered in a weekly drawing awarding a $150 Outdoor Voices gift card and a $150 H-E-B gift card.
H-E-B additionally used the missive to plug deals on beauty and personal care SKUs and invited consumers to “shop self-care essentials,” linking to e-commerce pages withon heb.com.
H-E-B also recently teamed up with Unilever to deliver more than 10,000 branded Beauty by H-E-B bags to essential hospital workers across Texas. The bags were filled with personal care items from the CPG giant including Suave shampoo and conditioner, Dove and Dove+Men body wash, and mini packages of Q-tips and Vaseline.
In a recent Accenture survey of more than 3,000 consumers in 15 countries across five continents conducted between April 2-6 (after many countries had implemented lockdown orders), 60% of respondents said they were spending more time on self-care and mental well-being, with about six in 10 consumers (57%) saying they had started exercising more at home.
NOTE: For more photos from this article, visit p2pi.org. Path to Purchase Institute members have access to more than 1,700 images and 200 articles of marketing and merchandising activity at H-E-B, and more than 3,600 images and 500 articles for CVS Pharmacy, along with full Retailer Profiles outlining the chains' operations and strategies.