ADFLOW Health announces massive 4,700-store network

November 30, 2011 by Dave Haynes

ADFLOW Health Networks
 has done a very nice deal with the Rite Aid retail pharmacy chain to put its biometric screening kiosks – branded as Personal Health Centers – in all US locations.

The deal quickly turns ADFLOW’s network into the largest network of its kind, and represents what sounds like a very aggressive push into this sector. Rite-Aid has 4,700 stores, so this is a big, honkin’ deal.

ADFLOW is bankrolling the capital and deployment costs for the full network and will make its investment back through advertising and marketing initiatives. Normally, that would make me nervous as hell, but this is a deal that lines up very nicely in a bunch of ways.

1 – Being able to market prescription and over the counter health and wellness products within steps of the pharmacist counter and the OTC product aisles is the sort of thing that gets people with very big ad budgets excited.

2 – This is not a new concept. It’s just the evolution of blood pressure monitor stations that have been at the back of pharmacies forever, and had already been making money as simple analog units. Digital introduces all kinds of new possibilities to tap health and wellness and consumer brand dollars.

3 – Deals like this give networks instant, top markets covered, scale.

4 – There’s not a lot to explain. Pharmas and consumer brands already know whole blood pressure station in the store thing. It’s not a “OK, one more time, you put screens where???” thing.

5 – The eyeball count is huge and the context really well-defined.

“With an estimated 71,000,000 consumers using analog blood pressure machines located in retail pharmacies at least once in the last 12 months, the potential to engage with those consumers in a meaningful way is immense and now upon us,” says Mel Stein, CEO of ADFLOW Health Networks.

The company, the smaller (for now) sister company of Burlington, Ontario-based ADFLOW, recently announced a deal with a subsidiary of product marketing giant Acosta and has been quietly developing a nice little ecosystem that sells into and feeds this effort.

The build it and the advertisers will come thing is always a risk (these stations are a lot more costly than a cheap PC and an LCD slapped on a wall), but the company has some very smart and conservative cats running things. I know these guys (they are five minutes from my home office/bait shop), and know they’ll chase retail digital signage software business before Digital OOH network business eeveryday of the week.

The health side of the business also has some nice backers, including pharma giant Merck, through its health innovation group.

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