#RaiseYourGlasses: 5 Questions With Pearle Vision CMO Doug Zarkin

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Pearle Vision Raise Your Glasses

Pearle Vision, built around a doctor-centered business model, began in 1961 when Dr. Stanley Pearle introduced the concept of one-stop, total eye care, opening the Pearle Vision Center in Savannah, Ga., combining eye exams with a selection of eyewear.

Two decades later, Pearle Vision began offering franchise opportunities to select doctors and opticians and today counts more than 500 EyeCare Centers across the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Ahead of World Sight Day on October 11, the brand has partnered with tennis superstar Billie Jean King for the second time on #RaiseYourGlasses, a campaign to bring awareness of the importance of eye care and eyewear, particularly for the 75% of adults who need vision correction, and the 25% school age children with an undiagnosed vision issue.

Pearle Vision is posting a video call to action from Billie Jean King inviting users to share a photo of themselves on social media wearing their favorite prescription glasses. “Leave the glasses on,” says King, “They’re part of who you are.”

For every 10 photos shared on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #RaiseYourGlasses between October 9 and December 31, 2018, Pearle Vision will donate a new pair of glasses for a child in need.

“My glasses not only helped me see the world more clearly, they gave me the confidence to pursue and achieve my dreams,” said Billie Jean King. “I am thrilled to be a part of the #RaiseYourGlasses campaign, and I am most excited to see—and celebrate—all of the photos that will be shared, as I know each will reflect a life touched, and improved, by vision care—just as mine was.”

brandchannel spoke with Pearle Vision’s CMO Doug Zarkin about the inspiration for the creative in this campaign.

Can you tell us more about Raise Your Glasses and the “Olivia” video released in August?

Doug Zarkin Pearle VisionThe Raise Your Glasses campaign was inspired by the brand’s belief that “nobody cares for eyes more than Pearle.” The film tells the story of Olivia, a young girl exploring a myriad of interests ranging from sports to space. Clearly passionate about everything she does, as her story unfolds, it becomes clear to her mom—and the viewer—that Olivia isn’t seeing clearly.

Thanks to the genuine, personalized care and attention from the optometrists at her neighborhood Pearle Vision, Olivia heads home with more than just the ability to once again explore the world with 20/20 vision; she proudly heads home wearing her “perfect pair” that we come to learn creates an even deeper connection to what and who inspires Olivia.

Raise Your Glasses continues our commitment to eye care for the entire family by focusing on those who are at heightened risk including school age children who may not know what seeing clearly actually is.

How has attention to eye care and vision changed over the past few years?

The industry is flooding customers with a multitude of eyewear options at various price points. Many retailers in the eye care space give away an eye exam in order to drive retail growth. However, Pearle Vision’s research indicates a consumer wants more than just a basic eye exam and is willing to invest to have a more comprehensive and thorough exam experience.

Certainly, technological advances in diagnostic equipment allows for a more medically comprehensive exam, but the real shift we see, and a core mission for Pearle Vision, rests in personal dynamics of the doctor/patient relationship during an exam. Patients want more from their doctor; more listening, more dialogue, more reassurance that the person examining them truly cares about them.

We’re spending a lot more time as a brand understanding how trust is built in the exam room and how that translates into better business on the retail floor. As we deliver a premium medical and emotional experience from the exam room to the sales floor, we are able to command a premium price for that service and product provided.

Pearle Vision Billie Jean King Olivia

The campaign includes an influencer program leveraging individuals whose own eyewear and eye care story help bring the program to life. Can you elaborate?

The story of “Olivia” hits home closely with Billie Jean King, a global sports icon who transcended the tennis court into the world’s consciousness. Billie Jean was told that her professional career would go nowhere when she was prescribed glasses. We all know how the story goes for Billie Jean—and “Olivia” demonstrates that she and all children who require glasses can head in the same direction. They can reach their potential because they can see clearly.

As we’ve shared Olivia’s story, people have proactively shared their own stories of success. We’ve taken these conversation to social media, with a focus on identifying and leveraging the dialogue from those active on Instagram and Facebook with similar stories to share their own experiences and pride in proactively taking care of their eyes. A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words.

Pearl Vision Kids

This is your second collaboration with Billie Jean King. How and why did you two come together?

As we were developing the story of “Olivia” with our agency partner Energy BBDO, the narrative beautifully set up the opportunity to engage a well-known personality with strong emotional and visual connection to the eye care/eyewear category.

Billie Jean’s journey embodies what’s possible when you care for your eyes. When we approached her, the story of “Olivia” resonated, but what resonated more with Billie Jean was what we, as a brand, stand for in the market. Our commitment to eye care, especially the importance of proactive eye care for kids, was something she found unique. The conversation with her and her team was grounded from the start in this shared understanding and belief system which has unlocked opportunities to take this message forward with our Raise Your Glasses initiative.

Pearle Vision Billie Jean King Olivia

In addition to the donation of a new pair of glasses for every 10 photos—how will you measure the ROI on #RaiseYourGlasses?

This program was designed to engage and celebrate with those who are proudly and proactively caring for their eyes while raising awareness of the importance of eye care. It’s a campaign for the entire family, especially for school age children. Our hope is that the message behind Raise Your Glasses resonates with parents who either need glasses themselves or for their children as an opportunity to provide a tool to help educate and inspire.


Get more insights in our Q&A series.

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