Think About Your Eyes National Consumer Campaign to Launch July 22 With New Industry Partners

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.— Think About Your Eyes, L.L.C., a non-profit organization under The Vision Council, announced today it will go live on July 22 with a national consumer campaign designed to educate the public about the benefits of vision health and the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam. The launch will include TV, radio, print, online advertising, public relations, as well as consumer engagement through social media. In addition to raising awareness among consumers, the initiative, with support from the American Optometric Association (AOA), will also focus on engaging the eyecare community, including eyecare providers and industry partners.

Support for Think About Your Eyes (TAYE) continues to grow with the latest partners to join including National Vision, Inc. (NVI), the fourth largest optical chain in the U.S.; Refac Optical Group, the sixth largest optical chain and the largest provider of vision services inside host stores; SpecialEyes, a leading manufacturer of custom soft contact lenses; and Walman Optical, a leading provider of wholesale ophthalmic products and services and operator of the largest network of independent wholesale optical laboratories in the U.S. Each new partner is supporting the program with a financial contribution.

“When tested, the Think About Your Eyes campaign increased overall eye exams by 8 percent and proved to increase new patient visits, detection of eye disease and vision correction,” said Ed Greene, chief executive officer of The Vision Council. “As we prepare to launch the campaign on a national scale, we’re excited about the potential for even greater results. We’d like to thank those organizations who have signed on as official Think About Your Eyes partners and whose support will help the campaign become a long-term sustainable program for our industry.”

Reade Fahs, CEO of National Vision, commented, "The Think About Your Eyes national campaign launch is just what we need to bolster industry growth and positively influence consumer behavior. It is good for the health of Americans and something the vision industry has been saying we need to do for years. We hope other industry leaders will see the benefit of this eye health initiative and step forward with their full, ‘fair share’ financial support."

David Pierson, CEO of U.S. Vision, remarked, “U.S. Vision is very pleased and excited to be part of the Think About Your Eyes effort. We have always believed that our company and our industry thrive on the ability to provide comprehensive eyecare, and this campaign does just that. Whenever we can do something to help the eyecare professional community provide superior eyecare to more patients, we will support it.”

Michelle Walsh, director of sales and marketing for SpecialEyes, said, “It’s about time we had a little fun while creating awareness for the importance of maintaining healthy eyes and good vision. As a custom contact lens manufacturer and industry partner, SpecialEyes is thrilled to support the Think About Your Eyes movement. We see Think About Your Eyes as a catalyst for our eyecare professionals, their patients, and their potential patients to engage in a sustained conversation on ocular health for the benefit of all.”

Marty Bassett, president and CEO of Walman Optical, added, “Walman joined Think About Your Eyes because we believe that our industry needs to be more proactive in creating awareness regarding the importance of eye health to your overall health. Think About Your Eyes has proven in test markets that when consumers are educated about the importance of a regular comprehensive eye exam there is a dramatic increase in the number and frequency of eye exams. As the number of exams increases, consumers will benefit from the early detection and treatment of previously undiagnosed visual and general health conditions. We are delighted to join other industry leaders in supporting this critical industry wide initiative.”

In addition to industry partners, TAYE has recruited more than 3,000 eye care providers and retail locations to join the initiative, and is continuing to sign up more providers, according to The Vision Council. Providers who join Think About Your Eyes will be listed on the official campaign website’s eye doctor locator and have an option to receive even greater exposure by sponsoring Think About Your Eyes advertising. Advertising sponsors have the ability to feature their practices through online banner ads, online TV, CNN’s Accent Health TV network and magazine ads.

Think About Your Eyes is estimated to reach at least 120 million consumers with strong educational and motivational messages focusing on eye disease, eye strain, kids’ vision and the positive impact of regular eye exams on overall health. National advertising and public relations will drive consumers to schedule an eye exam and direct them to www.thinkaboutyoureyes.com where they can find a local Think About Your Eyes member provider.

Television spots will be seen on cable stations such as TBS, FX, NFL Network and Nickelodeon during primetime viewing hours as well as other timeslots throughout the day, while radio advertising will run during the peak drive time hours. Print ads will run in high-profile magazines such as People, Parents, and Sports Illustrated while additional advertising will run as part of Accent Health’s programming in primary care and pediatric offices.

Originally piloted in May 2010, in nine test markets, the TAYE initiative focused on educating the public about the benefits of eye health and the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam, as reported in Vision Monday. The campaign reached about 25 percent of the U.S. and demonstrated the ability to motivate and change public behavior when it came to vision health. Overall, eye exams grew by 7.9 percent, translating to 120 incremental eye exams per practice, per year in those markets. Original supporters Essilor of America and Luxottica remain on board as contributors to the effort.

Industry members interested in becoming official Think About Your Eyes partners should contact Dave Plogmann, director, industry relations, at dplogmann@thinkaboutyoureyes.com.

Eyecare providers who wish to become Think About Your Eyes members should visit www.thinkaboutyoureyes.com/enroll or contact Jon Torrey, director, professional relations, at jtorrey@thinkaboutyoureyes.com.

For general campaign inquiries, contact Rick Holt, executive director of Think About Your Eyes via email, rholt@thinkaboutyoureyes.com or phone, (703) 548-6504.