The Thinking Behind LensCrafters’ Recent Ad Campaign

MASON, Ohio—A recent LensCrafters’ advertising campaign, which is being updated for an encore run later this year, was the first marketing effort to “really take into account” a new value proposition and to lay the groundwork for establishing LensCrafters as “an innovative leader creating a new standard of quality in eyecare and eyewear,” executives told dba in recent interviews. LensCrafters eyecare business is a unit of Luxottica.

“LensCrafters is really an innovative leader when it comes to both quality eyewear and quality eyecare,” Amie Wersching, director, brand marketing, at Luxottica Retail North America, said in the interview. She spoke to dba about the ad campaign along with Cristian Zoncapè, senior director of brand marketing at Luxottica Retail North America. Wersching reports to Zoncapè, who oversees marketing campaigns.

“We offer a complete customer experience from start to finish, from the service that our doctors and associates deliver to the complete pair of glasses that a LensCrafters customer walks out the door with,” Wersching noted.

Along with after-sale service that’s part of the LensCrafters’ experience, these elements coalesce around the concept of “a superior quality experience, and that’s what really sets LensCrafters apart,” Wersching said. “It’s not one thing, it’s the complete experience and that was really the point of the TV ads. … We wanted to illustrate the customer journey and take the viewer through what the process is in a visual way.”

The TV campaign, which included an online video element, launched on Feb. 25 and ran for five weeks, Wersching said. At the same time, LensCrafters kicked off a marketing effort around the theme “LensCrafters Is Why,” a concept and platform that covered a number of different media channels, including direct mail communications, email, the retailer’s website and social media programs.

“The way we’re thinking of ‘LensCrafters is Why’ is that it is more of a platform than a specific campaign,” Wersching said. “So then we can create campaigns throughout the year [that] we will ladder up to the ‘LensCrafters is Why’ platform.” For example, she noted, a potential back-to-school campaign might carry the taglines, “Back to School Style is Why” or “Classroom Confidence is Why.” The objective is to “really bring the ‘is why’ concept to life throughout a number of different campaigns.”

The television campaign included two 15-second spots, one featuring a male customer and one featuring a female customer. The spot shows the customers moving from eye exam to frame shopping to eventually exiting the store with a new eyeglasses and a big smile. There’s also a 30-second version of the spot that was used for online video placements.

Wersching said the campaign used a combination of cable channels, both premium and standard, and recorded about 94 gross rating points per week. “We upped heavily in prime time and did some off-peak hours, also,” she said.

LensCrafters, which is developing a follow-up version of the ads with similar concepts for later this year, came up with the ideas after completing “a ton of consumer research,” Wersching said. “We’ve found that the customer wants that complete eyecare experience, from start to finish. In the past, we’ve celebrated different pieces of the LensCrafters’ experience. For instance, our Clarifye eye exam, or our AccuFit Digital Lens Measurement technology or even a price promotion … all in a very focused way.”

She added, “In this campaign, we are really celebrating the entire LensCrafters experience. Again, it’s a combination of the service from our doctors and associates, to our technology to our quality products and how all of these come together.”

Ad agency VCCP of Australia worked with LensCrafters on the campaign. The agency also partners with sister Luxottica brand OPS in Australia. “We leveraged the OPSM relationship and they came up with some great ideas around the ‘complete experience’ customer and how to speak to them,” Wersching said. “They were great partners through the entire production.”

The metrics used to evaluate the success and effectiveness of the campaign included measures of brand perception and brand consideration, reach and engagement, branded search traffic and recollection, she explained. Ultimately, store traffic and sales also were used to determine the impact of the effort. “We also wanted to make sure we were reaching new customers,” Wersching said. “Customer retention is very important, but we still want to reach new customers and bring them into LensCrafters.”