Specsavers CMO discusses the drivers for the Priceless eyes campaign and media fragmentation

Marketing director also shares her other priorities as the brand expands its services nationally

Sarah McInnes
Sarah McInnes

A new campaign focused on the eye health of Australian consumers is the culmination of years of investment into transforming and actioning Specsavers’ brand mission, its CMO says. And it’s not the only sense the company has its sights on.  

The eyewear retailer and optical services provider took the wrappers off its new ‘Priceless eyes’ campaign on 9 September in response to growing concerns Australians aren’t taking preventative measures to look after their eye health. The campaign sees Specsavers masquerading as Vesper-Sacs, an advanced medical research company searching for live test subjects, and poses the shocking question: How much would you sell your eyes for?  

Produced in partnership with Cummins&Partners, the two companies created a fake high-tech facility complete with staff, a back story, brochures and corporate video for Vesper-Sacs. All of those everyday Australians brought in for the purpose of shooting the campaign film agreed they wouldn’t give up their eyesight for any amount of money, making it a priceless commodity.    

Specsavers marketing director, Sarah McInnes, said research shows 50 per cent of Australians with vision loss have an undiagnosed eye condition. For 90 per cent of these people, vision loss is preventable or treatable if detected early.  

Specsavers launched the ‘Priceless Eyes’ campaign as we’re on a mission to drive behavioural change for routine eye tests in Australia,” she told CMO.

This doesn’t mean the brand has moved completely away from its famous ‘Should’ve’ ads, and McInnes said the market can expect to see more of them in future as campaigns of a different nature. What the ‘Priceless eyes’ effort reflects is the fruition of a multi-year program of work aimed at transforming eye health, she said.

Specsavers has been investing in the latest equipment and technology, the professional development of its optometry and dispensing workforce, and established close working relationships with ophthalmology and industry stakeholders with the singular purpose of transforming the eye health of Australians,” McInnes said. “It’s exciting to be advertising a clear eye health message to complement this.”

For a long time, Specsavers has been focused on making the best quality eye care and eye wear accessible for everyone, McInnes explained.

“We’ve done a great job at communicating the eyewear messages and now we want to make real change in Australia by encouraging routine eye tests for everyone,” she said. “We have an ageing population and a general attitude of ‘she’ll be right’. But if we don’t start educating Australians to think about routine eye tests now, research shows the amount of people with vision loss or blindness due to eye conditions detected too late will increase.”  

TV is the lead media channel, chosen because it provides the best reach for trying to change people’s attitudes towards getting an eye health check, McInnes said. She added digital and social offer further opportunity to continue to tell the story around the importance of regular eye health checks.

But in the face of rapid media fragmentation, McInnes acknowledged it’s becoming increasingly challenging to reach consumers and have meaningful conversations. That makes it vital for brand such as Specsavers to be more agile than ever before.

Marketing teams need to be much more flexible, regularly changing to adapt to the evolving market,” McInnes continued. “With fragmentation of media comes fragmentation of knowledge among agencies, so we’re managing multiple specialism agencies now instead of one. There is also a balance of which specialisms you bring in-house to be more agile.”

Specsavers is simultaneously investing in a longer-term customer play, and McInnes highlighted data as a vital piece in that puzzle.

We’re working on creating a single view of the customer with seamless integration between CRM and digital to improve retention as well as better be able to predict customer needs,” she said.

Being able to plan to predict our customer's future needs while working to deliver on their current needs is key for modern marketing. Also vital is constantly thinking about upskilling teams to deliver to the future.”

Meanwhile, eye health isn’t the only area Specsavers has its sights on. McInnes’ other priority is helping the company to expand its work in audiology.

Specsavers launched its first hearing services on the Gold Coast in August last year and is now rolling out the new service to all optical stores nationally. As at 1 October, 56 Specsavers stores will offer audiology.

“One in six Australians experience hearing loss, yet only one in three does anything about it,” McInnes said, referencing the 2006 Access Economics report, The Economic Impact and Cost of Hearing Loss in Australia.

“By offering audiology, with clear, transparent pricing and the exceptional value Specsavers is known for, we’re providing truly accessible health care for our customers’ ears as well as their eyes.”

The latest ‘Priceless eyes’ campaign footage was direct by Airbag’s Aaron Wilson, who is also known for his work on ‘Impossible orchestra’, ‘Phubbing’, ‘Care aware’ and ‘100 days of problem gambling’.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

 

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