Essilor launches £5m campaign to support the independent sector

Multi-pair promotion is designed to drive footfall and will be supported by TV advertising

Essilor launches campaign

Essilor is launching a £5m multi-pair promotional campaign to support and drive footfall into the independent sector and strengthen its key brands including Varilux, Crizal and Transitions.

This campaign will include the first national television advertising campaign for Varilux in 20 years, beginning on March 6, as well as programme sponsorship and digital media support. A Channel 4 weather sponsorship will run from April to October.

The ‘Be a modern hero’ offer enables opticians to buy a second pair of Crizal lenses in the same prescription at a 50% discount that practices can pass directly to patients, to boost multi-pair sales.

Frame suppliers Marchon, Eyespace and Henry Beaumont are also offering additional discounts to existing and new customers who are signed up to Essilor’s campaign.

Essilor’s head of marketing, Jonathan Cohen, explained that the tagline for the campaign is ‘Empower your vision,’ and highlights that Varilux lenses offer sharp vision for all distances, smooth transitions and adaption in all light conditions.

Practices can capitalise on the campaign locally with a customised marketing package. Options include outdoor advertising, such as billboards and bus shelters, as well as press and radio advertising and mailshots. It also includes in-store point-of-sale materials to support the local marketing activities.

Essilor will run a CET training programme on how to present multi-pair options to patients. Each session lasts an hour and will run in practices.

Mr Cohen said: “This 360° campaign is our strongest offer ever. Essilor is the only lens manufacturer investing in national media for independents. This reinforces our position as the independent optician’s best business partner.”  

He added: “Only 15% of spectacles are sold as multi-pairs in the UK, far lower than in other countries. There is room for growth by simply giving the consumer the second pair that helps them when driving, on holiday, at work, in sport or refreshing their image.”

Turning to the education programme, Mr Cohen said: “Our CET training gives staff new insights in how to match complex lifestyle needs to lenses and then helps them to make a multi-pair offer without concerns over price barrier. Our vision is to share new ways of thinking about lenses for individuals.”

Mr Cohen said that an independent survey on the company’s 2016 multi-pair offer had proved the growth potential of the initiative. Sales increased for 72% of opticians and 41% who ordered multi-pairs reported double-digit growth, according to the company.  

“Feedback shows it drove footfall, generated new customers, helped staff focus on different pairs for different activities and delighted patients who valued the advice,” he concluded.