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How do you transform a company’s brand image from discount retailer to a purveyor of style?

Turning “four eyes” into a fashion statement.

By placing eyewear in the same accessories category as belts, shoes and handbags, LensCrafters sought to transform its brand from a discount retailer to a purveyor of style. The company wanted optical eyewear to become a must-have fashion accessory, rather than merely a medical necessity.

“Nerdy.” “Unfashionable.” “Serious.” Research revealed little faith in the target audience’s belief of frames being fashionable and a general belief eyewear was more about function than form. The team also learned that LensCrafters was best remembered for “glasses in less than an hour” (its message platform in the late 1990s and early 2000s) and there was little or no awareness of optical eyewear as a fashion accessory.

It was time to Style-Eyes LensCrafters. Targeting national fashion magazine editors, Ogilvy PR planned a fashionable affair designed to help the brand shatter perceptions about optical eyewear. Keeping it hip and trendy, Ogilvy PR secured a modern loft space in downtown Manhattan and enlisted the participation of “Project Runway” first season winner Chloe Doa and host Tim Gunn, InStyle Magazine Editor-and-Chief Hal Rubenstein, and celebrity stylist Gretta Moynahan as brand ambassadors. The panel shared their passion for optical eyewear while speaking to editors about how they could incorporate optical eyewear into their coverage as the next “it” accessory.  To support the event, a fashion show and vignettes were staged and a “Transformation Station” (LensCrafters pop-up store) was set up for editors to try on different styles, become familiar with the designer brands and choose a pair that best suited their personal style.

Reframing the vision of optical eyewear was a hit. The event kicked off activity for LensCrafters in 2007, garnering coverage all year long in magazines such as Woman’s Day, Elle, InStyle, First, Glamour, W, Women’s Wear Daily, Cosmopolitian.com, Shop Etc., Marie Claire and more.