Presbyopia Awareness Month 2001
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Holmes Report
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Presbyopia Awareness Month 2001

Presbyopia is the age-related inability to see objects close-up, and as this condition progresses, it begins to affect mid-distance vision as well. Varilux progressive lenses are the most technologically advanced treatment for presbyopia.

Paul Holmes

Presbyopia is the age-related inability to see objects close-up, and as this condition progresses, it begins to affect mid-distance vision as well.  Varilux progressive lenses are the most technologically advanced treatment for presbyopia.  Eventually, everybody gets presbyopia—usually beginning in their forties and fifties—however, most people don’t know what it is or how it can be treated.  In addition, because most people realize the condition is age-related, many people go through a state of denial and avoid discussing it with an eye doctor and pursuing treatment. 

 

Opportunity

 

Presbyopia is inevitable and irreversible, but most people don’t even know what it is.  Although most baby boomers have probably already begun to experience the first signs of the condition, most of them don’t know how the condition can be treated or are in denial about its onset.  In addition, a survey conducted by Varilux revealed an important misconception among baby boomers: while there is currently no surgical procedure approved to correct presbyopia, many baby boomers said they would undergo laser surgery to correct the changes in their vision. Presbyopia Awareness Month was designed to educate baby boomers about the condition and the technologically advanced Varilux solution.  Consumers were encouraged to visit their eye care professionals to learn about technologically advanced solutions for presbyopia like Varilux progressive lenses.  Unlike outdated solutions like bifocals or drugstore reading glasses, Varilux lenses enable today’s presbyopes to wear stylish frames and offer the closest thing to natural vision without compromising their lifestyle or their look. 

 

Objectives

 

  • Build awareness about presbyopia
  • Position Varilux as the best solution for presbyopia and the leader in progressive lenses
  • Drive consumers to eye care professionals
  • Drive consumer traffic to the Varilux Web site

 

Strategy

 

  • Engage baby boomers with a compelling story about an easy and technologically advanced solution to an inevitable problem
  • Create an emotional connection with target consumers by enlisting a presbyopic celebrity spokesperson to give presbyopia a recognizable face
  • Show that Varilux is in touch with their attitudes by publicizing survey findings about the baby boomer generation 

 

Tactics

 

To increase awareness about presbyopia and the solutions available to correct it, Varilux progressive lenses declared April “Presbyopia Awareness Month” for the third year in a row to educate baby boomers about the condition and encourage them to visit their eye care professionals for treatment.

 

In early 2001, we conducted the Varilux Boomer Watch survey of over 1,000 baby boomers to find out how the most influential generation sees the world in 2001. The survey asked boomers about boomer culture, attitudes, ideals and concerns, revealing insight about their opinions on the trends, habits, events and public figures that define their generation.  The provocative Boomer Watch findings offered compelling tidbits for boomer-focused stories and were featured in two USA Today “Snapshots.” 

 

In addition to revealing insight about pop culture and events in recent history, Varilux Boomer Watch uncovered an important misconception: more than 50 percent of baby boomers surveyed said they were willing to undergo laser surgery to correct the vision problems they are beginning to experience. However, no surgical procedure has been approved to correct the condition and patients who undergo laser surgery will eventually have to wear corrective eyewear when they begin to experience the first signs of presbyopia.  This was a compelling media message and made even more so when delivered by an age-defying baby boomer and presbyope, former Charlie’s Angel Cheryl Ladd. 

 

Ladd put a well-known face on a condition whose onset is associated with getting older, and attracted a great deal of attention from the consumer media, reaching baby boomers directly via TV, radio, print and the Internet.  We also conducted a satellite media tour and a radio media tour with Ladd, as well as live interviews on ABC’s The View and on FOX News Channel’s midday news program.  A press kit, b-roll package and audio news release further extended the reach of Presbyopia Awareness Month messages via print, online and broadcast media.

 

Results

 

More than 93.5 million media impressions were generated, delivering a $8.02 CPM and achieving

nearly 125 percent of goal.  Results included:

 

Media Results

  • 73 television placements, including nine satellite media tour interviews, 62 airings of the b-roll package and live, in-studio interviews with ABC’s The View and FOX News Channel.
  • 1805 radio placements, including 15 radio media tour interviews and three interviews on nationwide networks.
  • 144 print placements, including two USA Today “Snapshots” featuring statistics from Varilux Boomer Watch and US New and World Report
  • Online placements on key news, boomer and vision sites, including MSNBC, Hoovers, BoomerCafe and Allaboutvision.
  • All placements provided positive coverage, delivering both education about presbyopia and the state-of-the-art Varilux solution.

 

Business Results

  • Total awareness of brand up 50 percent
  • Sales up 4 percent
Share up 2 points
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