How Specsavers shocked consumers out of their ‘spectacle stasis’

The optical retailer relied on research to help drive a 22.9% increase in sign-ups to its contact lens service.

Specsavers Kiss Clash MW Awards 2023
Source: Specsavers

Specsavers might be a market leader in contact lenses, but the team knew there was room to grow. On a mission to raise awareness, drive consideration and sales, the marketers decided to target 18- to 44-year-old glasses wearers resisting the switch to contacts.

The team decided to shock the target market out of their ‘spectacle stasis’ by explaining why kissing is better in contacts.

Specsavers ran quantitative research to sense check the ‘Kiss Clash’ concept, alongside a nationwide survey of 18- to 44-year-olds exploring their first kiss concerns. According to the research, 50% of the target audience found clashing the most difficult part of kissing in glasses, yet 80% felt scared to try contact lenses.

Armed with this insight, the marketers developed a paid media campaign showing real couples about to kiss before being rudely interrupted by a graphic, which read: “Don’t let specs get in the way of…kissing”. Released in time for Valentine’s Day, the campaign included a 20-second TV ad featuring a sex education teacher explaining the advantages of wearing contacts as part of her ‘how to kiss’ guide.

Specsavers ran interviews with influencers on owned and paid social channels, flipping from the topic of first kisses to their fears about trying contacts. There was even a Kiss Clash Snapchat filter.

The campaign drove a 22.9% increase in sign-ups for Specsavers’ contact lens packages. Awareness of the contact lens service rose eight percentage points, with consideration up seven percentage points. Importantly, contact lens trials increased 9.6% year on year, results which helped Specsavers scoop the 2023 Marketing Week Award for Insight and Market Research.



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