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Ingenious media buy sees Specsavers offer 'free eye tests' to Barnard Castle visitors


By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

September 9, 2020 | 3 min read

You may not be anywhere near the office water cooler right now, but we still want to spotlight the must buzz-worthy creative from brands that should be on your radar. Today, we're looking through the lens at Specsavers' ingenious ad spotted at Barnard Castle.

Although many a joke was made that Dominic Cummings 'Should have gone to Specsavers' when the Barnard Castle debacle unfolded, the high street optician was surprisingly quiet... until now. With an ingenious bit of media buying at Barnard Castle itself, Specsavers has finally piped up.

A lot of bizarre things have happened in 2020, such as a herd of Kashmiri goats cruising the Welsh seaside town of Llandudno like a big, hairy gang, the former Art Attack host Neil Buchanan denying that he is, in fact, the graffiti artist Banksy, and, the UK prime minister's chief advisor surfacing in Country Durham at Barnard Castle, claiming he was just checking his eyesight when he should have been in lockdown in London.

At the time, jokes circled at the expense of Cummings that suggested he 'should have gone to Specsavers.' And the use of the high street optician's famous tagline saw it experience an increase in online mentions by 6000%.

Barnard Castle

While BrewDog christening its new IPA 'Barnard Castle Eye Test' helped to keep Cummings' blunder in the headlines, things had started to die down. Until now.

Spotted on the back of parking tickets outside Barnard Castle, it appears Specsavers has taken a tactical advantage of the advertising opportunity to offer a 'Free eye test voucher' to those visiting Barnard Castle.

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