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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

May 1, 2023 | 3 min read

The optical products retailer is taking ads with subtitles to the big screen to alert cinephiles: ‘If you have trouble reading this, you need your eyes checked.’

According to a recent study by Visionworks’ holding company VSP Vision Care, only 50% of people get annual eye exams. To get more consumers to check their eyes, Visionworks today released a playful campaign – featuring ads camouflaged as film trailers – in theaters across the US.

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The effort, led by creative agency Leo Burnett, features two 60-second ad spots: ‘Bomb Squad’ and ‘Bed.’ Each is created in the style of a foreign-language film trailer, prompting viewers to read the subtitles in order to understand their premises. According to a statement, the brand created the font and size of the subtitles using consumer data to determine the exact font size that someone with 20/20 vision can read.

In doing so, Visionworks offers consumers a surprising and clever vision test. At the end of the spots, viewers are told: “If you have trouble reading this, you need your eyes checked.” Then, a QR code appears at the end of each spot, directing visitors to Visionworks.com to schedule an eye exam.

“This campaign [will] encourage everyone to commit to eye health through an entertaining and unexpected way. Our hope is to create a sense of urgency for viewers, and we’ve provided a way for them to easily schedule an eye exam after the ads with just a click of a button,” said Visionworks senior vice-president of marketing Stan Lippelman in a statement shared with The Drum.

“Getting an eye exam every year should be a priority when it comes to your overall health and wellness,” he went on to say. “In addition to vision correction, an eye doctor can detect more than 270 serious health conditions through an eye exam.”

The new campaign, aptly dubbed ‘Subtitles,’ will run across linear TV, streaming platforms and social throughout May, which is the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Healthy Vision Month. In keeping with the campaign’s cinematic theme, ads will also appear in movie theaters in over 800 movie theaters in 17 markets in the US.

“The best advertising isn’t just persuasive; it also rewards the audience for their attention,” Britt Nolan, president and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett, said in a statement. “This work makes me smile, and it reminded me that I need to get an eye exam.”

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