Consumer: Gok Wan gives new look to Specsavers

Earlier this year, Specsavers' long-term style ambassador Gok Wan launched his own range of glasses. He had personally designed 30 high fashion styles to be sold exclusively at Specsavers. Beattie Communications was asked to handle the launch.

Smash hit: Gok Wan's glasses
Smash hit: Gok Wan's glasses

Campaign GW by Gok Wan glasses launch
Client Specsavers
PR team Beattie Communications
Timescale February-June 2011
Budget £9,000

Objectives

  • To launch the GW by Gok Wan range exclusively for Specsavers nationwide
  • To establish Specsavers as a fashionable brand with strong style credentials
  • To drive footfall to high street stores.

Strategy and plan

Fashion and lifestyle journalists from national, consumer, trade and online titles, including bloggers, were invited to an exclusive champagne reception at Soho Hotel in London to view the new frame collection.

Frame stylists helped guests choose the best glasses to suit them and were then given vouchers so they could buy them at their nearest store. The 69 journalists in attendance were able to mingle with Wan in a room dressed to reflect the 1960s Mad Men styling of some of the frames.

National, consumer and regional journalists were given one-to-one interviews with Wan and high-profile fashion bloggers were able to interview him as part of a bloggers junket.

Celebrities that attended the event, at no cost, included Danielle Lloyd, Nancy Sorrell, Kevin and Camilla Sacre-Dallerup and Giles Vickers-Jones. Guests were given goody bags featuring high-end products including fashion history books, designer cosmetics and skincare, plus a £125 GW by Gok Wan eyecare voucher.

Following the launch event, a radio broadcast day was organised, with Wan speaking to 17 regional stations, including BBC Newcastle, Wave 105, BBC Scotland, BBC Ulster and Downtown Radio. Additional broadcast coverage was secured with a guest slot on ITV's Loose Women, where Wan discussed the range.

Post-launch, desk-side visits were arranged with those titles that were unable to attend the launch. Journalists were shown the collection and styled in a pair of frames, then given a voucher to redeem against the frames in-store.

Specsavers stores were encouraged to hold their own mini launch events. Particular successes included Middlesbrough and Limerick, where in-store fashion shows were staged. The firm's Bradford store worked with local fashion students to promote the range by designing recycled outfits to complement the frames.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign secured 138 pieces of coverage across all media including in Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Cosmopolitan, Company, Fabulous, Look, Reveal, Hello, Woman & Home, Liverpool Echo and Daily Record, plus additional broadcast coverage outlined earlier.

Results

More than 16,000 pairs of glasses in the GW range were sold during the first month. This was almost double the average sales that other designer brands stocked by Specsavers achieved during the same period.

SECOND OPINION

Caroline Harris, MD, Spirit Public Relations

Gok Wan's status as a fashion guru provided great opportunities for generating consumer coverage.

By any standards, this was a well-executed campaign on a tight budget, with impressive ROI.

The PR team made excellent use of its access to Wan by securing multiple interviews on local BBC radio stations through the general news service. The launch attracted a high press turnout and the team extracted maximum value by setting up desk visits for those journalists who were unable to attend.

Wan's pulling power was used to attract celebrities to add glamour to the launch.

With more budget, an online tool or app could be developed offering a limited number of the frames to be 'tried on', with promotions offered with every download, to drive footfall into the stores.

A competition to find people who most need a Gok glasses makeover would provide a great way of engaging consumers through social media and reinforcing the range's fashion credentials.

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