CAMPAIGNS: Publicity Stunt - Glasses firm uses painted models idea

Client: Optical Revolution PR Team: Brave PR Campaign: Bare Faced Cheek Timescale: January - February 2003 Budget: Undisclosed

Spectacles are big business in the UK, with optical retail boasting revenues of £2.1bn. Last month, Brave PR won the account for Optical Revolution with a brief to up its profile on the high street in two key areas in East Anglia: Norwich and Colchester.

Objectives

To encourage footfall into Optical Revolution's new store in Norwich and its relaunched store in Colchester. To communicate the company's 'no hidden extras' approach to pricing. To position glasses as a fashion accessory.

Strategy and Plan

The PR team decided publicity stunts, with strong visuals, were the way to get across the client message of low price products via the local media.

Taking the theme of 'bare faced cheek', it put body-painted models in both towns wearing nothing but their Optical Revolution spectacles - despite the chilly conditions.

There were photo calls for local press, TV and radio, and interviews set up in advance with Optical Revolution chairman, Michael Kraftman.

The mother of one of the naked models was found to work in a local charity shop, leading to a front-page story in the Colchester Evening Gazette.

Makeover competitions with two local papers were set up to push the idea of looking good in glasses, while trials of Optical Revolution products are being negotiated with all local journalist and presenters that wear glasses.

Measurement and Evaluation

Not everyone was thrilled with the risque stunt - the Eastern Daily Press banned Optical Revolution's ads, by the M&C Saatchi-owned ad agency Immediate Sales, following complaints from readers. Brave worked with the client to manage this backlash, resulting in a letter from Kraftman in the EDP.

Results

The campaign was certainly talked about in the areas concerned - even as a listener phone-in on one local radio station.

Coverage was achieved in all local papers, including front pages. Anglia TV showed images of the naked models three times, giving six minutes of prime-time coverage.

As a result of the stunt, the client has noted a 30 per cent rise in footfall through the two stores.

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