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Tapping local celebrities is always a solid approach to tapping into the cultural zeitgeist for marketing purposes. Looking for a unique way to sell its unique frames, EyeWearhaus in St. Louis, fit a handful of eminent Missourians — people who had achieved enough to warrant emulation but who were at the same time local and “real,” like Miss Missouri! — with their handcrafted eyewear, took pictures, came up with a few fun taglines to welcomed a new audience of curious customers.

The objective of the campaign was to market unique, handcrafted frames that didn’t necessarily come with famous names attached. So, it made sense to find subjects that were doing something similarly unique, like Maxine Clark, founder of Build-a-Bear workshop. “Choosing eyewear was an office endeavor and all, including the participant, helped,” says Michael Harris, founder and owner of EyeWearhaus.

Midwest Eye opened the doors of their current location in Downers Grove, IL, in June 2014, but the majority of its staff had already been working together for more than a decade. That team morale has been key in conceptualizing the practice’s cheeky ads and social media content based on beloved movie posters and album covers.

The concept began during a staff brainstorming session for National Sunglass Day a few years ago. Movies seemed like a fun and obvious way to incorporate current sunglasses into sunglass-themed ad ideas. “We tried to include movies that would span a few generations,” says practice manager Pam Peters. Patients appreciate being included as well, and one even lent the use of the red convertible for this FERRIS BUELLER ad.

Creating the ads is very much a joint effort by staff and doctors, all of whom participate. Staff take all the photos themselves, either with phones or digital cameras. The ads are created in Microsoft Publisher and saved as jpegs. The ads themselves are used on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and also in email promotions. Some have also been framed and displayed in the office. The process is as much a staff bonding exercise as a marketing activity.

UBER OPTICS in Petaluma, CA owner Nancy Revis works with her sister Amy Koenig, a graphic designer, on her images which are often inspired by pop icons like Prince, Frida Kahlo, and David Bowie obviously. The playful use of iconic imagery is combined with a proud use of real people as models and Uber’s inventory of eyewear.

This “Uber Bunch” ad took Revis about a month to put together. “I had to arrange a photo shoot with each individual and took about 60 photos per person looking in all directions; then narrowed down to my top five pics of each person; then emailed all my photos to my sister; then Amy arranged them all perfectly and color-matched the exact Brady Bunch color and we found a Brady Bunch font,” she explained.

Their most recent image ties into the current renewed interest in the band Queen, thanks to the Hollywood release of BOHEMIAN RAPSODY. In this image, the Uber Optics team wears eyewear from l.a. Eyeworks, Bevel, Blake Kuwahara and Vinylize to recreate the band’s iconic 1974 QUEEN II album cover.

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