Best of the Best This Illinois Optometry Office Has a Blast Coming Up Pop With Culture Marketing This Illinois practice was kicking around ideas for marketing sunglasses, and stumbled on a fun idea that helps staff bond. Published 3 years ago on September 25, 2018 By Heath Burslem Invision October 2018 Issue Share Tweet 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. Midwest offers a valuable lesson to all ECPs in the unexpected ways that good team morale can pay off. Designing the office was a collaborative effort between owner Dr. Todd Robert and the team, who also have input into the practice’s cheeky ads and social media content based upon beloved movie posters and album covers. These memorably reference such pop culture landmarks and icons as Men in Black (“Doctors in Black”), Gilligan’s Island (“Midwest Eyeland”), Johnny Cash, Star Wars (“Sunglass Wars”), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (“Dr. Bauer’s Day Off”), Bruce Springsteen (“Framed in the U.S.A.”) and Robert Palmer’s iconic video for Addicted to Love (“Addicted to Eyes”). “Staff-wise,” says practice manager Pam Peters, “we have a close-knit staff of family and friends and the patients feel the warmth.” THE IDEA 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, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Pitch Perfect,” says Peters. The practice’s first movie-based ads were produced in 2016, and the album cover parodies came out the following year. “We are still kicking around ideas for this year. [There are] a couple of albums we still want to do, or maybe [we’ll] go with a superhero theme.” THE EXECUTION Advertisement Creating the ads is very much a joint effort by staff and doctors, all of whom participate, whether it’s coming up with ideas, providing needed materials or “modeling.” The process is as much a staff bonding exercise as a marketing activity. When it’s time to come up with ideas, says Peters, “This is our cup of tea! From recreating album covers to putting up a snowy backdrop and making a ‘sleigh’ for staff and patient Christmas pictures, we love to participate in our advertising projects!” Patients appreciate being included as well, she says, by liking something online, or even bringing in items needed for the photo shoots, which have run the gamut from hats to the red convertible for the Ferris Bueller ad. Staff take all the photos themselves, either with phones or digital cameras, and find their own (or borrow) props. 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. REWARDS Advertisement According to Peters, four years after opening, staff still “constantly” receive compliments on the optical’s general design, and the lighter touches seem to be especially appreciated. “Our patients always comment, whether online or in person; they want us to know that they like to see the fun side of the office and they share it with friends,” she says. Perhaps the main reward is the effect on staff, who enjoy the challenge, participation and chance to show their creativity, not to mention sharing the ads with patients, family and friends. “It’s always fun to hear patients’ reactions,” Peters says. PHOTO GALLERY (8 IMAGES) Do It Yourself: Pop-Culture Based Advertising 1. TEAM EFFORT. Include your staff in the creative process, says Peters. “They have great ideas!” 2. BE INCLUSIVE. Midwest Eye chooses movies and albums that span decades, appealing to multiple generations of potential customers. Advertisement 3. SOCIAL MEDIA. Post your mock posters, album covers, or whatever they may be on Facebook and Instagram to boost likes, follows and engagement. 4. USE CAUTION. If your ads refer to a celebrity, there may be copyright issues. Do some research and maybe avoid the more litigious ones. 5. THINK LOCAL. Go beyond Hollywood and try using some local personalities to tap into that community spirit. Related Topics:Best of the Besteyecare businesses in IllinoisINVISION October '18 click to Comment(Comment) Up Next A Norcal Practice Took A Trunk Show and Turned It Into an Annual Message of Thanks to Its Patients Don't Miss Eye Candy and Partners Whip Up a Perfect Storm of Cross-Promotion in Pittsburgh Heath Burslem After years covering some of the farther flung corners of the world of business journalism, Heath has more recently focused on covering the efforts of independent eyecare professionals to negotiate a fast-changing industry landscape. Contact him at [email protected] SPONSORED VIDEO Shamir Glacier Plus Metaform: Stronger. Thinner. Lighter. It’s time for a new compromise-free lens technology that completely changes our concept of what's possible. Glacier Plus™ Metaform enables customers to enjoy strength and safety alongside the aesthetics of thin and light lenses. Now Available: The next technical revolution in the world of optics. 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