Outfitting Chile's miners worth tens of millions to Oakley glasses

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Oct 14 2010


The rescued miners in Chile have a lot of new roles to play: international symbols of hope, TV stars, future movie characters—and perhaps most important to the marketing world, brand ambassadors. Oakley, a California company known for its action sports shades, has already reaped a staggering $41 million worth of media exposure for the sunglasses it donated to the miners. And honestly, who can begrudge them the free publicity? We're all seeing the brand over and over as its $180 Radar glasses grace the faces of every one of the freed miners. The glasses have special lenses to filter out the sun's UV rays, the brand says, and the miners, having lived like moles for two months with no light, needed that kind of heavy-duty eye protection for their re-entry to the world. Meantime, Steve Jobs has sent the miners some iPods (what's on their playlists?), and no doubt others will rush to be part of the joy and the nonstop worldwide coverage surrounding it. We'll have to judge each by its level of usefulness and/or opportunism. Rushing to get your products into these heroic guys' hands isn't necessarily crass, but let's see who does it well and who crosses the line.

Luxottica creates the first-ever line of prescription 3-D glasses

By T.L. Stanley on Fri Sep 17 2010


Italian eyewear brand Luxottica has created the first-ever line of prescription 3-D glasses, set to go on sale later this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. I, for one, am thrilled by this news since a) wearing both regular specs and those ill-fitting 3D glasses at the same time is a real chore, and b) as it turns out, Justin Bieber's 8 Mile-esque film debut will be in 3-D! Just kidding about that second thing. If the eyewear marketer, which will sell the glasses in the U.S. under the Oakley brand, didn't see a potential boon here, it probably wouldn't be producing this line. Still, how big can the demand be? There's no doubt about the content, though, with a boatload of 3-D films like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Tron: Legacy queued up at the multiplex and many more still to come. (The first-ever 3-D porn flick is in the works, too!) TV networks are getting in on the act as well, with sports and nature channels being the first to jump into 3-D programming, and 3-D TV sets starting to make their debuts. Is the stylish Luxottica saying we can watch 3-D and not look like goofballs? Nice thought, anyway.

Madonna to sell shades by wrestling with a hunk in a bathroom

Posted on Mon Jun 7 2010


Some public bathrooms are lit up like Vegas. So, sure, sunglasses might be helpful to protect against the fluorescent glare. Is that why Madonna is sporting shades in an apparently co-ed bog in an upcoming ad campaign? Maybe. But she's also promoting a line of specs she designed for Dolce & Gabbana under the name MDG. In fishnets and a tiny black leotard, Madge is still drawing from her early-'90s Erotica period, right down to the crucifix (not so much a statement anymore). Most of her fashion spots have started to blend together, and this one's no different from any other Madonna-with-hot-young-partially-clothed hunk. (That's the must-have accessory, aside from the shades and shoes and such.) Still, it has a certain stylized appeal in the hands of photographer Steven Klein. Whether it will move sunglasses is an open question.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

The Great Bernie's eye-care benefits will help you see the future

Posted on Fri Oct 30 2009

When you think of an eye-care benefits provider, a creepy fortune teller named Bernie may not be the first association that comes to mind. VSP Vision Care wanted to spice up its image with a new marketing push centered on a character named Bernard Johnson, aka The Great Bernie, who helps people see the future. In this video, The Great Bernie proclaims that he can help kids and grandmas, and that he loves dogs, among other things. "If you're breathing and know how to work a keyboard, please come visit," he pleads, as he points viewers to TheGreatBernie.com. Not sure if VSP meant to make the video look like it was made in a basement using no microphones or professional actors, but it sure has the feel of a cheap infomercial. So bad it's good? You be the judge. Bernie's other medium is Facebook, where he delivers fortunes to the social net's users.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Isn't that Raquel Welch in those Foster Grant reading glasses?

Posted on Wed Feb 11 2009


For those who remember Raquel Welch as a silver-screen seductress, here's a sad development, my dear friends. The sexpot star of such films as One Million Years B.C. is now apparently a million years old herself, as she's now shilling for Foster Grant ... reading glasses!
  FGX International has released the latest TV ad campaign for Foster Grant, and it features Welch reaching out to the elderly and anyone else whose vision could use some extra magnification. The ads began airing on national network cable on Monday, and the message from the triple-threat entertainer is two-fold: Over-the-counter reading glasses can aid in near-vision tasks, and Foster Grant offers hundreds of fashionable styles at affordable prices.
  Naturally, the ad incorporates the eyewear brand's famous tagline: "Isn't that Raquel Welch behind those Foster Grants?" (BTW, we think she still smokin' hot at age 68.)

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp



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