Foster Grant Asks, ‘Who Could You Be?’

BOSTON Foster Grant next week breaks a national broadcast, print, online and viral campaign that asks consumers: “Who could you be?”

The positioning line plays off the brand’s iconic campaigns from years past, in which stars of screen, politics and literature posed in ads that asked, “Who’s that behind those Foster Grants?” Those campaigns in the 1960s ranked among the best known in the world.

This time around, celebrities won’t make appearances, said Michael Silvia, creative director at independent Duffy & Shanley, Providence, R.I., which picked up the business last September. “It’s about regular people and how, with a couple of pairs of stylish, affordable sunglasses, I can be a model or a celebrity or a rock star or a hundred different versions of myself, without spending a couple hundred bucks.”

A new logo also alludes to the brand’s history, incorporating a backward question mark as the “s” in “Foster.”

Initial media spending is $7 million. Ads break on Monday and run through July, mainly on national cable networks like A&E, Bravo and TBS. Print will appear in national consumer and special interest magazines.

Foster Grant, which has done little traditional advertising in recent years, had most recently worked with various shops on a project basis.

An attempt to jump-start the brand’s appeal was made by Interpublic Group’s Mullen in 2002. That print-based push featured modern celebrities. One ad, headlined “Isn’t that Cindy Crawford behind those Foster Grants?” showed the supermodel wearing a pair of dark frames.

The client in Smithfield, R.I., was founded in 1919 and operates under the name FGX International, producing Foster Grant and lesser-known brands like Anarchy and Gargoyles sunglasses and Magnivision non-prescription reading glasses.

Ray-Ban, which competes against Foster Grant to some extent, earlier this month launched new work via TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco themed “Never hide.”