Pearle Vision “Mother’s Day”

Why do I think of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” when I see these Pearle Vision spots? Oh, that’s right: since 2007, via Arnold, Pearle Vision has used “I have seen” as the dramatic, portentous, opening line of its campaign. It seems to echo the cadences of “Mine eyes have seen the glory…” Except there’s no coming of the Lord — instead, kindly opticians arrive to discuss what they’ve seen in helping their patients, um, see the world better.

The elevated language, along with the dramatically clear black-and-white photography, actually works. (The effort is memorable, if exceedingly earnest.) And speaking of slightly schmaltzy in a good way, here’s the latest iteration for Mother’s Day: a spot featuring Arnold’s Pearle Vision client, Luxottica Retail senior director of marketing communications Wendy Hauteman, posing with her very cute daughters, one biological, one adopted. Talk about ramping up the emotion.

She opens with the gut-wrenching, “I have seen tears in the eyes of an abandoned child in China.” Why not just order windshield wipers for my glasses? Later, she says, “I have seen my daughters, born on opposite sides of the Earth, become true sisters. Most of all, I have seen that being a mother is not in the blood — it’s in the heart.”

The writing is beautiful. Her line delivery is a bit stiff. Still, it will swell the hearts of adoptive families everywhere. Its truth is marching on.

–Barbara Lippert