Arnold, Pearle Capture Visions

NEW YORK In a new TV spot for Luxottica Retail’s Pearle Vision from Havas’ Arnold, a man recounts everything he has seen in his 102 years while the camera slowly pans back from a black-and-white photo of him in his glasses.

Some of the things he has seen are fire engines pulled by horses, an American flag with 45 stars and a century come and go.

The multimedia campaign, the first for the retailer from the Boston agency, positions the eye-care center as a trusted provider. As part of that Pearle is changing its longtime tagline from “Nobody cares for eyes more than Pearle” to “We want you to see more.” In addition, there are three TV spots running in North America, print, radio and the microsite, pearlevision.com/ihaveseen.

“The stuff they were doing before was all about retail and push, push and buy one, get one free,” said Chris Edwards, copywriter and cd. “The client asked, ‘How do we break out of it?'”

At the Web site, in addition to the spots on the air, Arnold is working on allowing visitors to upload their own stories. “We want to make it more of a consumer back and forth. You tell us what you’ve seen and we’ll put your picture up there,” said Edwards.

Luxottica acquired Cole National Corp., which owns Pearle Vision and other retail outlets, in 2004 for a reported $401 million. “Pearle Vision for years only talked about promotions and deals,” said Eric Anderson, vp of marketing at Pearle Vision, Mason, Ohio. “Since Luxottica purchased it, we’ve been trying to polish up the brand.”

While Luxottica, which also own LensCrafters, does not reveal sales figures for its properties, Anderson did say, “Most of the optical industry is fairly flat, and we’re in line with rest of industry.”

The effort to move away from sales-based advertising towards more emotional work began under independent Stern Advertising in Columbus, Ohio, and continues with Arnold’s work. Arnold beat out Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson and WPP Group’s Grey, both in New York, in a review for the estimated $12 million account since late last year.

“You go to the dentist every six months. You replace your running shoes every three months. But people only go to the eye doctor when they can barely see out of their glasses,” said Edwards. “We’d like people to re-evaluate how they think about their sight, and how they take care of eyes.”