Bad Behavior Returns in For Eyes Sequels

NEW YORK The sharply dressed, condescending clerk is back at the helm of a fictitious eyewear boutique in a more than $3 million campaign for retailer For Eyes, which broke this month in mid-Atlantic markets.

In the first of three 15-second spots, the anti-spokesman balks when a shopper tells him she found the same frames at Four Eyes for less. He then stammers that the frames are actually X-ray glasses. When the woman switches her glasses for the new frames, he quickly strips in a crude attempt to sell the claim. She runs from the store, horrified. In two other spots the clerk looks down his spectacles at other customers, only to be caned by an overcharged biddy and terrified by a karate expert.

Each spot ends with the tagline, “Find the brands. Find the prices. Lose the attitude,” which replaces, “Designer frames, not designer prices.” The ads are airing in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Miami and Richmond, Va. Chicago will see the ads beginning in April.

The pretentious salesman, played by actor Michael McMurty, was the brainchild of a five-man team at DeVito Verdi in New York. Joel Tractenberg, now creative director of Tractenberg Advertising in New York, was part of the that team. For Eyes, which had been with that New York agency for five years, followed Tractenberg when he left to start his own shop.

“The first round was such a big success we decided to stick with this guy,” Tractenberg said.

The spots were filmed three weeks ago in Los Angeles, where McMurty moved to begin auditioning for television pilots. “When we were in production, any frame you would freeze on you’d laugh,” Trachenberg recalled. “He has the funniest face.”

For Eyes, a national chain of 130 optical stores, offers designer eyewear at discount prices.