Launching a revolutionary children's eye health product during a time of crisis is complex. With the world off its axis, breaking through with a compelling value proposition requires authenticity and clearly targeted messaging. In August 2020, CooperVision launched its first ever direct to consumer campaign to promote the brand’s MiSight® 1 day contact lenses, its groundbreaking product fighting myopia (or nearsightedness) for school-age children. To ensure we reached the target demographic thoughtfully and on brand, we created a celebrity influencer campaign enlisting Sarah Michelle Geller as the spokesperson. Our strategy was to optimize her reach to tell a complex narrative, given her first hand experience with myopia. With her charming demeanor, credibility, relevant audience and appeal as a mom, we knew Sarah could build product awareness and education on why understanding myopia in children is important.
Our key objective throughout was the introduction of CooperVision’s Brilliant Futures™ Myopia Management Program and launch MiSight® 1 day into the market as the first and only soft contact lens designed to control myopia and FDA-approved to slow its progression in children, aged 8-12 at the initiation of treatment. The campaign aligned to the brand’s KPIs, which included reaching 97.2M parents (with kids between the ages of 8-12) and driving 36K engagements with our celebrity partner content. By providing parents with a path to learn more and seamlessly find qualified eye care practitioners (ECPs) to prescribe MiSight®, we embarked on our goal of establishing CooperVision as the leader, innovator, and category creator in myopia control.
The 2020 back-to-school season was extraordinarily different than previous years. With many competing messages in the marketplace related to health and well being, launching a new product in the category for children required sensitivity yet had to resonate. To further the challenge, we needed to tell a complicated narrative. Since myopia was not a topic often spoken about in mainstream media, our celebrity influencer strategy needed to elevate attention on the subject with easy to understand facts. Simply put, the story needed to be told. We knew this would be well represented by Sarah Michelle Gellar both because of her personal background with myopia (she was diagnosed on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her husband also has myopia) and because she is the mother to two school-age children. This was perfectly aligned to reach our target of moms with children ages 8-12.
The campaign generated digital content and collateral for use across multiple consumer initiatives, and with eyecare providers (ECPs) to create excitement and reinforce the brand and it’s key messages. Sarah spoke about her own family history with myopia, how this could impact her children, the importance of addressing it early on and how MiSight® 1 day is the ideal product to help. Calls to action drove to the branded website to learn more and to find a local ECP near them to make an appointment.
To announce this partnership in an exciting and exclusive way, a special video message from Sarah was played at a virtual media launch event in August where key health, wellness, parenting and eyecare trade editors from the US and Canada were the first to learn about this partnership and the innovative new product. Additional buzz was created by Sarah hosting two days of media interviews with top-tier broadcast, print and online consumer/trade outlets about her personal experience with myopia and why she felt it was important to address it in children. This was supported by a press release deployed with key photo/video assets to help spread news far and wide.
Assets created during the photo/video shoot were whitelisted in paid advertising across Sarah’s own Instagram channel, helping spread awareness to her 3.4M followers as well as promoting through CooperVision’s Facebook and Instagram, extending the reach to parents with children in our age target. Videos of Sarah speaking about Brilliant Futures™ with MiSight® 1 day were created for the vetted ECPs to use and Sarah’s name and likeness were featured in national advertising efforts across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok in addition to our campaign landing pages.
Lastly, 2020 was an arduous year for many. To share the good will, thanks, excitement and pride for the new product launch internally at CooperVision, a partnership announcement and Sarah’s story were posted on the company’s intranet and their owned social channels along with being featured in a weekly highlights email sent to the company’s sales team.
Our vision combined with Sarah’s passion and commitment proved the perfect fit. 31% of moms who saw her social media, TV, or articles went on to purchase MiSight® 1 day for their child! 41% visited the website, 44% recommended MiSight® 1 day to friends and family and 42% researched further online. Overall, we reached and educated 576.5M potential parents through celebrity social and social media placements (493% above goal), encouraged 575.3M potential parents to take action (5,653% above goal), driving 407.5K parents to engage with celebrity content (1,032% above goal).
Sarah’s partnership alone helped us generate over 50 earned placements and 1.86B total impressions. Outlets that ran stories included PeopleTV, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Hallmark Home & Family, The Morning Show (Canada), ACCESS, NBC LX, People TV, Cheddar, TODAY Parents and People Magazine, FoxNews.com and Yahoo! The press release was picked up by 133 outlets, resulting in an additional 115M impressions.
Sarah’s posts promoting the partnership to her 3.4M Instagram followers earned 3.23M impressions and her engagement rate sky-rocketed during the campaign, surpassing her average ER of 2.65% by reaching a high of 5.29% and averaging 4.26%.
The campaign integrated advertising across social platforms resulted in an additional 218.96MM impressions to parents in the three-month timeline, driving 3.35MM engagements. The campaign landing page received 518K page views.
Our strategy proved that with proper planning and platform integration, a celebrity with a genuine story to support a brand launch has tremendous power.