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Thursday / May 30.
HomemifashionInfluence of Star Power on Optics

Influence of Star Power on Optics

Looking for the next style sensation in optics to stock in-store? Then take a look at the specs being worn in blockbuster movies, the tabloids and on TV. These will be the looks your customers will be asking for as soon as they put down their remote.

There is no doubt that celebrities pull their weight when it comes to product endorsement, and for that matter, placement, in movies. No matter who we, no matter our age or intellect, we’re all influenced in our choice of clothing, eyewear, footwear, and even electronic gadgetry, whether directly, or indirectly, by what’s worn and seen, both on and off the screen.

Think about the impact Harry Potter has had on the sale of Windsor spectacles… or what Carrie on Sex and the City did for the Apple Powerbook G4 and Manolo Blahnik shoes… or what Sarah Murdoch and Pat Rafter have done for Bonds underwear… And then there is Meryl Streep.

When Meryl starred as the Editor of Vogue in the hit movie, The Devil Wears Prada, the glasses she wore were instantly in demand by anyone looking for that edge in their accessory wardrobe. Many an article claimed that “the only thing that shone more in the movie than Meryl was her glasses”. Everyone wanted to know who designed those incredibly sexy specs and where they could get a pair for themselves. Entire stories were written about the glasses, questioning the design house behind the bold, interesting look.

I have very mild short-sightedness and I hope they (my glasses) give me a more intelligent look. Only kidding, I like eyeglasses, I practically have a collection of them”, said actor Johnny Depp

The question of ‘Who designed those fabulous glasses?’ created a lot of noise in many a forum and blog. Design powerhouses Fendi and Chanel were mentioned in a number of sources however, while the answer remains unclear, most agree she was wearing a pair of vintage Versace glasses. Such is the impact of star power combined and a great designer.

Product Placement Sells

As the take up of high-definition digital television increases, consumers have more choice over their programming and therefore ad watching – making product placement all that more important to the marketing process than ever before.

Little wonder then that the world’s leading brands pay massive amounts of money to ensure their products appear in blockbuster movies (or reportedly, as in the case of Apple, supplying plenty of contra products in return for strategically placed product placement). And that they actively pursue high profile actors, musicians, artists, broadcasters and sportspeople to become the face of their brand across expensive television, print and online campaigns.

Such is the consumer’s unquenchable desire to connect with the ‘celebrity world’ that even the least glamorous shots of celebrities snapped by the paparazzi and splashed across the tabloids can have big brands laughing all the way to the bank.

Celebrity Strategies

Of course, advertisers need to be incredibly strategic when it comes to choosing the celebrities they want to endorse their brands, and may even choose a number of famous people to represent the different categories across the range, just in case one of them falls face-first into Betty Ford’s Clinic. While a hip-hop artist will influence a young audience, an Olympic athlete or world champion yachtsman will grab the attention of those who enjoy the outdoors and an international opera singer will capture the imagination of the more ‘sophisticated’ market.

Some celebrities, like singer Elton John, wear glasses because they need to and then make them look ‘absolutely fabulous darling’. While others just love wearing glasses because they think it gives them a more “intelligent look”, like Johnny Depp who has very mild short-sightedness, “I hope they (my glasses) give me a more intelligent look. Only kidding… I like eyeglasses, I practically have a collection of them”, he has said. And, the more than gorgeous Scarlett Johansson, whose black rimmed specs show she is more than a little influenced by working with Woody Allen a few times.

Then, of course, there are the many faces of Woody himself who wears his trademark classic black-rimmed Wayfarers, not to make him look intelligent, he just is.

Justin Timberlake has become a fashion icon for today’s generation. A few years ago, the star of The Social Network launched his own fashion and eyewear label – William Rast – then last year launched his own optical range, which he wears. Although, at the recent star studded Academy Awards, Justin arrived sans specs to compete against the bespectacled Geoffrey Rush and ultimate winner, Christian Bale.

Annette Bening’s black-rimmed specs may be her good luck charm. The A-list star wore them when she won the Best Actress Award at the Golden Globes, but decided to ditch them to walk the red carpet on Hollywood’s “night of nights” … and was snubbed in favour of Natalie Portman (Black Swan).

What’s In It For You

If you’re working in the frontline of an optometry practice, consider who your customers are and how they’re influenced. Then, take note of the styles being worn on the screen or in the tabloids to get an idea of the next big trends your customers could latch on to.

While this is by no means a rule of thumb, it could be a helpful starting point… if your practice is located in an exclusive (yet conservative) suburb you may find that styles worn by the likes of Meryl Streep or Deborah Hutton, or even Kerry O’Brien or for that matter even UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon will appeal to your customers.

If you’re positioned in a middle class suburb, Jennifer Anniston or Hilary Duff will create excitement among your customers. If your store is in, or on the fringes of a university, look to Josh Hartnett or Simon Baker for inspiration… and if your customers are the ‘creative -intelligent’ type perhaps styles worn by Johnny Depp, Robert Joy or Penelope Cruz will be more up their alley.

It’s All Good Fun!

The great news is: celebrity watching isn’t hard work. In fact, it’s a whole lot of fun and it’s a great way to start a conversation with your customers. Use it to your advantage – break the ice with some celebrity gossip, ask your customer whose style they like to follow, show them a few images of celebrities wearing the styles they’re after and before you know it, you’ll have those specs walking out the door.