Sears Optical sees fresh approach to storytelling


It’s a basic axiom.  If advertising campaigns don’t get refreshed, they usually get stale.  And when ad campaigns become stale, that usually means consumers become less interested in them. The work doesn’t get noticed. 

And worst of all, product sales can be negatively impacted.

For the past three years, Sponge/Chicago has been playing with a cute concept for client Sears Optical, an eye wear unit at Sears that, per a licensing agreement, is part of Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear company.

The ad campaign, dubbed “Don’t Miss a Thing,” leapt out of the gate in 2010 with a TV spot that became something of a hit on YouTube.  Perhaps you recall it?   The one where a woman is about to go to sleep. But before doing so, the woman heads out on to the patio to call her kitty cat in for the night.

Without her eyeglasses on, however, the woman can’t see that what actually wanders in to her bedroom is a raccoon.

It’s not exactly a gutbuster, but it was just amusing and offbeat enough to get the public’s attention and — more importantly — remind viewers that eyewear can be very useful if your vision isn’t particularly sharp.

Sponge has continued to have fun with the concept for the past three years. But the agency’s chief creative officer Paul Brourman, a veteran of the ad biz, began to instinctively realize it was probably time to do something a little different.  Time to catch the public’s attention once more in an unexpected way.

And so he has.

Now, Sponge is taking the “Don’t Miss a Thing” concept in a new direction.  Brourman has decided to tell a story about a couple that will unfold in three parts.


A 3-part sitcom commercial

Yes, that’s right — a trilogy of commercials that involve a man with poor eyesight who’s apparently reluctant to wear glasses, and his wife, who certainly looks to be quite comfortable wearing her glasses and the kind of jeans that show off her shapely figure.

“Tough Guy,” the debut spot in the series of three commercials, takes us inside a department store (familiar territory for Brourman, who once worked on the J.C. Penney account) where the wife is doing the shopping for her husband.  Typical, wouldn’t you say? 

As she searches through stacks of shirts, hubby believes he sees a man behind her eyeing his wife’s derriere. The husband squints just to make sure of what he thinks he is seeing. 

Apparently convinced his eyes aren’t deceiving him, hubby blurts out the line that will no doubt become the “Tough Guy” commercial’s calling card, should it prove to have a major afterlife on YouTube: “Hey chief, eyes on your own paper.” 

The line has a sort of silly, schoolboyish ring to it. But it definitely fits the situation. And presumably the character of the man who utters it.

Anyway, it’s left to the wife to look up from her shirt searching maneuvers to tell her husband the man he’s just told off is, in fact, a mannequin.  Yeah, we realize this tough guy does need some eyewear, as the commercial then quickly moves away from the department store and into hard sell mode with news about a special deal Sears Optical is offering.

But not before we have met the two characters that we will no doubt come to know better as the other two parts of this trilogy unfold over the coming year.

Husband-wife relationship to be continued

As we all know, storytelling has long been a core part of the advertising business.  And with three TV spots to tell an extended story, Sponge and Brourman will have the luxury of more time to delve into this particular relationship between husband and wife.

Of course, it will be interesting to see how Brourman continues to weave the eyewear theme into the story. And to see whether more catchy lines like “eyes on your own paper” will be part of the mix.

But the most important thing is that Sponge and Brourman are working hard to keep the Sears Optical campaign fresh.  And fresh is good.  Fresh is fun. 

Fresh is crucial.

Agency creative credits: Paul Brourman, chief creative officer; Joe Popa, GCD/art director;

Patrick Hoopes; senior copywriter;  Tammy Auel, producer.

Production: Production company, Biscuit. Director, Clay Weiner; DP,  Doug Chamberlain.

Post: Cutters; editor, Grant Gustafson; graphics, Sarofsky.  Music:  Comma.  Audio Mix: Particle, Dominic Morris, engineer.

Contact Lewis Lazare at: