Being an adult is an inordinate amount of work. When you're a kid, your mom plans all the dentist and doctor and optometrist appointments—when you grow up, you have to do it all yourself.
Consequently, on Monday I scheduled and went to an eye appointment.
I asked the girl who did all the initial tests if she notices glasses people wear. She said yes, and her friends tease her about it, but she didn't seem to mind. I asked the doctor if she liked her job. She was waving her hand around in the air to test my peripherals as she said yes, because she doesn't like sitting in a cubicle all day.
Everyone was very nice. Adult-ing isn't so bad, apparently.
But that's not the point.
I went to a LensCrafters at Macy's, so they had dozens of designer eyeglasses, each section sporting their own particular branding and advertising.
I looked past the Ray-Ban poster several times before I actually read it.
You can see why; it's busy, it's distracting, and it's not perfect. But it's an excellent advertisement.
In a culture that idolizes technology, the desire (and ability) to interact face to face is rapidly diminishing. Crowds of people stand silent, each person plugged in, isolated, staring at a screen. Simply stated, we like our phones more than we like each other. Phones are cool and screen light is distracting, and social interaction isn't always pleasant anyways.
But eye wear is still a priority because without it, so many people (we're talking millions) are handicapped. Eyeglass providers aren't likely to go out of business any time soon, and Ray-Ban is no exception. And while they had the opportunity (and funds) to pay a famous model and take hot shots of him or her on the beach sporting their cool glasses, they chose to push a bigger agenda.
People with "bad" eyes need glasses (or contacts), but Ray-Ban appeals to something deeper than poor vision. Our souls crave human interaction, though media and society both tell us technology is enough. Advertisements like this prove that maybe, just maybe, a few people are noticing that technology isn't the be-all-end-all.
This advertisement has two sides. There's the personal side of the human interaction that draws you in, and once you're invested, there's the dare. The personal side carries whimsy and emotion. Seeing someone who is looking at another person with any emotion (love, anger, hate, jealousy) is arresting, and instantly draws you in. And once you're feeling that connection, you're hit with the phrase, the tag, the challenge:
The photo of the hot model says, "Try harder and maybe you'll be cool like me." But none of us really feel like we actually could, so we quickly forget.
The photo (although edited) that calls for greater human virtues is memorable. It triggers the heart to long for more. It says,
Ray-Ban is making NOT looking at your phone the better thing when everyone else is selling apps, Virtual Reality headsets, and bigger, brighter, waterproof screens. Instead of saying, "Buy our cool glasses, famous people wear them," Ray-Ban says, "Hey, you're looking at your phone all the time. Cool people don't just look at their phones—they look at each other too. They make hard choices, they do big stuff, and they wear our glasses. You can do all those things too."
The world needs people who courageously stand for what matters. Don't be afraid to be one of them.
Advertising doesn't have to be glamorous or overly complex to be good. Two words (four, if you're parsing the hashtag) and a simple picture, and you're thinking about it for the rest of the day. Or week. That's a goal met, for Ray-Ban.
PS. Check out Ray-Ban's full campaign.