Acuvue Contact Lenses along with LinEngage, an experiential marketing and activation agency from the MullenLowe Lintas Group, has initiated a program to create awareness about the importance of eye health and early detection of refractive errors among young students in India. The diagnosis is conducted by trained optometrists and wherever appropriate, students are encouraged to try contact lens, one of the effective vision correction options available today.
Refractive error, defined as optical imperfections that prevent the eye from properly focusing light, causing blurred vision, affects an estimated 30 per cent of the population globally. This percentage is growing as more and more children are developing myopia at early age.
The engagement initiative orchestrated by Acuvue and LinEngage needed a deep understanding of the campus dynamics, youth mind-set, and the sensitive nature of the product. The first such trial was conducted recently across three colleges in Mumbai and plans are afoot to organize it across several more colleges. About 2,000 students have participated and reportedly benefitted from the positive outcome of the program.
Commenting on the initiative undertaken by the company, Vivek Bhatnagar, Director - Vision Care, said, “Anchored by a vision to bring healthy vision to people in India, Acuvue believes that this initiative will help the younger generation become more aware and learn about the importance of eye health at an early age itself. The initial feedback from students in Mumbai has been positive and we are looking to expand this initiative to other parts of the country.”
Sharing the communication objective behind this initiative, Sriharsh Grandhe, EVP, LinEngage, said, “Contact Lenses in India has been a stubborn category with very little momentum. Primarily, there is a big lack in consumer familiarity and misinformation. LinEngage’s specialized approach using technology for engaging audiences, interestingly, has shown promise. We are excited about partnering with Acuvue in the consumer education initiative.”
In India, Contact Lens as a category has not yet taken off and is used by a very small percentage of the population. Few reasons for its poor adoption are:
Potential wearers have very little knowledge about contact lens and they carry many myths about them in their mind.
Optometrists are comfortable to offer spectacles instead of contact lens as the patient does not ask for contact lens. Also, wearing contact lens is a skilful job, which many optometrists do not possess or have low confidence in.
The owners of optical outlets prefer to sell spectacles for two reasons: a) they are perceived to have high margins and b) the owner has the freedom to decide the price as usually, there is no MRP on the product.