Bausch & Lomb eyes 25- to 34-year-olds with multimillion dollar online push

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Rochester, NY-based Bausch & Lomb on Friday announced the kickoff of a multimillion dollar online marketing campaign to promote the US launch of its SofLens daily disposable contact lenses to 25- to 34-year-old consumers. Campaign elements include banner ads, paid search, site sponsorships, content partnerships and a dedicated microsite. Digital Pulp handled the creative, and Ionic Media handled media.

The online campaign, designed to educate and raise awareness of the product, drives consumers to its dedicated microsite -- www.soflens.com – for a free trial offer. After signing up for the offer, the eye care company mails a free trial certificate that the consumer can bring to their doctor for redemption.

The site also features an interactive demo and a doctor locator function where consumers can search for a doctor by ZIP code.

Daily disposables account for only 10% to 13% of lenses worn by consumers in the US, according to Contact Lens Spectrum's “Contact Lens 2008” industry report, published in January 2009.

The campaign specifically targets adults age 25 to 34 and touts the benefits of wearing Bausch & Lomb's daily disposable lenses.

“Once a consumer has established themselves in a career and they are done with college, they are starting to discern among different offers in the marketplace and making more of their own decisions,” said Keir Meisner, director of marketing at Bausch & Lomb. “They are making more conscious choices about the products they are purchasing.”

That is why life-stage sites such as Babycenter.com and TheKnot.com are included in the media mix, Meisner explained: “[We want to be in] places like that where they are going looking for information.”

B&L intends to build loyalty among those consumers who opt-in after signing up for the free trial certificate.

“If they opt in, we reach back out to them with information,” Meisner said. “It may be a reminder to use their free trial certificate. We may also be offering additional promotions on Softlens.com [at a later date]. If they do get fit in our lens today, I want to be sure to talk to them a year from now in order to maintain their loyalty to the brand.”

Meisner said a separate business-to-business campaign to raise awareness among eye care practitioners included print ads and e-mail marketing. It began in January 2009.

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