Bausch & Lomb eyes youth with high-priced online push

Rochester, NY-based Bausch & Lomb kicked off a multimillion-dollar online marketing campaign on June 26 promoting?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 — – 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 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. ?

“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.”?

For this reason, life-stage sites such as and 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 [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 began in January 2009 to raise awareness among eye care practitioners. That campaign included print ads and e-mail marketing.

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