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Skype goes to Specsavers

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan May 21, 2013
A neat bit of digital marketing as Specsavers takes its Spectacles Wearer of the Year contest onto Skype.

Call me easily impressed but I'm rather taken by a nifty bit of digital marketing from spectacle firm Specsavers.

The company intends to use a ‘first’ of its kind format on Skype, using the service’s video capabilities to encourage users to engage with its ads.

It's to support the annual “Spectacle Wearer of the Year” competition which has been running since 2007. Entrants are invited to submit photographs of themselves and their specs.

The digital campaign will appear on Skype’s interface and encourages users to click on a display ad or leader board to activate their webcams.

From there they can take a picture of themselves wearing glasses to enter the competition.

Specsavers’ digital marketing manager Tim Langlois hopes the format, created by Microsoft Advertising, will generate the highest ever number of entries to the annual competition.

Langlois says:

Although we’ve been working with Microsoft Advertising for a number of years, this is one of the most exciting, ground-breaking campaigns we’ve produced together. Our strategy was to target environments where users are likely to have camera-enabled devices for the first time, to ensure a low barrier to entry – Skype was a no-brainer here as more than half of its users are utilising webcams.

James Hayr, Microsoft Advertising head of specialist sales, says:

This is the first time an advertising campaign in the UK has used Skype’s video capabilities within a creative solution to bring a brand message to life. Skype’s ability to make more meaningful connections over video means that this is the only platform a campaign like this could have been executed on, outstripping the reach of its competitors.

The campaign, developed by Manning Gottlieb OMD in conjunction with DG MediaMind, will run on Skype until the end of June and be supported by digital display ads on MSN.

It's a nice bit of profile for Skype as well. The service began taking advertising for the first time last June, pitching Conversation Ads.


These are described as appearing:

within the calling window of users who do not have Skype Credit or subscriptions when they’re making 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls using Skype for Windows.

We’re excited to introduce Conversations Ads as an opportunity for marketers to reach our hundreds of millions of connected users in a place where they can have meaningful conversations about brands in a highly engaging environment. Skype is already at the center of meaningful conversations, where families, friends, and colleagues spend time together.

Skype added:

You should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.

The Specsavers campaign will run till the end of June and will be supported by digital display ads on MSN.

If it's successful, will the jeans manufacturers behind the annual Rear of the Year competition follow suit? We can but hope...

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