Doug Zarkin, vp/CMO, Pearle Vision

When Doug Zarkin arrived at Pearle Vision in 2012 as vp/CMO, “the business wasn’t moving in the right direction. And that’s an open invitation to think differently.”

A quick check of the competitive set, he told delegates at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Data and Measurement Conference, “told us that we were in the death zone from a brand perspective. We were stuck in the middle, which meant we meant absolutely everything to everybody, which meant we meant nothing to nobody.

“And there was a reason. This brand had five different brand positionings in eight years. We had some decisions to make.”

Did Pearle want to offer a free third set of glasses for the purchase of two? Or did it want to offer a premium product? With the knowledge and support of parent company Luxottica – the Milan-based home of such brands as Oakley, Person, and Ray-Ban, and the world’s largest eyewear firm – “We could go head-to-head with the larger brands in the category from an advertising perspective,” said Zarkin.