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Reading the Signs: How eyewear pushes courage

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IN MARCH 2007, Ray-Ban, the eyewear icon, told its consumers to “never hide.” On one of its global campaign posters, we see two men, one wearing Ray-Ban eyeglasses, walking hand-in-hand down a crowded New York City street. The setting is in the 1940s, back when male-to-male relationships were still taboo. Behind the couple are passersby, some with disapproving looks on their faces. It was as if it the glasses give the wearer extra power to be courageous and tell their secrets to the world without reservation.

Ray-Ban’s 2007 press release for its “Never Hide” campaign reads: “[The campaign] portrays regular guys and girls living their day to day lives with authenticity, with the courage to express themselves and their unique individuality, which is the most precious thing we have — because the most fashionable thing to be is yourself.”

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The campaign drew support from the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community.

Nine years after its successful campaign, Ray-Ban changes is updating its campaign to #ItTakesCourage.

Marla Imperial-Velez, Branded Lifestyle, Inc. marketing manager for Ray-Ban, said the campaign pushes people of their comfort zone.




Branded Lifestyle, Inc. distributes Ray-Ban in the Philippines.

She said the brand is “refocusing back to its roots” while supporting Millennials and the other generations on their everyday struggles. The new campaign presents six different ways to be daring (while wearing Ray-Bans): open your heart, unplug from social media, reject stereotypes, push yourself, start anew, and face the critics.

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One poster shows a crowded train station where a boy and a girl, both wearing Ray-Ban eyeglasses, are busy talking to each other. Surrounding them are people with their cellphones glued on their foreheads. They are made to look like robots.

Another poster shows a girl wearing Ray-Ban lenses in a boxing ring, knocking out a heavily made-up skinny mannequin. It encourages people to fight “perfection,” those impossible standards set by the society. It would be more encouraging, however, if the girl who was “fighting perfection” was not so skinny herself.

As Ray-Ban launches its newest campaign, it also revamps some of its iconic designs like the Clubmaster, which came in the market in 1986. Its newest version is called the Clubround, which is a combination of two iconic designs: the Clubmaster and Round. — Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman

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