Election Inspires Eyewear Retailer to Get Online and Give Back

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NEW YORK—Election Day is upon us, and the eyewear industry is doing its part. One company in particular, Benji Frank, has had a campaign of their own going on since late September. Though specifically timed, the initiatve is not just a marketing scheme—creators Mohsin Momin and Azim Karedia rooted the brand philosophy in presidential spirit. According to the duo, the company name is a "hip" moniker referring to Benjamin Franklin.

“The reason we chose [Benjamin Franklin] was because he is known as a great visionary leader and inventor, and the one who invented the bifocal,” Momin told VM. "We lauched about a month ago for the debate because we have a presidential theme."

Titled “Framing the Political Debate,” the online retailer has invited Facebook users to virtually put eyeglass and sunglass frames on either candidate and share the image on their own Facebook pages. For every 10 “shares,” the company has pledged to donate a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need. So far, the campaign has reached a substantial amount of success, achieving 1,000 shares on Facebook which will lead to 100 pairs of glasses donated to Operation Eye Sight. The company also works with Sightsavers to assist in funding cataract surgeries, and for regular sales customers are given the choice between the two initiatives.

“A lot of people are having fun with it and sharing," Momin said. “It’s something more engaging that will get them more attached to the effort and to the brand as well.”

Keeping with the theme, a visit to the company website will show that all Benji Frank men’s and women’s optical and sun pieces are named after U.S. presidents, each paired with a “fun fact” relating to the appropriate president. For example, clicking on the “Truman” frame tells browsers that Harry S. Truman practiced the piano for two hours each morning.

“What we want to do in all of our collections is use a leadership or inventor theme. We chose the presidential theme because knew we would launch around this time,” Momin said. “We thought it would bring out the company and highlight the election at the same time.”