The first children’s story that’s also an eye test
Another powerful campaign consistently noted for its originality, Penny the Pirate has won 35 major international and national awards and was named the world’s best marketing campaign of 2016 in the annual Warc rankings.
Based on the discovery that “one in six kids have a vision problem and for many it’s undetected”, research uncovered by Saatchi & Saatchi revealed the reasons behind this statistic amounted to children’s’ fear of optometrists or the fact that many live in remote areas, far from reach.
To tackle this issue, the idea for Penny the Pirate was born, leading to the world’s first medical tool that tests children’s eye health as you read to them. Made available for free as a book and interactive app, this innovative campaign not only helped to address the growing issue at its core, but successfully positioned OPSM as a global brand committed to eye health.
On track to providing 300,000 children with an eye test, Penny has reportedly led to a huge increase in children’s’ eyewear sales.
Melinda Spencer, VP of Marketing for OPSM says: “We passionately wanted to create a useful tool that helps time poor parents to screen their children’s vision from the comfort of their own home, either through the book or through the app in a fun way and are overjoyed that it has been recognised internationally.”
Saatchi &Saatchi commented:
One in six kids have a vision problem and for many it’s undetected. This is because children don’t like coming into scary optometrists, or they live in remote areas, far from reach. As a brand that’s committed to eye health across Australia and New Zealand, eyecare provider OPSM needed to address this growing issue.
We took the eye test to children by creating Penny the Pirate, available for free as a book and interactive app, it’s the first medical tool to test children’s eye health as you a read a story to them. There wasn’t a standard eye screening tool for children, so we had to start from scratch.
We collaborated with illustrator/author Kevin Waldron, and the Department of Vision Sciences at Melbourne University, to identify three critical tests that would detect the most common vision problems for children, and then integrated them into a story. This resulted in a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved screening tool in the form of an interactive storybook. When books were finished with, parents could share their copy via a “Pass It On” program.
OneSight, a not-for-profit organization, is also using Penny to reach children across remote regions of Australia, helping them test more eyes than ever, because it’s more efficient, accurate and engaging than previous methods.
Penny is on track to give 300,000 children an eye test, which has already seen a huge increase in kids eyewear sales since launch. The app has also reached number one Health & Fitness App in the App Store