Innovation? It’s a Snap.

August 26, 2019

Developing a Snapchat promo activation for Transitions® lenses.


The Basement is one of a number of marketing agencies charged with providing a regular influx of innovative ideas to both push and pull the Transitions lenses brand through its distribution channels. In 2018, we introduced Transitions to the Snapchat Custom Lens, recommending the development of an augmented reality virtual try-on application. They developed the concept and charged us with merchandising it to and through their optical trade channels, which includes optical laboratories, sales representatives, partner eyewear manufacturers and, ultimately, eye care professionals.


Unique to the Transitions relationship is the melding of the talents, expertise and experience of a collection of global and national agencies whose job it is to collaboratively promote the brand, worldwide. The work The Basement did in support of the Snapchat Lens initiative was among the first to integrate Transitions’ new brand ID and narrative both online and through social channels. The result was one of the most successful trade promotions ever for Transitions lenses.



The Virtual Try On.

The recommendation of an eye care professional and proper product demonstration are the most important factors impacting sales of Transitions® light intelligent lenses. Though the agency has developed a number of interactive product demonstrators currently in use with various Transitions web sites, we’d not yet created one for the social space.


When Snapchat introduced its Custom Lens, we immediately approached them about ways to leverage the fun, immersive technology in the demonstration of Transitions lenses. Transitions, in turn, created an interactive experience that allowed users to virtually try on the lenses under a variety of lighting conditions, which effectively demonstrated the product’s ability to lighten and darken as ambient light changes.


Using the Snapchat Custom Lens, users would capture a promotional Snapcode at participating optical offices and retail locations and then launch the Transitions experience on their phones. Our job was to get those codes in the hands of eye care professionals, sell in the program itself and facilitate the introduction of the program by eye care professionals to their patients.



Focusing On The Trade Launch.

Central to the trade launch – in fact, the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the entire program – was the development and successful, mass distribution of a product kit containing a range of promotional materials. A sales sheet, point of sale displays and advertising promotion items were among those developed to merchandise the program and distribute the Snapcode to participating eye care professionals. The Basement developed the kit and 2,000 were produced, with that quantity expected to exceed demand based on the fulfillment of previous, similar trade promotions.


We also developed an informational website targeting trade participants as well as an email drip campaign with specific messaging driving engagement at various stages of the program. Effective, targeted communication, education and driving engagement would be the determining factors in the ultimate success of the overall initiative.




Following an immediate deluge of requests for the custom Transitions Snapchat Lens and the accompanying support and display materials, the promotion had to be prematurely suspended when our fulfillment partner ran out of kits. We recorded nearly 5,000 sessions on the website, with an average time on site of nearly two minutes. That, coupled with the distribution of all 2,000 kits, told the tale of what can happen when innovation meets collaboration, sound strategic thinking and creativity.


The Basement is currently engaged with a number of new product launches and trade promotions for Transitions Optical, the details of which will be coming soon. So stay tuned.

George Evans
George Evans
Director of Brand & Content Strategy

I'm a writer by vocation, a marketer by profession and I've been telling brand stories for nearly 40 years. The channels have changed, but the fundamentals of spinning a good yarn are timeless. Our grasp of this is why I joined The Basement in 2016, following 10 years at the helm of my own shop. We have great stories to tell.