“In-Sight” into Vision Care Brands and TV
28 February 2018 • tvsquared
Sandra Smith,
Business Development

A whopping 75% of U.S. adults use some form of vision correction. And this number is increasing due to aging populations, digital addictions and a plethora of lifestyle and environmental influences. Needless to say, the vision care industry has grown too, estimated to reach $100.7 billion by 2026 in North America alone.

As a fast-growing market, competition is fierce and vision care brands are investing a lot in marketing. TV is the largest portion of media spend, accounting for close to $300 million last year. Let’s take a closer look into why the industry invests so much into TV:

Large, Diverse Audience

The majority of the U.S. population deals with vision-related issues – it’s not just reserved for certain audience segments. For example, Baby Boomers are encountering age-related vision problems like cataracts and glaucoma. Millennials and Gen Z are dealing with significantly higher rates of myopia and dry eye too.

As a marketing channel, TV has unmatched reach. The average American watches around 4 hours of TV a day. Boomers watch more TV than they did in years past. And, according to Nielsen, Millennials account for 15+ hours a week. It just makes sense that vision care leverages TV to reach this large, diverse, cross-generational audience.


Traditionally, vision-care purchases were made “as needed,” but this is changing as the customer journey becomes increasingly digital. This is especially the case for younger generations that are influenced by style (vs. functionality) and are comfortable ordering vision-care products online. The success of Warby Parker speaks to this trend.

Where TV comes in is two-fold. First, it’s the ideal channel for driving awareness. For older generations, who typically make offline purchases, creating that recall-ability is crucial. Second, TV drives online response. About 90% of TV viewers watch with second-screen devices in-hand or nearby, which has turned TV ads into a primary driver of search and website traffic.

TV is the only medium that effectively and consistently promotes awareness and drives online response for a broad-range of consumers before, during and after purchases – whether they were made in-stores, at doctors’ offices or online.

The Role of Search

There is a powerful synergy between TV and search, which we’re seeing vision care brands increasingly take advantage of.

Studies show that TV ads can drive up to an 80% increase in branded search, results confirmed by TVSquared’s own modeling. TV-driven search also tends to occur in the minutes after a spot has aired. Those are the moments when consumer intent-to-buy/engage are highest. To take advantage of TV-driven search, we’re seeing vision care companies “sync” TV spots with paid search efforts. It’s a really powerful way to maximize the impact of advertising beyond TV spots.

For those segments of the population that want to purchase products offline, search is still relevant because TV drives search, and search drives local. According to Google, 76% of people who conduct local searches on their smartphones visit businesses within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in purchases. This is important as many consumers still want to physically try on eyewear.

It’s safe to say that TV advertising is vital for vision care. To learn more about how vision care brands are optimizing TV, check out our Vision Care Industry Insights report.