Every day millions of Americans make the conscious decision to not wear sunglasses or other ultraviolet (UV) protective eyewear. While seemingly harmless, this habit carries serious vision risks, many of which are not known or understood by those who fail to wear protective frames.
UV radiation is often recognized as the culprit for sunburns and skin cancer, but most people don’t realize the damaging impact the wavelengths inflict on their vision. The problem originates with the sun’s unfiltered UV rays.
Just as these rays can burn skin cells, they can also harm unprotected eyes. A full day outside without protection can cause immediate, temporary issues, such as swollen or red eyes, and hypersensitivity to light. Years of cumulative exposure can cause cancer of the eye or eyelid, and accelerate conditions like cataracts and age-regulated macular degeneration.
National Sunglasses Day serves as a reminder that sunglasses are a major health necessity – regardless of whether it’s sunny or cloudy, warm or cold – and spread the word that sunglasses and other UV-protective eyewear are key to protecting long-term eye health.
As the leading trade association for the vision care industry, The Vision Council encourages everyone to always wear sunglasses when outdoors to protect their eyes from the sun's UV rays.
The Vision Council encouraged members and the industry at large to participate by posting on their social media channels using the official hashtags, #NationalSunglassesDay and #SunglassSelfie, and tagging @TheVisionCouncil, @opticalindustry and @VisionOptionsbyTVC.
The social media campaign, including the #NationalSunglassesDay hashtag, garnered more than 137 million impressions and more than 146,900 engagements, including posts from Pitbull, Iris Apfel, Paris Hilton, Green Bay Packers, NASA, the US Secret Service, and more.
“Thank you to all our members and the industry for participating in another successful National Sunglasses Day Campaign,” said Maureen Beddis, executive vice president, Membership & Strategic Initiatives at The Vision Council.
“It was wonderful to see the many ways the community rallied around this special day—through promotions, sales, activations, events and more. As always, our campaigns are powered by the support of the vision care community and we are appreciative of everyone’s participation and creativity.”
To elevate awareness of the campaign and encourage consumers to get involved, The Vision Council distributed a national press release through PR newswire. The release garnered pickup in 383 outlets and reached a potential audience of 169 million.
Additionally, throughout the month of June, “National Sunglasses Day” was mentioned in 521 media outlets, including on The Today Show, Essence.com and OKMagazine.com, reaching a potential audience of nearly 460 million.
In the weeks leading up to National Sunglasses Day, as part of The Vision Council’s recently relaunched consumer public relations efforts, The Vision Council secured several regional and national broadcast interviews for The Vision Council’s Medical Advisors, Dr. Justin Bazan and Dr. Dora Adamopoulos to discuss to the importance of UV eye protection.
Additionally, The Vision Council worked closely with members of the Optical Retail Division to coordinate interviews with member doctors in key regions. To view the interviews, click here.
To make it easy for brands to participate in the campaign, The Vision Council offered downloadable market assets, including new social media images, a bumper video, and web banners, on the National Sunglasses Day website. Additionally, members of The Vision Council had access to a consumer-facing social media content calendar, which included National Sunglasses Day posts, as well as printable promotional materials at a discounted rate through The Vision Council’s new Vistaprint ProShop.
Ahead of June 27, The Vision Council also shared data around consumer sunglass purchasing and wearing habits through its Consumer inSights Q1 2022 Report and the Focused inSights 2022: Sunglasses Snapshot, which includes information on consumer sunglass usage and the respondents’ perception of the health benefits of wearing sunglasses.
To access the reports, visit the Research Download Center here.
Additionally, on June 21, The Vision Council hosted a consumer media and influencer event at a trendy rooftop venue in New York City to further amplify awareness for National Sunglasses Day.
Media and influencers, including editors from Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, New York Post, Oprah Daily, POP Style TV, PopSugar, Real Simple, Refinery29.com, Seventeen, Today.com, Us Weekly, Vision Monday, W Magazine and Women's Health, among others, attended and browsed the latest trends in a “Sunglass Suite,” featuring sunglass and product options contributed by members of The Vision Council.
Optician Sheena Taff was on-site to help guests find the best styles for them. Attendees also learned about the importance of UV eye protection through a fireside chat hosted by Julee Wilson, Beauty Editor at-large at Cosmopolitan and two of The Vision Council’s medical advisors, Dr. Justin Bazan and Dr. Jennifer Tsai. To view images from the event, click here.