Silver screen preview at Optometry’s Meeting®
Optometry attained VIP status during the preview of the latest public service announcement (PSA) video designed for eye-popping results regarding the risks of illegally procured decorative contact lenses.
We're hoping to get people's attention.
The AOA House of Delegates at the 117th Annual AOA Congress & 44th Annual AOSA Conference: Optometry's Meeting® in Philadelphia played the part of a Hollywood theater with the member-exclusive preview of the edgy, 3-minute clip—fruits of a collaborative effort between the AOA, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC).
The FDA decided it was a testimony to the importance of this collaboration to preview the campaign at the AOA House of Delegates. The campaign will include a website designed to provide PSA viewers with additional resources.
Eyes on decorative lens dangers
The first-of-its-kind PSA campaign elicits the "horrors" of ocular damage with messages from the FDA and makeup effects artists from the film and television industry.
A shorter, 30-second clip debuted in April. The excerpt featured AOA member Helene Clayton-Jeter, O.D., FDA Health Programs Coordinator in the Commissioner's Office of Health and Constituent Affairs, discussing the risks of improper lens wear and the necessity of visiting a licensed eye care professional.
"This is an important campaign that draws attention to a critical public health issue," Dr. Clayton-Jeter says. "We want people to understand the very real dangers of purchasing and using decorative contact lenses that are obtained without a valid prescription."
The new video takes a more dramatic tone, with striking photos of eye damage and extended commentary from eye care professionals and special effects artists. The PSA project team hopes the unique, popular genre and imagery will grab the attention of youth more so than a generic PSA.
"We're hoping to get people's attention," says Michael Dueñas, AOA chief public health officer.
With the Hollywood PSA script-written by Dueñas daughter, Jordan Dueñas, story editor for CBS' Big Brother-in hand and with secured backing from TearLabTM, an entirely new national program, branded by the AOA, EIC, and FDA, is set to air, anchored by these edgy and precisely targeted national PSAs.
Success in partnership
The campaign is an important chance for the AOA to promote ocular health issues like never before, and it's an opportunity that couldn't have happened without collaborative insight. While the AOA and FDA have partnered in the past, this represented a first with the EIC, a nonprofit that provides awareness of health and social issues by encouraging accurate depiction of such issues in film and TV.
Marie Gallo Dyak, EIC executive vice president, says this is a chance to make a positive impact given the unique position the entertainment industry has in reaching young adults.
"We are collaborating not only with eye care professionals, but also with the makeup artists who create the on-screen images with professional actors," Dyak states. "This elevates the conversation around eye care when using decorative lenses on and off the screen."
The campaign is an exciting outgrowth of the work the AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section has been leading with the FDA as well as the public, alerting them to the dangers of illegal contact lenses.
Stay connected with Optometry's Meeting
No matter how far removed you may be from Philadelphia this week, you can stay connected with the latest happenings at Optometry's Meeting.
Visit aoa.org/news for up-to-date coverage throughout the conference, including daily web articles and photos.