Visionworks takes viewers to the movies to test their eyesight

The campaign ‘Subtitles,’ crafted by Leo Burnett, highlights the importance of scheduling regular eye exams

Published On
May 18, 2023
A woman and a specialist investigate something under her bed

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Nobody likes going to the doctor, but they do like going to the movies. 

That was the idea when Visionworks created its latest campaign, “Subtitles.” Designed to demonstrate the importance of regular eye exams, the campaign from Leo Burnett Chicago reinvents traditional vision tests—and they look nothing like the typical eye charts topped with a gargantuan serif “E.” 

The ads, playing in cinemas, feature a series of short foreign-language scenes with subtitles. The audience follows along as a German undercover agent tries to defuse a complex bomb and a Japanese girl locates an oozing creature under her bed. 


But as the films progress, the font size of the subtitles keeps getting smaller and smaller. The spots then cut to a red screen that reads, “This was a test. If you couldn’t read the subtitles, schedule an exam.” A QR code pops up linking to the Visionworks website so squinting viewers can schedule an eye exam with a local Visionworks optometrist.

To accurately recreate the frustration of squinting at ever-diminishing font sizes, Visionworks used data around average cinema-screen size and average distance people sit from screens to choose the appropriate font sizes. 

“Getting an eye exam every year should be a priority when it comes to your overall health and wellness. In addition to vision correction, an eye doctor can detect more than 270 serious health conditions through an eye exam,” said Stan Lippelman, SVP of marketing at Visionworks. “Our hope is to create a sense of urgency for viewers, and we’ve provided a way for them to easily schedule an eye exam after the ads with just a click of a button.”

Launched on May 1, the campaign will also run on linear TV, CTV and social media. It will also run in over 800 theaters in 17 markets throughout the month of May.


May 18, 2023
Client :
Agency :
Leo Burnett-Chicago
President & Chief Creative Officer :
Britt Nolan
EVP Head of Business Leadership :
Mark Burgess
EVP Head of Integrated Production :
Ashley Geisheker
EVP Executive Creative Director :
Brian Shembeda
Creative Director & Copywriter :
Matt McCabe
Creative Director & Art Director :
Krystyn Campbell
Senior Copywriter :
Kevin Murray
Senior Art Director :
Erika Kent
SVP Executive Producer :
Tom Keramidas
Senior Producer :
Sarah Tomick
SVP Account Director :
Sarah Kaminsky
Account Director :
Lindsay Hrack
Account Executive :
SeVohn Hunter
VP Strategy Director :
Lisa Ivy
Strategist :
Sean Logan
Creative Resource Manager :
Ellie Marschinke
President :
Greg Hare
Chief Marketing Officer :
Wendy Hauteman
SVP Marketing :
Stan Lippelman
VP Customer Experience & Digital Marketing :
Sean Breckenridge
Senior Manager Brand & Integrated Marketing :
Jennifer Margolis
Service Production Company :
Executive Producer :
Mike Gill
Line Producer :
Matt MacLennon
Production Company :
Radical Media
Director :
Steve Miller
Executive Producer :
Gregg Carlesimo
Senior Producer :
Trevor Battaglia
Director of Photography :
Eric Schmidt
Editorial & Finishing :
Executive Producer :
Don Avila
Editor :
Nikki Vapensky
Assistant Editor :
Jorge Martos
Flame Finishing :
Jim Annerino
Flame Finishing :
Eddie Loera
Flame Assistant :
Matt Stuchly
Audio :
PXP Studios
Senior Producer :
Joe Naranjo
Senior Audio Producer :
Jason Ryan

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