When sunglasses and sharp knives share feelings — a Case Study

This story was chosen and published on Medium:


The facts

My husband bought a pair of William Painter sunglasses after getting in love with this advertisement:

I then showed the video in my office, I found it absolutely inspiring. We agreed on the geniality of the campaign behind the ad but I also got this link:

Alibaba Sunglasses

A pair of sunglasses with a hook to open a bottle for 7.29 dollars.

Building trust through quality

Of course the first difference I can state between the two sunglasses is the quality. We are willing to pay money for a product if we know that our money is worth it.

Of course in the ad they are over-exaggerating. The whole ad is an over-exaggeration. Is there such a thing as Aerospace Grade Titanium? I will not research on it and actually it does not matter.

The quality of the ad is already professional enough to let me believe they do care about the customer. It is like a well designed website. If the user has the impression that you care for them so much and you are willing to pay good money for a good website, they are already on the right path to believe that your product will be as much as professional as your website, or in this case advertisement.

The first statement of the ad is based on a common discussion. A lot of sunglasses on the market are just plastic. And you pay a lot of money for a design that do not give you the required amount of quality back. They are made of plastic and the brake. Or you loose it. Or someone steals it.

Reflective experience

Here we move to the second point of the campaign. We all have lived the annoying experience of loosing a pair of sunglasses. Everybody know that. But using those bad feeling to reassure the user that they will get a discount for a new pair is just right. You brake it? impossible. Do you remember? they are made of Aerospace Grade Titanium. They do not brake. You get a life warranty. They do not brake.

But your girlfriend could love them so much that she could take them.

They do not mention the fact that sunglasses are listed among the typical object you could find in a lost and found office. Because we loose them all the time.

And there comes the discount. They do not say: buy one and for the second pair you will get a discount. This would be a boring common marketing strategy. But they are cool. Under the apparent good offer of a discount they hide the feeling of desire. Like:

“It is not our fault if we make the best sunglasses in the world”

They are pushing on our REFLECTIVE emotion. Donald Norman in The design of everyday things divided the User Experience into three grade of feelings:

Visceral, Behavioural and Reflective.

While the Visceral represent a sort of love at the first sight and the Behavioural the good emotion we get using a tool that work the way we expected to or better, the Reflective grade is the most important one to get a user to love your product.

The reflective is the way the object is making us a new (and better) person. Is the way we can think of ourself, reflect our person in the eyes of of our friends and love the way they will look at us being the new us.

We make the best sunglasses in the world. Everybody wants our sunglasses. You will look amazing wearing our sunglasses.

Buy one of our sunglasses and you will be part of all the cool people “sense of community” wearing our sunglasses: the William Painter big family.

Dreams become real. Believe!

Another common argument of discussion is the added price we will pay to all the delivery and manufacturer involved in the process. Somebody will design it, somebody else produce, and somebody else deliver. Not counting the people involved in the marketing and all the people in between.

But this is a youtube advertisement.

Youtube (or the internet in general) is for excellence the free space where people with a dream can spread their voice and make things happen. They are not selling their sunglasses in a shop. Where they should pay a fee to the shop, send an amount of sunglasses all over the world in order to sell just a part of it.

No. They are dreamers. Like you and me. They have a dream and:

“The only way to do a thing is to do it”

Goosbump here:


Do not procrastinate. Do not take excuse for granted. Just believe in what you do and do it. Dreams are for great people. People who dare. People who believe.

Honour your ancestors…

…being innovative, fresh and young.

If there is a thing I learned about families is that thing about roots and wings.

The obviously fake roots of William Painter is a funny way of creating a family history behind a newly branded company. It is obviously fake. And funny. And still create a sense of ancestor and honour and history. In a funny way.

As stated in digital marketing:

“If there’s one type of business that can benefit a lot from digital marketing, its traditional, family-owned businesses”

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

The fact that it is fake make the whole heavy luggage and negative emotions coming with elders taking part of the company just disappear. I mean. We all love our gran-mothers but it is difficult to listen to them as we did in the past, as if they would be the representation of our knowledge.

Behavioural Emotion

if you do not remember what it is just scroll a couple of paragraphs above.

Behavioural emotions are the one we feel using the perfect tool for the perfect purpose. Is the fulfilling good emotion we get from a pen smoothly dancing on a nice peace of paper, or from a sharp knife cutting through a medium cooked steak.

Photo by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash

Nobody wants to cut the steak with a plastic knife. It does not feel right. Making the parallel with the sunglasses we get a sense of chalk scratching on the board touching our old plastic ones. (Or just thinking about them).

We are speaking about the marketing strategy about selling those sunglasses. The final focus of all our action is money.

And the first fear the customer has using or buying something online is also related to money. the fear of loosing it. The fact that people could access to our credit card and get to our account.

It is so easy!

Go to our website and buy them: “it is so easy”. they whisper in your/our ears. Is it really that easy?

People purchsing goods e-commerce online shopping

Let’s be honest. It is always easy nowadays. But if you begin to explain people how to buy your product online you are already supposing the difficulties people will have. And you should not. It is as easy as it is. There is no much need for explanation.

And nobody will steal your money. We are putting so much effort to create this bubble of trust in which you are right now. Do not be afraid. Believe. and just do it. did we said it already?

The take away

I see so many ingredient there that make the product appealing.

-Reflective emotions.
-Sense of belonging to a family.
-There are no middle men or hidden costs.
-Dream are for dreamers: Just do it!
-Honour your ancestors.
-They will not disappoint your expectations (Behavioural Emotions).
-Buying it online is so easy you do not even need instructions.

Coolness as final ingredient

We should not forget the fact that the video is cool. Obviously and internationally cool. And it is just what sunglasses should be.

Yes, for me you can keep the 7 dollar sunglasses with a hook.

I will buy the new me.