Luxottica, the Italian eyewear conglomerate, has been the subject of controversy for years over what many say are monopolistic pricing practices, including exorbitant markups on its products. Now, a smaller player in the industry, Canadian direct-to-consumer brand KITS, tells the story of Luxottica, warts and all, in a “true-ish” true-crime podcast.
Nothing to See Here: The Dark, Unseen Truth of the Eyewear Industry, a three-episode series created by new agency Frank, is now streaming on major podcast platforms, including Apple and Spotify. It follows a fictional host and producer as they discover where glasses came from and what makes them so expensive. (Luxottica’s brands include Costa, Ray-Ban, Persol, Oliver Peoples and Oakley.)
While the subject matter may be sobering, perhaps even bordering on boring, the approach is not. The podcast is full of comedy and fun meta moments, keeping listeners engaged long enough to learn some of the most shocking facts about Luxottica, including its markups of up to 1,000%.
“I’ve worked inside this industry for years. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. And anyone who’s worked at Big Eyewear will tell you how secretive everyone is about what’s going on. going,” said Roger Hardy, co-founder, president and CEO of KITS. “This podcast is a great way for us to give people the truth they deserve and have a little fun along the way.”
Laura Petruccelli, co-founder and creative director at Frank, tells Muse that a podcast was the perfect way to tell this story, given KITS’ goal.
“We would never be able to educate people on the nuances of this opaque industry through normal advertising. The story is just too convoluted and too secretive,” she says. “Meanwhile, the target audience for the KITS brand is women aged 18-45, and it didn’t take much research to realize that their media time was overwhelmingly devoted to a cultural phenomenon: podcasts about the real crime. So we thought, why not exhibit Big Glasses by meeting people in their favorite storytelling device?”