The Best Work You May Never See: The Eyes--and The Environment--Have It In Helios Campaign From Agency CIRCUS!

By

Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, Jun. 7, 2022

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Fishermen from the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius face two major problems: Exposure to the sun is destroying their eyes while plastic pollution is destroying their fishing grounds. 

To address those issues, CIRCUS!, a partner agency of Publicis Groupe Africa, launched the ReSight project for client Helios Eyewear, a brand owned by Mauritius’ leading economic player ENL Group. Helios manufactures fashionable contemporary eyewear.

The ReSight initiative involved local fishermen in beach and ocean clean ups, removing pollution from the lagoon, then recycling the waste plastic into high quality eyewear with UV protection, which was then freely distributed to every fisherman on the island, protecting and preserving both their eyesight and the environment.

Helios is known to actively invest in developing new technologies and has been committed to producing eyeglass frames from eco-responsible materials for several years. In 2020, Helios introduced a “100% Green” line to its collection by recycling plastic bottles. The company approached CIRCUS! for a communications strategy to promote the brand and its innovative and conscious actions.

Through the ReSight project, CIRCUS! wanted to go beyond the mere message of recycling. “Our approach was to engage the Mauritian public through something of prime importance to them: their strong bond with the lagoon and the locals who live by it,” explained CIRCUS! executive creative director Vincent Montocchio. 

Agency creative director Gareth Pretorius added, “The greatest amount of plastic waste is often found on the coastline. Such pollution destroys the corals and the livelihood of fishermen. This community is affected in another way: their eyes are destroyed by exposure to the sun. The challenge was devising an idea that would address the two issues: protecting the eyes of fishermen and cleaning up the coastline. We asked: what if one problem could solve another?” 

The project started with a waste collection campaign. Over 10 000 bottles were removed from the lagoons to be recycled into 2,000 sunglasses. To ensure that the circular economy concept was thoroughly understood, the fishermen for whom the glasses were intended participated in the clean-up activities held in their respective regions. This generated a spirit of togetherness and community pride. 

The sunglasses were distributed over four roadshows in the main fishing villages. These campaigns were marked by awareness sessions on the importance of eye health. Each fisherman had their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist. “We are grateful to Helios and ENL for this immense gift. The sun’s glare and the reflection off of the waves hurts our eyes. It’s like having sand in the eyes. They are protecting our profession by protecting our sight and helping us feed our family”, said France Andy, president of the Mauritius Fishermen Cooperative Federation Ltd.

This case study film--directed by Kelvin Murday via CIRCUS!--delves into the ReSight project.

Credits

Client Helios Eyewear Agency & Production CIRCUS! Vincent Montocchio, executive creative director; Gareth Pretorius, creative director; Kelvin Murday, film director; Karen Pretorius, sr. producer; Danitza Vithilingem, producer; Pranav Chintamunnee, videographer; Nadia Soodhoo, motion graphic designer & editor; Ashnev Soomaroo, assistant videographer; Maneshwar Bachun, motion graphic designer & editor; Vincent Delord, sound engineer; Adrien Hon-Fat, graphic designer.

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