Keep an eye out for shady eyewear

By: Kerry Ingram, Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Featured image by Jordan Stephenson

If you’re a college student who has been on the internet lately (aka all of us), I’m sure you’ve seen the abundance of eyewear brands popping up all over social media. From promises that their glasses will get you tons of “likes” in real life, to offering reposts on their pages for more followers, these brands are pulling out all the stops to get teens and college-aged consumers buying their products.

The brands’ usage of social media enticement only makes sense – in today’s world, anyone and everyone can be an “influencer,” providing free marketing for companies through tags, retweets and the click of a “like” button.

Some companies even allow the average consumer with a great enough following to become a “social media promoter,” a title given for free promotion in exchange for free product and/or special discounts. Douglas Rushkoff, an American writer and correspondent for PBS, spoke on how brands succeed in getting free marketing through consumers in the PBS documentary, “Generation Like.” He mentioned the idea that millennials want popularity and attention, and that social media marketing has made that easier, “by giving kids a chance to be a part of the game – fame by association.”

Companies are also aware of the self-interest of consumers. Consumers want affordable products with high quality, and are exposed to more options and deals to choose from thanks to the internet. This creates more opportunities for brand competition, as well as the demand for lower prices.

New eyewear companies have identified this, and are using popular social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, to attract customers with low prices and supposed “designer quality.”

These brands use popular celebrities and social media influencers to promote their products, and encourage regular consumers to apply for promotional benefits, but are these brands advertising deals that are too good to be true?

In this week’s Towerlight “Trendy Tuesday” video, I debunk four popular social media eyewear brands to reveal whether or not they are as trustworthy and high-quality as they seem. Make sure to head over to The Towerlight’s YouTube channel to discover what brands you should buy, and what brands you should block.

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