Archive for the ‘Read Our Customer’s Stories’ Category

Zenni Video Contest – Second Place Winner!

The two Second Place winners, of $5,000 each, are Michael Binko of Coral Gables, Fla., and Michael Darling of Valley Village, Calif.
 
Binko’s rap video was utterly compelling to the blue ribbon panel, some of whom loved its outstanding production values and stickiness so much they couldn’t stop playing it and singing and dancing along, to the annoyance of the rest of the panel. (C’mon, guys – no more fights!)
 
Binko, who produced, directed, and edited the film, said his rapper / actor friend Devon Ferguson wrote the music and lyrics and performed the song with his actress girlfriend, Lisa Chandler. Binko said, “I just wanted everyone to have fun and really show off how saving money is such a blast!”
 
Check out the video below and learn how you can “make it rain” with the money you save with Zenni frames!
 

 

Getting to know our winners:

 
Zenni: Did you write, direct, and perform in the video?
Michael Thanks for letting me know about the great news! Regarding our video, I produced, directed, and edited the film. Devon, the rapper/actor and close friend of mine, wrote the music, lyrics, and performed the song.  His girlfriend Lisa of eight years, who is also an actress, was part of the video as well.
 
Zenni: How long did the shoot take?
Michael We shot the video in about eight hours in three different locations and didn’t run into any challenges along the way.  I just wanted everyone to have fun and really show off how saving money is such a BLAST! (because who doesn’t like saving money) :)
 
Zenni: How did you come up with the idea?
Michael Devon and I both love rap/hip-hop music and thought that it would be funny to show people throwing money up in the air to celebrate their savings, as opposed to just throwing it up to celebrate their excess wealth!
 
Zenni: How long have you been shopping with Zenni online?
Michael I first learned about Zenni through this contest, and now I own seven different pairs.
 
Zenni: How will you spend the money (Will you spend your money on new glasses?)
Michael Currently, I’m a 2nd year law student at the University of Miami, so any winnings will go towards paying for my education, and maybe a fancy dinner somewhere.
 
For more information on Michael, you can check out his Facebook page or his website!

You can also find Devon and Lisa on Twitter:
@devon_ferguson
@lisa__chandler
 

Tuesday, February, 4 2014 by

Zenni Video Contest – Second Place Winner!


Michael Darling wrote and directed a video in which his longtime friend Jay Preston played a kind of latter-day Mr. Magoo whose myopia gets him in a lot of slapstick trouble, especially with an ending that packs a wallop that knocked out everyone who watched it – and him! Darling said the inspiration for his video was because his “natural vision is bad enough that I would never consider leaving the house without my glasses, but it was fun coming up with what could happen if I tried.” With his winnings he’s going to invest in a new camera, and he said, “I’ll probably be getting some new specs as well.”
 
Check it out below and be sure not to leave home without your Zennis!
 

 

Getting to know our winners:

 
Zenni: Did you write, direct, and perform in the video?
Mike: I’m Mike Darling, and I wrote and directed the video. I also performed the voice-over during the graphics. My good friend Christopher Bailey composed the music for us.
 
Zenni: Who were the actors in the video?
Mike: My good friend of almost 20 years (since high school), Jay Preston, is the actor.
 
Zenni: How long did the shoot take?
Mike: The production took place in an afternoon, with about 5 hours of shooting time.
 
Zenni: Did any funny or weird or troublesome things happen on the shoot?  
Mike: Jay was a little nervous about the script calling for him to fall down the stairs.  I had him ready to perform the “stunt” until right before we shot, when I let him know that it would be an editing trick that sold the gag.
 
Zenni: What were the special challenges you faced in making this video?
Mike: Of course the bus shot was one of the most difficult to make work.  I had Jay cross the street many times to make sure the action was just right, then waited for the bus to come by so we could have both shots cut together into one scene.  Also, editing was a challenge because we had many more gags that we shot, but that time wouldn’t allow.  The final cut came after hours of adjusting cuts frame by frame to make sure the comedy was well received.
 
Zenni: Have you won in other contests before?
Mike: I’ve won a few contests over the last couple years including 2nd place for the Pizza Hut Hut Hut contest and 1st place for the One Campaign’s “One Thing We Agree On” contest.
 
Zenni: How many Zenni Pair you own?
Mike: Actually, right after the contest I ordered my first pair of Zenni glasses!  They’re great!
 
Zenni: How long have you been shopping with Zenni online?
Mike: I only recently discovered Zenni thanks to the contest, but I’ve been telling everyone about you!
 
Zenni: Full-rim, half-rim or rimless?
Mike: That depends on the day.  I ordered full-rim, but I’ll definitely be buying a few more styles soon.
 
Zenni: How did you come up with idea for your video?
Mike: As a contact lens and glasses wearer, I know the pain of trying to do every day things without your corrective lenses.  My natural vision is bad enough that I would never consider leaving the house without my glasses, but it was fun coming up with what could  happen if I tried.
 
Zenni: Do you have other hobbies apart from filmmaking?
Mike: Yes, I love photography, camping, hiking, playing music, and I play on volleyball and softball teams.
 
Zenni: If you had only two words to describe Zenni Optical what words would you use?
Mike: Economical Quality!
 
Zenni: Why do you wear glasses?
Mike: Contact lenses are my go-to, but sometimes I need a change of look, or just a chance for my eyes to relax.
 
Zenni: How will you spend the money (Will  you spend your money on new glasses?
Mike: Well I’ve been looking to upgrade my camera gear for sometime, so with any luck I’ll be able to invest in a new camera I’ve had my eyes on…or maybe some new lights.  Either way, I’ll probably be getting some new specs as well. :)
 

Questions about the crew:

 
Zenni: Has any of the things you depicted actually happened to you?
Mike: Before my glasses are on in the morning, I’ve been known to trip over couches, drop things near  tables, and it must look pretty funny when I’m trying to read something.
 
Zenni: How did you do the hit-by-the-bus special effect?
Mike: The hit-by-bus effect is actually made from three different layers in the editing program. One is of Jay crossing the street normally, with no bus.  The next is of the bus driving through, with no Jay.  One more layer is Jay flailing his arms which i cut out frame by frame and pushed off the screen.  A little motion blur sells the movement.
 
Zenni: Has anyone told you that you remind them of Jason Lee (we think so!)?
Mike: I’ve only hear Jason Lee once before, but I also get David Grohl from the Foo Fighters, Johnny Depp when my beard is trimmed, but most of all I get Jesus.
 
For more info on Mike, you can visit his webpage here!
 

Monday, February, 3 2014 by

Zenni Video Contest – First Place Winner!

The First Prize winner, who gets to take home $10,000, is Steve Flavin of San Francisco, whose video showing how easy and fun it is to use the Zenni Optical website greatly impressed our blue-ribbon panel.
 
When told he was one of the winners, Flavin, who confirmed that he owns five pairs of Zennis and is currently “rocking full-rim,” said, “I almost didn’t do it! I had a bunch of freelance projects leading up to the holidays, and was feeling burned out. Believe it or not, I finished and submitted it literally minutes before the deadline.” When we asked how he will spend his winnings, he said, “I sure wouldn’t put it past me to order a bunch of new glasses. I’m officially hooked.”
 
“We loved how Steve conveyed so many of the best features of the website,” Varnai said. “One of the great things about Steve’s video is that it shows people who may still be reluctant to order their glasses online just how easy it is. We want everyone to know that they can take advantage of the phenomenal savings we offer, and Steve’s video does the job perfectly.”
 
Check out Steve’s entry below and let us know what you think!
 

 

Getting to know our winners:

 
Zenni: Did you write, direct, and perform in the video?
Steve: Yes, yes, and yes. :)
 
Zenni: Who were the actors in the video?
Steve: Just me and my online doppelgänger.
 
Zenni: How long did the shoot take?
Steve: I spent a few weeks thinking about it and planning, but the actual shoot only took a few hours. Once I knew what I wanted to do, it came together pretty fast. Since I was working independently, I just shot it in my apartment at my convenience.
 
Zenni: Did any funny or weird or troublesome things happen on the shoot?
Steve: I almost didn’t do it! I had a bunch of freelance projects leading up to the holidays, and was feeling burned out. I considered taking a break and not entering the contest. On the day of the deadline, I changed my mind; I figured since I already had an idea, I might as well see if I could crank out something decent by midnight EST (9pm my time). Believe it or not, I finished and submitted it literally minutes before the deadline.
 
Zenni: What were the special challenges you faced in making this video?
Steve: Deciding which frames to include in the video. I actually shot several more modeling shots than appear in the final cut, but the time limit only allowed for so many of them.
 
Zenni: Have you won in other contests before?
Steve: Not recently. It’s been years since I’ve entered a contest of any kind, so this was a fun change of pace!
 
Zenni: How many Zenni Pair you own?
Steve: Five (so far).
 
Zenni: How long have you been shopping with Zenni online?
Steve: I ordered my first pair on a whim last summer. I loved my previous frames and wore them for years, but decided it was time to retire them and try a different look. I was drawn to Zenni because it was affordable, so the risk was low, and I liked the custom options (tinting, photochromic lenses, etc.) and ease of ordering. I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked them in person—and realized I could buy several other pairs for less than the total cost of my previous frames. Eventually, I bought four more pairs (which is when I noticed the contest). I’m officially hooked!
 
Zenni: Full-rim, half-rim or rimless?
Steve: All of the above! Lately, though, I’m rocking full-rim.
 
Zenni: How did you come up with idea for your video?
Steve: Thinking about my photo coming to life and helping me browse the website was funny to me, and the rest of the idea just kind of fell into place. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to do something silly—basically a comic exaggeration of my actual experience.
 
Zenni: Do you have other hobbies apart from filmmaking?
Steve: I enjoy photography—both film and mobile. As you might imagine, I’m an Instagram addict (@steveflavin).
 
Zenni: If you had only two words to describe Zenni Optical what words would you use?
Steve: “Cheap chic.” If I had three words: “Changing it up.”
 
Zenni: Why do you wear glasses?
Steve: I’m nearsighted—although I could just as easily wear contacts or have corrective surgery. I’ve always liked glasses as a fashion accessory; the fact that I need them to see is almost beside the point!
 
Zenni: How will you spend the money (Will you spend your money on new glasses?
Steve: Honestly I’m still sort of processing the news, but I sure wouldn’t put it past me to order a bunch of new glasses. ;)
 

Questions about the crew:

 
Zenni: Your video impressed us all with the way you showed off many of the website’s features. What do you especially like about our website?
Steve: I’ve browsed a lot of other eyewear sites, and Zenni is definitely one of the best when it comes to using your photo to try them on virtually. I also appreciate the clean, simple product photography, and how easy it is to filter by style or color or material. So, basically everything I showed in the video!
 
If you’d like to learn more about Steve and his other projects, you can check out his website here!
 

Sunday, February, 2 2014 by

Zenni Video Contest – Grand Prize Winner!


 

The $20,000 Grand Prize winner is the filmmaking team of Jesse Eisenhardt and Eric Wong, both of San Francisco, Calif., whose video of a baby stealing and abusing his father’s glasses impressed the judges with its implied message that Zenni Optical glasses are inexpensive enough that you can afford to lose a pair. Also, you can’t go wrong with a cute baby. Extra points for the drool.
 
“The baby is my son, Alex, who is 1 year old,” said Eisenhardt. “He constantly wants to grab my sunglasses off my face, and it terrifies me every time that he is going to break them.  So we figured, let’s make a spot that plays off that fear.” Wong, who played the father in the video, said, “When you give a kid a pair of glasses and let him play around, things get hilarious real fast.”
 
Eisenhardt said he’s going to use his share of the winnings to buy a new camera, “and a pair of Zenni glasses for my wife.”
 
Wong said that with his portion of the $20,000 grand prize, he plans “to buy every single pair of glasses Zenni makes!”
 
(With Zenni’s amazingly affordable prices, he’ll probably have some money left over.)
 
“Jesse and Eric really nailed what we were looking for,” said Zenni Optical Marketing Manager David Varnai. “We were completely won over by the edgy humor that conveyed how you can afford to lose a pair of Zennis to a kitchen appliance, since Zenni’s eyewear is so inexpensive. And we all loved that mischievous baby.”
 
Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments!
 

Getting to know our winners:

 
Zenni: Did you write, direct, and perform in the video?
Eric: It was a total team effort.  Jesse and I wrote and produced it together.  Then I directed, acted and edited it while Jesse filmed and colored it.  Doing everything ourselves, we were definitely lean and mean.
 
Zenni: Who were the actors in the video?
Jesse: Besides Eric, the baby in the video is my son, Alex.
 
Zenni: How long did the shoot take?
Jesse: Eric and I shot this all in a few hours one day.  Originally we had two concepts, but once we started getting the hilarious footage of the baby, we completely scrapped the other idea.
 
Zenni: Did any funny or weird or troublesome things happen on the shoot?
Eric: This was easily the most I’ve laughed when shooting a video.  When you give a kid a pair of glasses and let him play around, things get hilarious real fast. He was also doing cute and funny things we couldn’t have predicted too.  We couldn’t stop laughing.
 
Jesse: We anticipated the possibility that Alex would freeze up on camera, but he actually had no issues at all.  Since we had no crew, he probably felt more comfortable to do his thing without being intimidated.  It all went very smoothly!
 
Zenni: What were the special challenges you faced in making this video?
Jesse: The biggest challenges we faced were trying to anticipate what Alex was going to do with the glasses next, and to keep from laughing off-screen during the take!  It also became very difficult to cut the video down to 28 seconds since we had so many hysterical moments to choose from.  Eric did a great job telling the story and keeping it simple and humorous with his edit.
 
Eric:  Jesse might have ‘forgotten’ all the challenges working with his son (oh the love of a father), but it wasn’t easy to get the kid to sit still.  For opening shot on the couch, he just didn’t want to be up there.  He kept getting down, we’d put him back up, and then he’d get down again.  It was a delicate balance to get him to do things that he wasn’t necessarily interested in doing at the moment while keeping him happy.  We’re glad that most things worked out and made for some great moments.
 
Zenni: Have you won in other contests before?
Jesse: We have never won a contest like this before.
 
Zenni: How many Zenni Pair you own?
Eric: I have 4 pairs I found out about the contest one day when I was browsing.
 
Jesse: I don’t wear glasses. Yet.
 
Zenni: How long have you been shopping with Zenni online?
Eric: I discovered Zenni in August of 2013 and was so refreshed to see glasses that didn’t cost hundreds of dollars, so I bought 4 pairs :) .
 
Zenni: Full-rim, half-rim or rimless?
Eric: All full rim.
 
Zenni: How did you come up with idea for your video?
Jesse: We were throwing around different concepts and we thought, how can we bring my son into this somehow?  He constantly wants to grab my sunglasses off my face and it terrifies me every time that he is going to break them.  So we figured, let’s make a spot that plays off that fear.
 
Eric:  It’s the dreaded fear that all glasses wearers have.  And when your glasses cost hundreds of dollars, the stakes are high.  We wanted to play with that yet show that with Zenni prices, it’s not the end of the world if something catastrophic happens to your glasses!  On top of that, kids are undeniably cute and can make for some great laughs.  Add the spectacular death of a pair of glasses by blender, and we thought we might have something memorable.
 
Zenni: Do you have other hobbies apart from filmmaking?
Eric: The Brazilian art of capoeira.
 
Jesse: I enjoy still photography and playing guitar.
 
Zenni: If you had only two words to describe Zenni Optical what words would you use?
Eric: Fun and affordable.
 
Zenni: Why do you wear glasses?
Eric: To see, but adding some style helps too.
 
Zenni: How will you spend the money (Will  you spend your money on new glasses?
Eric: To buy every single pair of glasses Zenni makes!
 
Jesse: To buy a new camera!  And a pair of Zenni glasses for my wife.
 

Questions about the crew:

 
Zenni: Whose child is this? What’s the baby’s name and age?
Jesse: This is my son, Alex, who is 1 year old.
 
Zenni: How many takes were needed to get the baby to cooperate?
Jesse: We tried to film the play sequence in one fluid take because we knew he would get bored fairly quickly.  I basically ran around the kitchen and living room following him with the camera as Eric would encourage him to do certain things (all under my wife’s supervision of course).  We were all trying to contain our laughter as he would bend and maim the glasses.
 
Eric: Aside from the couch shot which we had to do a good handful of takes, Alex was surprisingly good at following direction.
 
Zenni: Was this something the baby normally did with the dad’s glasses?
Jesse: Usually we tell my son to “be gentle” if he grabs anything fragile like glasses.  So this shoot was a one-time exception to that rule.  Hopefully he won’t remember this behavior as he gets older.
 
Zenni: Did you have to audition a lot of babies?
Eric:  No, this was a role specially created for Alex :)
 
Zenni: Did the baby make any special demands during the shoot? No brown M&Ms maybe?
Jesse: Besides one brief temper tantrum, Alex was very reasonable to work with.  No special demands!  In fact, I am sure he enjoyed being allowed to wreak havoc without interference for once.
 
Eric: He demanded respect and he got it.
 
Zenni: Since Zenni glasses are so sturdy (we saw the baby pull the temple arms without breaking the glasses), did they actually go in the blender, and if so, did they stay intact?
Eric: We had a second pair of matching glasses so we would be safe for shooting when these became scratched or broken.  Despite the abuse, the glasses were still in near perfect condition!  There was only one minute scratch on the frame. We were shocked at how well they held up, especially when Alex was bending the temple arms more than I’d ever seen any glasses bend.  I thought for sure they were going to snap, but they didn’t.   I’m still wearing the glasses today.  For safety, we did not actually destroy the glasses in the blender (which wasn’t even plugged in).
 
Zenni: Now that the baby is a video star, is the baby wearing Zenni sunglasses? If so, which ones?
Jesse: Clearly we will have to buy some Zenni sunglasses for Alex.  He earned them!
 
For more info on Eric and Jesse, you can visit their sites here:
 
Eric – www.ericlwong.com
 
Jesse - www.cinema15.net
 

Saturday, February, 1 2014 by

Zenni Made the News!

Check out the great coverage that Zenni Optical got from ABC’s Daphne Munro during her Smart Shopper feature. We were recommended to her by one of her viewers and she found a perfect pair of prescription eyeglasses on our site for only $29.95. She even goes on to say that we provide better value than the competition.
 
Thanks for the great review Daphne!
 
To read the full article, click here.

 

Tuesday, October, 1 2013 by