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January 26, 1996 - Image 39

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-01-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I'm part of the case and they
know me.
"They see me on TV."

Like the others, Richard Gold-
en aimed to put his personal
stamp on his business when he
took over as D.O.C. president in
1986 and promised customers,
"You have my word on it."
But nobody talks about that.
What people buzz about is his
"Sexy Specs" advertising cam-
paign, which invariably features
Mr. Golden in leather jacket and
riding boots mounting a Harley,
or in designer threads dancing in
what he describes as a Motown
A James Brown impression, he
confided. As a student at Mum-
ford High School and later at
MSU in the 1960s, "everybody
tried to dance like James Brown.
That was the thing."
He said he even met his wife
Shelley on the dance floor when
they were teen-agers. "She was a
great dancer and I was a great
dancer," Mr. Golden recalled.
His latest ad has him dancing
relentlessly. "Sexy-y-y ...." "I can't
go anywhere without someone
wanting to show me their steps,"
he tells viewers. He is then shown
trading dance steps around town
with painters, restaurant cooks,
African-American schoolchildren
and a "hip" white businessman,
one hand in his pants pocket, the
other sashaying across his tum-
Mr. Golden — who turns 50
this year — said the commercials
aren't really about him; they are
about sex appeal.
"The word sex had been used
to sell every product in this coun-
try except in this business," he
"People have different reasons
for selecting glasses. But the
silent question people ask them-
selves — which they will never
say out loud — is, 'Do I look hot
in these glasses? Which ones
make me look sexy?"'
Who can argue?
In three years, the "Sexy
Specs" campaign has helped the
chain raise its market share in
Detroit from 14 to 17 percent, he
said. D.O.C. is now the eighth-
largest optical chain in the coun-
try, with 116 stores in seven
states and $85 million in sales.
The ads, he said, have changed
the way people think about
"When I walk into a room
wearing a cool pair of sunglasses
like this ... " — he removes his
trendy Matsudas and slips on
dark Oakley sport frames —"I'm
making a statement.
"When I go to Aspen ... " — he
slides on a pair of white-framed
Oakley's — "I'll wear something
like this."
"It's hip to wear glasses," Mr.
Golden said. "You're making a
statement that you've arrived." O

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