J&J Vision looks to MLB phenom Bryce Harper for new Acuvue Transitions lens campaign

MLB heavyhitter Bryce Harper stares down the camera wearing Acuvue with Transitions contact lenses in a new J&J Vision campaign. (J&J)

Johnson & Johnson is swinging for the fences with its newest Acuvue ambassador. The company has brought on Major League Baseball heavyweight Bryce Harper to star in its new Transitions contact lens campaign.

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In the first in a planned series of videos, Harper visits his eye doctor to get fitted for Acuvue Oasys with Transitions contact lenses, which became widely available April 1, and then talks initial impressions as he warms up for the 2019 baseball season. Harper will wear the lenses all season and J&J will post video updates with him periodically.

Harper, who won the MLB home run derby last year, recently signed a $330 million contract, the biggest free-agent deal in MLB history. And he's still a hot topic as many track his debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. (He struck out twice in his first game Thursday, but hit a home run on Saturday.)

“Like any athlete, he’s looking to improve his performance in vision and we felt he was a really logical fit to become an ambassador,” said Kara Peterson, J&J Vision senior manager, global and North American communications for Vision Care.

The new Acuvue lenses are the first to adapt to changing external light, using traditional Transitions photochromatic technology that change from clear to dark and back as needed. J&J Vision Care worked with Transitions Optical Limited to create the contacts. Since the Transitions contacts sit directly on the eye, the user is not aware of the darkening or lightening as they would be with sunglasses that sit several inches from the eye. The result for wearers is less squinting and better recovery from bright light, said Peterson, who has also worn the lenses herself.

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Along with the video series, Harper will rep the lenses on social media and in media interviews. The hashtag for the campaign is #SquintLessSeeMore.

J&J Vision competes in the $80 billion eye health category in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. It functioned as J&J Vision Care mainly around contact lenses for the past 30 years, but it began a concerted push into broader eye health in 2016. To that end, it made three major purchases in 2017: Abbott Medical Optics, TearScience and Sightbox.