Optometrists Andrew May and Barrett Martin are singing and strutting to the top of the, um, eye-tunes charts with their video parodies.
Two years ago, May, a doctor at Johnson Optometric Associates in Fuquay-Varina and Garner, got creative. He adapted the lyrics to “My Girl,” renamed it “My Docs” and posted a homemade video to Facebook.
“It got a huge response but didn’t go any further than that,” he said.
May found a collaborative partner when Martin joined Johnson Optometric last year. The pair teamed up and released two music videos on YouTube.
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“It took off right away,” Martin said.
At 27 and 34, Martin and May are the new kids on the block at Johnson Optometric; the other three doctors have each spent more than 30 years at the practice.
“As the young guys in the practice, the other doctors were skeptical,” Martin said.
But that skepticism was short-lived.
The videos have become a marketing tool as well as a way to make long-time patients feel comfortable with the two younger doctors.
“We find that established patients are more willing to see one of us in a pinch,” Martin said.
Dr. Robert Johnson, whose father founded Johnson Optometric in 1950, said he has never had to do much marketing for the well-established practice. May and Martin have drawn him into new territory.
“I am of the generation that’s somewhat challenged with social media,” he said. “I was reluctant to go down that avenue until they did this.
“The response has been phenomenal. Seldom is there a time that I go to a civic club meeting or social event that somebody does not come up to me and comment about what they are doing.”
Johnson, along with the rest of the staff, has cameo roles in the videos.
The most-watched video, “Eyes Eyes Baby,” is a parody of the Vanilla Ice classic “Ice Ice Baby.” The spoof has been viewed more than 12,000 times on YouTube. Also popular are “Let ’Em Go!” and “Les Miser-Eyes.”
“They appeal to young and old,” May said of the videos. “Everyone’s been to the eye doctor.”
Their eighth music video, “The History of Eye Tunes,” a parody of eye-related rock songs, will be released this week.
The videos are shot in the office during lunch breaks or after hours; a staff member serves as videographer. May does the production work on his iPad using iMovie and Garage Band apps.
Although the doctors reserve their singing and dancing for non-working hours, they say the videos are often the first topic of conversation with patients.
“It breaks down walls and makes it more fun when patients come in and discuss things other than their eyes,” Martin said. “It makes our job fun to come to every day.”
May said the relationships with patients have improved.
“It helps us get to know our patients better,” he said. “And that’s my favorite part of being a doctor.”
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