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Kodak launches campaign touting the power of print

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In an effort to raise awareness of the value of the print medium and its services, Eastman Kodak Co. this month debuted a print and online ad campaign in several trade publications targeted to printers and publishers. Spearheaded by Kodak's Graphic Communications Group, the print campaign is dubbed "Print Is."

"Our vision for the graphic communications world is to be able to drive creativity and drive commerce using visual print communications," said Jeff Hayzlett, VP-CMO at Eastman Kodak. "The more business our customers do, the more business we do."

The ads will run in August editions of Book Business, Catalog Success, In-Plant Graphics, Package Printing, Printing Impressions and Publishing Executive. The online component features banner ads on those magazines' corresponding Web sites.

Syracuse, N.Y.-based Eric Mower & Associates, one of several Kodak agencies, handled the creative. According to Eric Mower Senior Partner Chris Steenstra, "The primary [campaign] message is to communicate to printers and publishers that print is alive and well and has a brilliant future, and to demonstrate Kodak's commitment to driving demand to its customers' printing presses."

Despite all the hype surrounding digital media, Hayzlett said, print "is very important to most people and especially marketers."

The dollars certainly bear that out.

According to Universal McCann's midyear ad spending report, print will account for almost half (47%) of the $290.3 billion in media spending projected for this year.

There are four different creative executions of the ads, and each features variations on the tagline "Print is … ."

In one ad, the tagline is "Print is transporting," and features a woman who by day wears a business suit, but in her spare time rides a motorcycle. She is holding a giant, full-color photo in front of herself that transforms her corporate persona into that of a biker chick complete with leather jacket.

The campaign is flexible enough to allow Kodak to continue to create new tags. "We have an unlimited number of executions with `Print is,' " Steenstra said.

Kodak also created a quirky Web site (www.printambassador.com) to promote print to "print specifiers," namely marketers, C-level executives, commercial printers and ad agencies. It consists of ROI case studies, customer testimonials and research on the benefits of and uses for print in marketing communications.

The site aims to connect with surfers by employing a conversational tone and using hip language.

Hayzlett said he has grand plans for the site to become a significant source of information on every aspect of print. That includes stressing the value of variable data printing, in which printing is automatically personalized using individual customer data.

"We are putting a stake in the ground to show that print is the new interactive media," he said. "With variable data printing today, with all the information you can access about your customer, you can tailor a message to your customer."

He added, "When they are `TiVoing-out' commercials, you have to find a way to get something into their hand and be relevant at the same time. Paper is still a great way to be able to deliver that message. Print makes sense."

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