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By Published on .

Though it hasn't yet announced a formal approach to the youth market, Eastman Kodak Co. is taking a close look at how to appeal to kids.

At last week's Advertising Research Foundation annual conference in New York, Kodak VP-Marketing Carl Gustin noted with concern that only 30% of 5-to-18-year-olds own cameras and that their involvement with photography is "low."

Kodak since last year has been exploring its advertising options through talks with Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising's Kid Connection, New York (AA, Feb. 3), as well as through new upbeat branding ads from Ogilvy & Mather, picturing young people using various Kodak products.

Kodak has been near an announcement for several weeks about a worldwide multimillion-dollar effort to target youths but has released no formal word. It may have not yet reached an agreement with Kid Connection on the actual effort.


"In the computer business, everything's done with a big bang, but this won't be like that," Mr. Gustin told Advertising Age, refering to his marketing history at Apple Computer.

Though Mr. Gustin said Kodak will not be "dumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the [youth] market," he allowed that "kids look the same all around the world, carrying skateboards and wearing baggy clothes. For us to do a unified approach to kids, it'll travel well."

One problem is that "boys think it's not cool-that it's nerdy-to have a camera but it is cool to have pictures because everyone will crowd around to look at them. We want to make cameras cool enough for them to carry."

Mr. Gustin said co-marketing opportunities exist with music and toy companies to build relationships with youth. He added the new Sport Fun Saver single-use camera, introduced in February, has high appeal with young men, who less frequently own cameras than females do.


Mr. Gustin appeared wary of relying too heavily on research; he credited some of the appeal of Kodak's popular "Tall Tales" work from O&M to the fact it was not over-researched.

"Are [marketers] fencing in good, intuitive advertising [by sometimes depending too much on research]? I think so; it hurts your cycle time and your spontaneity. You can't test your way to good advertising," he said, adding that

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