Kodak ups Web presence to put girls in the picture

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The first phase of Eastman Kodak Co.'s five-year, $75 million Generation Y push is to target teen girls with its Kodak MAX Flash one-time-use camera. And that means reaching girls on the Web, or anywhere "where they shop, where they learn, where they socialize," said Eric Lent, Kodak director of marketing, one-time-use cameras and youth marketing.

Although Kodak had a presence on many sites last year in the form of ad banners, giveaways or advertorials, it made a strategic shift this year to go deeper within relevant sites. The first promotion in its yearlong partnership with Alloy Online, which runs through mid-April, lets girls visiting the site (alloy.com) choose names and colors for Kodak's new accessory line for MAX Flash.

The accessories, developed for and by teen girls through various focus and idea groups, are like wraps for the cameras that include lipstick holders, makeup mirrors and shoulder straps. The grand prize includes a year's supply of one-time-use cameras and a $500 shopping spree on Alloy, which sells clothes and fashion accessories via its site and a mail-order catalog.

"Kodak is really harnessing the possibilities that the Web confers to them as a teen marketer," said Samantha Skey, VP-e-commerce and sponsorship for Alloy, noting that by soliciting girls' opinions, Kodak is endearing itself to its target.


Kodak's overall consumer advertising strategy, which uses the theme "Everyday moments" to increase picture-taking, is boosted by the teen push because it creates a new group of users, said David Hardie, general manager-consumer imaging, U.S. and Canada.

The long-term implication is that securing brand loyalty from teens now makes them more likely to use Kodak's other products later, such as its digital cameras and services including its Kodak Picture CD and PhotoNet Online. Ulysses Yannas, an analyst at Buckman, Buckman & Reid, said "You add a new group of users that are not significant users right now," he said, with the hope that they will "graduate to the digital camera."

In addition to its deal with Alloy -- which makes Kodak the exclusive camera brand sold on the site -- Kodak is partnering with Hollywood Records, a division of Walt Disney Co., to sponsor a 20-city "Through Your Eyes" mall tour with teen pop band Youngstown, which began last week.

"This is an image-conscious market. More so than in most markets, the medium is the message," said Michael Burns, vice chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, who oversees Saatchi & Saatchi Kid Connection, Kodak's youth marketing agency. Roundhouse Marketing & Promotions, New York, handles promotions and events.

Kodak isn't abandoning traditional advertising, however. Three new TV spots and five print ads for MAX Flash from Saatchi & Saatchi Kid Connection are scheduled to break in May.

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