"The demand for cameras exceeded the industry's ability to supply them," says Bill Janawitz, then general manager-VP of Advanced Photo System. "Most of the camera manufacturers-who were not based in the U.S.-wanted to leave the cameras in their markets."
A $65 million global ad campaign from J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, promoting the brand name and the camera's functions began in late April only to be rescinded a month later. It appeared again briefly for the summer Olympics and returned for good after Thanksgiving.
Kodak, which was the most active U.S. marketer among the companies that developed the APS, geared up its own manufacturing and all was in order by winter holidays.
APS made up between half and 70% of all U.S. holiday 1996 camera sales, Mr. Janawitz says, totaling over $120 million. APS film sales-mostly Kodak-reached almost $70 million for the period. Some 4 million APS cameras were sold worldwide last year.
Kodak research found that 61% of users reported taking more pictures with APS, garnering 77% fewer mistakes.
After reassigning Advantix to Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, the brand has a new campaign and will get a boost to $100 million worldwide this year, according to Larry Morgan, manager of the Advantix Tiger Team. After his APS success, Mr. Janawitz now leads up a new undisclosed product.
"We had some interesting learning," says Mr. Janawitz, "The really terrific news is we developed a product people love."