POLAROID SHOWS NEW CONSUMER PRODUCTS: ONESTEP LINE GETS EXTENSION; CONSUMER DIGITAL CAMERAS SET

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[new orleans] In the first of a number of planned product introductions, Polaroid Corp. unveiled OneStep Express, a metallic green version of its instant camera, at the Photo Marketing Association's annual convention here.

Also at the convention last week, Polaroid said it plans to introduce a consumer digital camera this summer and an additional new camera and film product before the winter holidays.

ERGONOMIC EXPRESS

OneStep Express, more ergonomic than its sister, has a camcorderlike side strap and comes with a carrying bag. It will ship to retail Sept. 1 and get a dedicated ad from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

"The basic OneStep tried to appeal to the middle ground," said Alison Corcoran, Polaroid VP-marketing. With OneStep Express, "We're moving away from the center."

Ms. Corcoran said other colors may also be considered. The price will be roughly the same as the standard OneStep.

While professional digital products drew attention at the show, Polaroid said it will bring out a consumer line by summer.

"Attitudes about digital cameras haven't changed much on the consumer side," said Jerry Noonan, Polaroid VP-general manager. "It's still a very fledgling market, but very important for the future. What is now a very static medium-taking photos, putting them away in albums-will go to taking images into a whole variety of applications."

Still, Mr. Noonan pointed out that returns of existing digital cameras to retailers were "very high" due to consumers dissatisfied with the picture quality.

Polaroid's consumer digital camera plan comes on the heels of Eastman Kodak Co.'s announcement that it would discontinue its DC-40 consumer digital camera, marketed at a price point under $300 and introduced in mid-1995. Because of technological advances, "such cameras won't have long life cycles," a Kodak spokesman said. The digital DC-20, priced at about $200, will remain on the market.

FUN SAVER SPORT

As part of its 800-speed Gold Max film introduction, Kodak introduced at PMA a new extension of its Fun Saver one-time-use cameras, the Fun Saver Sport. The Sport is made mostly of waterproof rubber. Ogilvy & Mather, New York, handles the Fun Saver account, while J. Walter Thompson USA has Kodak's film business. The Sport is expected to receive only limited print support.

O&M executives were in New Orleans to present new "Tall Tales" branding ads to Kodak for approval.

Kodak also announced its own first multibrand promotion ever, tied to "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." Retail materials promise "massive" advertising via Frankel & Co., Chicago, and JWT on network TV concentrated between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

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