Kodak Has a General Patton Moment

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Adages was cruising about the web last week doing some pretty heavy research (aka watching YouTube videos) when we stumbled across something called "Kodak-Winds of Change." At first we thought we'd found another Bank of America fiasco-some corporate schlub caught engaging in corporate synergy (aka kissing butt). But this video turned out to be funny-ha-ha, not funny-my-God-is-this-pathetic. The video features an old corporate-looking type who starts off by extolling, "For more than a century, the Eastman Kodak Co. has been part of our lives, our memories and our future," but quickly shifts into a rant that is part "Stripes" and part "Patton." After referring to "Kodak Moments," he says, "Yep, we shoveled on the schmaltz pretty thick ... but that kind of crap doesn't work anymore." He then makes fun of Kodak's past missteps, mentions a couple of key patents and winds up with this prediction: "You were a Kodak Moment once, and by God, you'll be one again."

Blog chatter claimed that this was an internal video made to fire up the Kodak troops and that employees liked it so much that Kodak unleashed it on the world. Knowing that blog chatter can be about as realistic as People's version of Britney Spears' life, we asked reporter Beth Snyder Bulik to check into it. Turns out the video was created by an internal marketing group and Kodak agency Partners & Napier, Rochester, N.Y., for a digital conference. Then it was repurposed for internal town-hall-type meetings.

"You'd never expect it from Kodak," said Betty Noonan, Kodak director and VP-brand management, talking about the video's appeal and popularity. "Kodak has been puppies and balloons and families and birthday parties and God bless us all. It's defined the brand for 100 years and done a wonderful job. But we have to look at puppies and balloons and those visual cues a bit differently," she said.

As the man in the video says, "They're not playing grab-ass anymore." (See more at AdAge.com/digital)

'Shock' funeral not enough to quiet Hachette detractor

Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. may have sent Shock to an early grave, but it hasn't heard the last from Michael Yon. As you may recall from initial Adages and AdAge.com coverage, Yon was the photographer who discovered a photo of his gracing Shock's inaugural cover. The problem was he had never approved such usage and, indeed, had never heard of the magazine. To make matters worse, the pro-military blogger took issue with the Vietnam comparisons in the accompanying copy. He called for a boycott, sought legal action and succeeded in getting some stores to pull the magazine off the racks. Hachette dropped the cover image, apologized and offered Yon a generous settlement, which he refused.

Yon, of course, was pleased to see the magazine fail. But he's not done yet. E-mailing from Iraq, he told Adages: "Shock is gone, but the battle is not over yet for the illegal use of my photo on Shock magazine. HFM refuses to negotiate. We plan to launch boycott efforts against their flagship publications in 2007."

Hachette did not return a request for comment by press time.

Perhaps this explains that weird cab smell

Adages gets a load of bull all the time from press releases, but only when it's literal do we actually respond. Therefore, we couldn't resist checking out the unveiling of the Versus network's cowhide-covered cabs at Madison Square Garden last week, where champion rider Adriano Moraes was on hand to rope in a few New Yorkers for a complimentary taxi trip. But the cowhide was the closest the cabs came to reality. "Those bulls don't give you free rides at all," Mr. Moraes said.

As an added bonus for pun lovers, the taxi creative was headed up by-wait for it-Taxi, a Canadian boutique that partnered with Versus last summer back when it was still known as the Outdoor Life Network. Versus continued to take Manhattan by the horns over the weekend with the kickoff of the 2007 Professional Bull Riders season at the Garden, prompting us to wonder what other odd sports pairings it might come up with next. Deep-sea fishing in Kansas? An ice-hockey showdown in the deserts of New Mexico? We'd think of more, but we have to go practice our one-handed bull-riding techniques for next year's tournament.

Contributing: Beth Snyder Bulik, Andrew Hampp Send fuzzy memories to kwheaton@crain.com
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