Fujifilm Launches Panda Web Site

Marketing Effort Collects Online User Data

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Piggybacking a marketing promotion on the wild popularity of the pandas at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, Fujifilm USA has launched a special photographic Web site about the animals.

Photo: Fujifilm
Washington's pandas are wildly popular and celebrating their first anniversary at the zoo.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the arrival of giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang at the zoo, and the new Fuji Web site features up-close photos taken there. Online visitors can also send a Panda-gram e-mail to others -- a viral marketing technique designed to further boost traffic.

Personal data
Panda-loving users can enter an online contest for a chance to win a trip to the zoo by filling out an interactive form with their name, e-mail address, street address and demographic information including their gender, age and the number of children living in their household.

The Panda site is constructed like a large, digital magazine spread with editorial content about every aspect of the life and habits of the rare, bearlike creatures. Included are such sections such as "The Panda Learning Center," "Meet the Pandas" and "Ask the Zoo Keeper." The last explains in words and photos exactly what the animals eat.

$7.8 million donation
Also featured is a graphic of the panda's special habitat -- a zoo structure built with a $7.8 million donation from Fuji. In the coming weeks, the graphic will become interactive, allowing users to click into different sections to see views that even live visitors to the sprawling zoological garden don't get to see.

"For some reason, the plight of pandas has enormous human appeal," said Camilla Jenkins, a spokeswoman for Fuji Photo Film USA. "This brings new consumers to the site, builds our database and introduces people to what's on our site."

Fuji product hype
One link on every Panda page opens a catalog of Fuji camera, film, photo printing, computer and audio-visual products.

The Web site project "is a good example of how a company can use some of its less obvious assets, such as corporate responsibility, to build a brand," said Kathy Sharpe, founder and partner of Sharpe Partners, the interactive agency of Fuji Photo Film USA.

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