The company last week broke the first ad campaign since unveiling its three-tier film marketing strategy earlier this year. In recent weeks, Kodak also announced a corporate restructuring to facilitate a major refocus on its core imaging business.
The network TV and print ads for premium-price Kodak Royal Gold, the first in the new 35mm film campaign, stress the brand's quality and value. At the same time, they differentiate Kodak from Japanese and private-label competitors in the $3 billion market. Both Royal Gold and midprice Kodak Gold will get heavy support via J. Walter Thompson USA, New York. The third film brand, Kodak's new economy-price Funtime, won't be advertised.
Prices for the films are set by dealers; Royal Gold's price to dealers would be 9 cents more than Kodak Gold, which would be priced about 20 cents more the promotional brand, Funtime.
"Fuji products are right up there with Kodak film's quality but usually sold at lower cost, which is why Kodak is turning to this new marketing strategy," said Michael J. McNamara, associate editor of Popular Photography.
Earlier this month, Kodak Chairman, President and CEO George Fisher said the company was going to spend more on advertising consumer products as part of its refocus on imaging. According to Competitive Media Reporting, Kodak last year spent an estimated $36 million backing cameras and films.
For added visibility, Kodak is expected to use 1994 Olympic speedskating gold medalist Dan Jansen in an upcoming print and TV campaign for its 35mm cameras.
Separately, Kodak has launched a Spanish-language campaign created by JWT Mexico, Mexico City, for broadcast on MTV Latino in Latin America and the U.S. It features Kodak Royal Gold's predecessor, Kodak Gold Plus, and the Cameo line of 35mm cameras.
Kodak outlined a new corporate structure last week as part of its concentration on imaging. The company named Richard T. Bourne exec VP-digital imaging, from senior VP-director of imaging, manufacturing and supply. Mr. Bourne will assist Leo J. Thomas, president of Kodak's Imaging Group.
The Wolfman Report, a photographic industry trade magazine, projects a 5% increase in film purchased this year, up from the estimated 750 million rolls bought in 1993.
Industry insiders say Kodak market unit share has eroded to about 68% over the past decade from about 90%, while Fuji Photo Film USA's share has risen to 25%. Konica and private label make up the remaining 7.%.M