Monday, September 11, 2006

CA - Is a Kodak Moment Really Forever

The August issue of Communication Arts is the Photography Annual. Lots of wonderful photographs.

“Is a Kodak Moment Really Forever?” (page 196) by Chris Wall, discusses the challenges of transforming a brand – taking a brand that has seemingly lost momentum and reinvigorating it. Typically this happens as brands begin to cycle down. This issue being the Photography Annual, Wall discusses the transformation that happened with Kodak.

Kodak had been at the top of their market for almost a century. Even though they had invented much of the technology that made digital photography work, they were slow to make the transition and were beaten out by HP, Sony and Canon. They were considered a film company, not a digital company.

Instead of trying to change their image into a digital powerhouse and forget their roots, Kodak took the approach of positioning themselves on the emotional side of the equation. They have tried to position themselves as being integral to all photography. They came up with “the idea of presenting Kodak as a meta and mega gallery, a place where virtually all the pictures that have ever been taken are kept. Magical yet practical. Digital yet emotional.” Keeping with the idea of a “Kodak moment.”

They used lots of snapshots as well as a few historical photos to populate the TV spot, website, cinema trailer, print and outdoor campaign. Their aim was to make an emotional connection with users. “The point isn’t that Kodak has been transformed from a film company to a digital company, but rather that it has reaffirmed with a digital voice that it has always been a company about pictures. And pictures have always been something to be captured and cherished and shared and protected, not tossed away.”

The article is an interesting case-study of a brand that was declining and its attempt to come back. It will be interesting to see if it works in the long run.

Another interesting article in the back deals with designers creating work without clients (Trigger, page 204). It talks about the challenges and benefits to designers initiating their own projects, becoming their own clients, an issue many of us have been looking at and discussing.

An article I didn’t get a chance to read yet (but would like to) deals with fair use of copyrighted material and gives a checklist for designers to go through to make sure they don’t run afoul of the law.


Blogger marydorsey said...

FYI: Arno Minkkinen was the guy who coined the phrase, the "Kodak moment." It got him into an MFA Photography program at Rhode Island School of Design after an interview with Harry Callahan.

As for the article, I'm afraid most people who remember the "Kodak Moment" are my age or older, and it has no meaning to the younger generations (who have the $$$ power).

Arno's web site:

(I emailed him for his thoughts!)

9:26 PM  
Blogger Professor Melis said...

I've always associated the "Kodak moment" "Precious Moments" statues--collected by my grandma and my aunts. There is definitely something about the notion of collections, archives and sentimentality in my view of the Kodak brand. If I represent the people with the $$$ power in any way (if only!) then I would have to say I do not immediately think of of anything progressive when I think of the Kodak brand. I do think of glossy paper, though--maybe that's where Kodak should focus it's energy! Well, that's just my tongue-in-cheekl two cents. It will be interesting to see how things go for the company.

4:07 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home