Unguarded moments can make for disastrous photo-ops. Especially in smoky nightclubs. And then, there are photographs which are cherished and shared with loved ones.
It is the latter that Kodak wants to see more of, with the launch of the automatic EC 300 - a celebration pack of two free rolls and a couple of new commercials backed with an aggressive marketing strategy.
One of the commercials that went on air late last week opens to a house in the midst of revelry. A 50th marriage anniversary celebration is in progress and the viewers are introduced to the house and the guests through the eyes of a young man, Kodak EC 300 in hand. The MVO says, "Waqt ke haathon se maine churaye kuch pal."
The camera clicks away as grandfather helps grandmother with her sari and uses the opportunity to romance her. The MVO says "Kuch javaan pal," as she hands him his dentures. "Toh kuch jyada hi javaan pal," continues the MVO, as the jovial grandfather shakes a leg with a young lady, much to the consternation of his wife. As he tries to appease his wife, the MVO says, "Kuch pal roothne ke, toh kuch manane ke pal."
Still annoyed with her husband's antics, the lady refuses to sit close to him as the family gathers for the official photograph. Our young photographer coaxes her to get closer to her husband, when she loses her balance and almost falls off her chair. The group breaks into laughter and the frame freezes. The MVO says, "Choti choti palon mein chupi hai badi badi yaadein. Kodak celebration pack do roll ke saath, ab chote badon palon ko bas click karte jaiye." (Comment on this ad)
It would seem that the days of the good old analog cameras are numbered. What with the invasion of camera phones, digital cameras and handycams. In fact, as reported in The Brand Reporter (December 1-15, The Digital Revolution) last year, digicam sales have sky rocketed, triggered off by plummeting unit prices and an increasing desire to share the pictures through internet.
In fact, last year Kodak discontinued making cameras for the US, Canada and West Europe. But Kodak in India clearly has other plans. "Digital cameras and camera phones cater to a very niche audience," said Nandina Ramchandran, senior VP and Capture Business Manager, South Asia cluster "We are trying to expand the category by encouraging people to take more pictures and get into households that don't possess a camera."
With a price tag of Rs 995 and three free rolls to boot, Kodak's EC 300 is being positioned as the real breakthrough in the sub-Rs 1,000 category for automatic cameras. The free film rolls would act as an incentive for customers to click more frequently.
"Not only for posed photographs, which you need for the record anyway, but also the un-posed for moments, no matter what the occasion is,"says Ravi Karamcheti, business manager, sales and operation, Digital and Film Imaging Systems.
This is interesting because the argument against analog cameras are the high film and development costs. The company is said to be addressing the issue of high processing costs.
"But look at the statistics. How many houses in India have a computer where you can see the pictures? And developing digital images are still more expensive than the analog ones," argues Karamcheti. "And nothing can beat the sheer pleasure of holding a photograph in your hand."
It is the emotional appeal of photography that Kodak wants to bank on. The ability of a frame to freeze on those precious, fleeting moments that cannot be recreated, ever.
In fact, the other commercial from the campaign says exactly this. It shows a family picnicking at a picture-postcard location. The couple suddenly seem to get deja vu and dumping their camera with their kid, rush to recreate a moment from their past. The woman sits on top of a boulder, the husband buzzes about, touching up a thing here and there, punctuated with an enthusiastic "Aisa tha!" Finally he starts scattering grains to lure the gulls. A bird does appear and perches itself on top of the woman's head. But before the husband can capture the moment in his camera, it flies off. The voice over says, "Kaash pichli baar inke paas camera hotha…kyunki beete pal phir le aana namumkin hai."
According to Sumanto Chattopadhyay, senior creative director, O&M, the agency on the account, "The 'anniversary' film sets out to let people know that there are a lot of interesting pictures you can take on special occasions, besides the normal posed ones. And thanks to the cost-effective Kodak Celebration pack, you can feel free to take more pictures of these memorable un-posed moments."
But does one expect a boy in the obviously-affluent family use an automatic camera?
The Karan Johar-esque opulent sets lend the idea an "aspirational value" explains Chattopadhyay. Ramchandran argues that the sleek camera also acts as a style statement. "The boy in the film is young, he may not be able to afford an expensive handycam, but would like something to take pictures anyways and the camera looks good too."
The 'beach' film, on the other hand, is made on a simple insight, says Chattopadhyay: There are times when a beautiful moment occurs and you wish you had a camera. "Through the experiences of the couple, we realise that it's impossible to get back a lost moment - thereby highlighting the importance of having a Kodak EC 300."
While Kodak refuses to share any sales figures, it has obviously upped its marketing drives, with a focus on breaking new consumer-grounds and converting existing users to Kodak.
Both the TVC scripts were written by Zenobia Pithawalla, associate creative director, O&M, under the guidance of Piyush Pandey. The film was directed by Abhinay Deo of Ramesh Deo Productions.
© 2005 agencyfaqs!First Published : February 22, 2005