Kodak Promo, Case study IT'S TIME TO SMILE

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Industry Photo Development
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Live Events and or Celebrity endorsement
Advertiser: KODAK
Product/Service: PHOTOGRAPHY
Worldwide Public Relations Director: Barbara Pierce (Kodak)
Worldwide Public Relations Marketing: Erin Foster (Kodak)
Vice President, Brand Marketing and Communication: Leslie Dance (Kodak)
Global Account Director: Roy Edmondson (Ketchum)
Vice President: Carlos DeLeon (Ketchum)
Vice President: Tracey Maffeo (Ketchum)
Vice President / Account Supervisor: John Blodgett (Ketchum)
Senior Account Executive: Kimberly Pace (Ketchum)
Account Supervisor: Ilana Shenitzer (Ketchum)
Assistant Account Executive: Christina Graham (Ketchum)
Media placement: Kodak BrightSide Tour - 143 Million media impressions - 1 July 2009

Summary of the Campaign
The economy offered little to smile about in 2009. Despite new technologies, people were feeling less connected, as Kodak research discovered; people longed to share laughs, feelings and, yes, photos. So Kodak created 'It’s Time to Smile', a campaign to foster face-to-face connections and demonstrate that personal relationships are as central to Kodak as natural beauty is to Dove. The big idea emerged with the discovery of a little-known movement called 'Brightsiding' - people engaging in random acts of kindness. The team found two 'Brightsiders' at Purdue University, locally dubbed the 'Compliment Guys'- often seen on street corners, doling out compliments for hours to fellow students. Seeing a strategic fit between sharing compliments and smiles, and sharing photos, the team sent the duo on a 'Brightside Tour' to produce compliments and smiles on a national scale, amplified by a blog, a Twitter feed and YouTube. National media - including the Today Show and Fox and Friends- ate up the compliments. Nearly overnight, the tour brought personal connections and smiles to thousands, including fans at a Washington Nationals game, where the Guys broadcast compliments from the dugout. By year-end, Kodak had reason to smile, with a 6% jump in Q4 sales.

The Goal
Goals: Drive visibility, favorable brand impressions and brand engagement. Reach: minimum of 100,000 consumers, 10,000 web site visitors, 30 million media impressions, 500 Twitter followers. Target: Moms, 20-45, and tech-savvy consumers, who engage the most in imaging taking and sharing. Research revealed America needed help connecting face-to-face despite technologies. - 67% reported feeling more loneliness. - Facebook members reported average of 136 friends but only 6 confidants. - 98% said sharing photos makes them feel closer to friends/family. - Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index identified best markets. - Brightsiding identified as budding and lucrative trend; Compliment Guys as potential movement leaders.

Drive visibility, favorable Kodak impressions: - Secured 143 million media impressions, beating objective by 377%. - Achieved coverage on the Today Show and Fox & Friends, top newspapers such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. - The Cassandra Report, a trend tracker, declare 'human warming' trend, citing Brightside Tour. Drive consumer engagement: - Engaged 250,000+ consumers in 10 markets, double objective • Inspired consumers, journalists, and even copycat programs. - Kathy Kemp (Birmingham News) declared, “This campaign could turn into a revolution”. - AdMavericks named it 'favorite 2009 campaign':"Word to Kodak for their subtlety. They make it not about them." - Attracted 12,000+ visitors to BrightSideTour.com, 700+ Twitter followers in two weeks, and many comment, like Lisa’s: “I am going to take your lead and try to dish out compliments daily when I return to work.” But, the biggest compliment to the team of all: Kodak’s 6% Q4 jump in sales.

The team avoided many conventional PR approaches, instead rethinking how to preserve the authenticity of the Compliment Guys as spokespeople. - Pre-tour message-training became about listening to their authentic voice, rather than drilling and indoctrinating them in Kodak’s marketing messages. - In contrast with a previous mobile Kodak product tour, brand visibility for the Brightside Tour was limited to a few strategic spots on the RV, the Guys’ blog, and 'It’s Time to Smile' stickers. - We carefully vetted marketing partnerships, seeking only events befitting of the Guys’ true personality - including a high profile Washington Nationals game. - We built a custom blog(BrightSideTour.com) and created a Twitter feed, tour videos and YouTube posts – all matching the Guys’ quirky, no-glitz approach, and strategically underplaying Kodak sponsorship. - Every Kodak social media channel was used to amplify the Guys’ voices ('1,000 Words' blog, Twitter feed and Facebook fan page).

The Situation

Kodak has been at the epicenter of stirring emotional connections through imaging for 125 years. But, as 'the Kodak moment' migrates from 'moment of capture' to 'moment of share', Kodak needed to forge a stronger link with the emotional benefits of sharing. It would require a light touch and sincere marketing actions to make people smile and share. The Compliment Guys became the ideal partners for Kodak, given their authentic, genuine motivations. In their words, “We just want to make people smile”. Our challenge: help Kodak reap the full organic marketing power of the Guys without compromising any credibility.

The Strategy
We needed a strategy that would directly engage consumers with the Kodak brand in fresh new ways, elicit genuine smiles and overtly amplify the personal and emotional benefits of sharing digital images. Research showed America was in dire need of'human warming' and reasons to smile. The team saw Brightsiding as the perfect organic and emerging trend around which to drive a creative smiling and image-sharing opportunity. The Compliment Guys were a serendipitous find. A wrong approach or spokesperson selection could have made any smiling campaign or tour seem cynical or saccharin. But the Guys were the real thing. They had genuine grass roots appeal with their unabashed, unpolished approach and refreshing undergraduate earnestness. Critical to our national tour marketing strategy was relinquishing control - giving the Guys the unscripted freedom to speak. Kodak’s sponsorship was kept intentionally low key, empowering the Guys to credibly engage thousands in honest, open dialogue.