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January 10, 2007

Kodak Moment

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Good to see a big corporation having a little irreverent fun at its own expense! And what a heroic performance from that actor-guy.

FWIW, I'm a fan of Kodak's digital point-and-shoot cameras. Good prices; nice pix; superb color; excellent digi-cam video (640x480 30 fps with MPEG-4 compression, which in English means that you can fit an hour of passable-quality video on a 1GB SD card); and the best-designed menus in the business. Even I can find my way around a Kodak camera's electronic innards without suffering brainstrain. They're the friendliest digicams in the biz, and for a technical numbskull like me friendly means a lot. Hey, check out the fab price on this very nice camera.



posted by Michael at January 10, 2007


Why poke "irreverent fun" at your own company? Maybe some arts/advertising types and people who confuse irony with thought will find it clever. But most customers won't care, and some people who are serious about photography will wonder why the company is spending resources to produce entertainment videos while the business judgment of Kodak's managers is under scrutiny. Also, for the video to jump on the "digital" bandwagon is just stupid. Lots of companies make digital-photo products now. Kodak's may be as good as any, but not a little of Kodak's marketing cache derives from its long history as a producer of chemical-photography products. Some of these products still exist and are of very high quality, so what's the point of the video actor's Chinese-reeducation-camp zeal to trash the company's history and adopt the latest buzzwords?

Posted by: Jonathan on January 10, 2007 1:19 PM

Jonathan -- I think the vid was made as something to be presented at a trade show or something like that: ie., intended to be seen by other inside-the-biz people. I wonder how it was received. I sympathize with Kodak, though -- I think they're perceived as an unfortunate, once-fine outfit that's been destroyed by tech changes. So I can understand why they'd want to take dramatic steps -- any steps at all -- to change that perception.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 10, 2007 3:48 PM

To me, who still sometimes uses Kodak B&W film, the video came across as showing contempt for the company's history and for customers who appreciate its legacy products. Maybe that's clever marketing. I don't get it.

Posted by: Jonathan on January 10, 2007 8:41 PM

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