ers to print documents and Kodak lab-quality photos at home using premium,
pigment-based inks that were priced well
below other printer ink on the market.
A cartridge of black ink for an EasyShare
printer costs $9.99, while a five-ink color
cartridge runs $14.99. Kodak contends
that when consumers buy its “Photo
Value Pack,” a 4-inch by 6-inch print can
cost as little as 10 cents to print.
“When the EasyShare was launched
last January, Kodak was entering a well-established market with dominant players,” Allen says. “But we had a unique
story to share. Most manufacturers in
the market were almost giving away the
printer in order to lock you into their
ink products. The low-cost printer is
the razor, while the ink was the blade
— prices for ink had become exorbitant.
We believe you ought to be able to afford
the ink to print what you want — a consumer shouldn’t have to spend $75 for ink
The question for the Kodak team
charged with marketing the EasyShare
line was how to drive interest in the story
they had to deliver to get consumers to
understand the difference between their
product and those from HP or Lexmark.
He contends, “How do you communicate
the full story? The challenge was to find
a mix of vehicles — in long-form and
short-form media — and the right balance to make it work. We had to ask ‘Is
there another vehicle that gives us the
opportunity to communicate our total
It was at that point that Allen says
Kodak approached its ad agency partners
at the Kaplan Thaler Group to “get our
heads around the unique selling proposition (USP) of the EasyShare.” Soon after
those discussions started, it became clear.
“This was the perfect opportunity for an
infomercial — it’s a great brand with a
great heritage and the product has a very
clear USP,” he says.
Allen contends that the experiences
of other major companies affected his
decision to take the EasyShare printer to
DRTV. “Before deciding to do this, we
looked at a number of case histories,” he
says. “We looked a lot at Bose, as another
consumer electronic product, and saw
how they sold product and built their retail channel. It was a big inspiration.”
The decision to build an infomercial
Innovative marketing through
direct response television.
Greatest career accomplishment:
Portland, Oregon 503.296.6131