Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pictures make Olympic kiosks worth a thousand words

Check out Kodak's Olympic Kiosks and... Richard Mackson's racing photos.

We hear a lot about how blogs have democratized writing, making information and communication more accessible to both the writer and readers, but it’s also true that blogs and other internet features have had a substantial influence on photographic images, too. People share their output on sites like Flickr, add new photos to their blogs, and link to their favorite photos from another site. Images that once were shared with a few friends are now all over the world. Photojournalists are no longer the only ones recording events for posterity.

The Olympics are a treasure trove of photographic moments: the images are more powerful than any commentary or article. Kodak has taken great advantage of the photo-happy opportunity by sponsoring bloggers who post new images every day. In Bejing at the Olympic site the Kodak building is loaded with kiosks where visitors can learn more about how to develop or download the images they’ve just taken. Young sales staff in white outfits assist customers with glee.

The bloggers are posting amazing images of the games and of their sightseeing in China, along with occasional tidbits about how to get the best shot. Richard Mackson’s comments on his photos make you think anyone can be a Sports Illustrated quality photographer with just a little closer attention to shutter speed and composition. Looking through his album you won’t believe one person could have attended that many different events in such a short period of time. After viewing his bicycle racing photos, I went back to NBC and found earlier coverage of that event so I could catch up with the stories Mackson had covered in still photographs. My favorite part is their promotion of an Olympic Picture of the Day, which ends up on a digital sign in Times Square as well as being showcased by mainstream media.

So what does Kodak stand to gain from all this? The best form of marketing there is, according to Media Post:
There are no plans to use the photos in marketing or advertising campaigns, but pictures and blog posts drive awareness to other Kodak online activities, such as an exclusive Kodak Olympic pin promotion that consumers can find in the online store… Since the start of the Games, Kodak's Web site--including the blog-- has experienced a spike in traffic, but Hoehn says becoming eyes and ears of Olympic fans really means "connecting with our customers in a unique way and demonstrating our innovative products and services."
The integration of web-based activities, local kiosks, and promotion on digital signs is the best way to get Kodak's name back into households. With all the expectations placed on the Olympics, in terms of commercialism, sports, and politics (even though, of course, the Olympics are supposed to be free of two of those things), it’s great to see a corporation like Kodak developing good will while improving its brand image.


Krista said...

Hi Annie. Krista from Kodak. Thanks for the mention. Just wanted to pass along the link to Richard Mackson's blog (the link in the story takes you to a music site). Thanks again!

Annie said...

Thanks Krista -- It should work as a link in the story now, too.