Film Advertising

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by thuggins, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. thuggins

    thuggins Member
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    With the reintroduction of Ektachrome, I have been wondering if the film manufacturers are doing anything to promote film or even get the word out there. Has anyone seen any sort of advertisement from any manufacturer promoting film? I'm not referring to the pop-ups from B&H or Adorama that come up based on browsing history. I'm thinking of an actual advertisement meant to inform and create an interest.

    The closest I've seen in years is from the Lomo folks. But they are not really a manufacturer, and the stuff they put out is more preaching to the choir and focused on their "unique" demographic.
     
  2. MattKing

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    The world is moving to internet based advertising, as so many consumers move away from TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.
    So if you are looking for ads, then you will most likely need to check your phone or your computer.
     
  3. AgX

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  4. trendland

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    If you want to see Film advertising come to me I have tons of magazines from the 80th at home with all Kind of Film and camera advertisment.
    To that period you perhaps remember TV Spots.
    Today Sony is able to pay for TV Spots also Samsung, Huawei etc - not to forget Apple a.s.o.
    Kodak would Also pay for Advertising in Photo magazines.
    But then they can't get profits from Ektachrome sales because it is enormious expensive.
    with regards
     
  5. Wallendo

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    This issue frequently comes up.
    Kodak and Alaris both actively promote their products on Twitter and Facebook.
    Where else exactly would it make sense to advertise? Sales volumes are too low to afford television ads. There are few publications printed to appeal to a diverse film audience in which to advertise. There are very few cost-effective media for promoting film in 2018.
    There may be a market of people over 40 who still own cameras who don't realize film is still actively manufactured. Hopefully some smart marketing person can find a way to reach that audience. Even then, selling film with processing would likely be necessary as it has become difficult to find local processing for those of us outside of big cities.
     
  6. abruzzi

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    IANAMAAM (I am not a Madison Avenue advertising man) but advertising film would seem to have two potential goals. One is to reach existing film shooters and convince us that a hypothetical Kodak Quad-X is better than everything else out there and we should be shooting it. As mentioned above, there are not that many of us, and not any good centralized places to advertise to reach this audience. You also run the risk of cannibalizing hour other products if you oversell the benefits of your new product.

    The second goal would be to get non-film shooters to shoot film. Again, I don't have any market research, but there are not many areas where there is potential growth. Former film shooters that have a camera in the closet? Maybe, but that doesn't sound like a customer that hangs around. You might make some nostalgia sales, but if they have a camera and don't know they can get film in it, they aren't very dedicated, and they don't seem to have the dedication and passion to be a recurring customer.

    More possible growth areas seem to be pro/enthusiast digital shooters. They already spend a lot of digital gear. The are very into photography. Getting them to consider film as a hobby next to their digital gear seems to have potential. You see writers on the various photo industry blogs that fit this mould. The are primarily digital shooters, but like shooting film now and a gain as well. You may look at them as poseurs that shoot film so they can feel artsy, but that doesn't matter, as long as their interest is genuine.

    There may also be the "hipster" crowd (sorry, I hat the term, but..) If I had to guess, it seems like they are bored with the digital revolution (not just photography, but all aspects of digital.) An they are more enamored of things that feel "real." They were raised entirely in the digital world, they've had Facebook since at least junior high, and they can't disconnect, but they want parts of their life to feel less ephemeral. (again this is a guess, based on a very small sample set.) What ever you think of their opinions, they are genuinely held, though I wonder how permanent they are. None the less, they are a potential growth area. I have no idea where to reach them, but I do know that they don't read magazines. I assume online somewhere, because they grew up online, and can't really leave.

    Are there other markets out there where new customers can be found in enough number to justify advertising?

    (As an aside, I just watched an old--maybe 5 year old--episode of Futurama in which Bender, the loud mouth, booze swilling robot, was film photography aficionado. He had a full darkroom inside himself, and the climax of the episode was that even though the Professor had destroyed the photo, since it was shot on film, Bender could reprint it from the negative. So maybe film has a future...)
     
  7. faberryman

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    Photrio would be a good place to advertise, with its concentration of film shooters.
     
  8. abruzzi

    abruzzi Member

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    Yeah, and there are a few film heavy blogs, though I don't know how frequented they are. Places like Emulsive and 35mmc. I do sometimes wonder though if most people into shooting film, are "in touch" enough that advertising isn't necessary. Who needs to be told that Ektachrome is out, at least among people that might potentially buy Ektachrome?
     
  9. trendland

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    The need to told Ektachrome is out is not to inform us indeed - so you are right.
    The need is to tell with intention some more (than us) will hear this.

    The need to talk about Ektachrome from us is not to inform about - because we all are knowing that Film.
    The need to talk about is that some more "wonder about our talk" !
    "What about are they talking" ¿??????

    The intention is to bring others at this point : "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT EKTACHROME THEY ALL ARE TALKING ABOUT?"

    :wink:....with regards
     
  10. jim10219

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    They advertise through social media, forum posts, and bloggers. It’s a smart way to advertise directly to your demographic and save money. Plus the best form of advertising is word of mouth.
     
  11. Arklatexian

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    +1
     
  12. AgX

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    Instax would be a product of general interest. I do not remember any general advertising on it over here since its introduction 20 years ago.
     
  13. Agulliver

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    While I wholeheartedly agree that TV, print, radio and billboard ads are far too expensive for the niche market that film represents.....and I am appreciative of the social media presence of Ilford and Kodak....I do wonder if more could be done.

    I'd be looking at where people tend to buy film. Us people already using film....we also tend to know about new products because we read about them here at Photrio or on the aforementioned social media. But not everyone is as into film as us....it might be worth looking at where these people might buy film and get info, the more occasional users or people who would like to use film but think it's gone. For people who think film has gone, social media might pass them by. But would a display in a shop window be something they'd see? I mean...I live in a town that has a proper traditional camera shop three minutes walk from the train station almost in the centre of town...and people still don't know where to buy film. Because the pervading message is that film is dead, it's gone, you can't buy it any more.

    Any money spent must be done so strategically where it's going to have an effect. We know Ektachrome is back, we've been following it's Resurrection for two years. But when I mentioned this on a tape recording forum people *who were interested in buying Ektachrome* had no idea because they have not engaged with the film shooting community. The reaction was "Oh wow, I'm getting my Nikon FA out of the closet now". They did not know, were not aware....how can Kodak and others help awareness in this way?
     
  14. AgX

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    Exaxtly!
    More so as some camera stores put film at a rather veiled place.
    But my major camera shop has it most prominently, but still solds of classic films are nihil...

    Three years ago one of the the two major german drugstore chains covered the shop windows for some period with transparent foil bearing icons of some prominent items they offer. Those included type 135 cassettes. The last generic hint I saw referring to photo film.

    For years Instax film were set high above on the shelve, because "nobody asks for it". But who would ask for a film for a camera which sheer existance is unknown...
    Lately there was an initiative to bring Instax cameras in sight over here and I saw the respective cameras even in the shop windows at several stores. And Instax film sells now as sliced bread (in comparison).
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  15. wyofilm

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    Ilford has an add campaign on Youtube. Here is their channel link

    https://www.youtube.com/user/HarmanTL/videos

    They are clearly trying to attract first time users to film and also working to get users to look at medium format.
     
  16. OP
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    thuggins

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    Futurama also did a scene where they had an image up and Zapp Brannigan said, "Maginfy that Death Sphere". Kif replied "That's all the resolution we have. Making it bigger doesn't make it clearer.". Brannigan says, "It does on CSI Miami!"".

    A lot of the points brought up here were very good. To clarify the demographic I had in mind, it was the younger folks for whom d!&!+@l is not "new", it's all they've ever known. The generation that put away their real cameras because d!$!+!l was "better" are a lost cause and will never go back. I recently gifted a 26 year old friend a Nikon auto-everything SLR from the mid nineties. This had originally been given to me by a family member who was insistent that he would never use it again because he loved the fact that now "he never runs out of pictures" (watching his vacation shots is physically painful, and the stills are just a lead up to the videos). The camera went with two rolls of Provia, and the deal that he could bring the film back and I'd develop it, and he'd get two more rolls of film. Anyway, I developed the first roll for the guy and he obviously had a lot of fun trying different settings and other things. I showed him some shots from my recent vacation with the Bessa I and he was blown away. His comment, like we've heard so many times, was "It looks like you could step into the picture.".

    As was pointed out above, there is a whole generation yearning for something physically real. Cell phones will continue to take the vast majority of pictures, but there are those who want to be actually engaged and in control of the process. There are young people who want to create, produce art, and engage with a physical object. The Lomo folks have built their whole business around these people. The Impossible Project certainly tapped into an unmet need. There is a documentary about Polaroid where one person makes the point that the last years in the mid naughties, when they sold out the final batch of film, was the highest demand for their films that the company had ever experienced. I just saw an article that Timex has introduced a 21 jewel, mechanical watch.

    The You Tube channel from Ilford is a good idea (although the first video I tried wouldn't play). I'm constantly getting ads from B&H, Adorama, and the evil auction site (which rarely now does auctions) based on my browsing history. It doesn't take much of an algorithm to show you ads for film because you just bought film. What I was thinking of was a concerted effort by Kodak or Fuji, perhaps in conjunction with Lomography, to identify potential film users and show them ads touting the art and creativity inherent with using film. This would be both cheap and easy to do. If they are not doing it, and instead rely on "word of mouth", then the really have no commitment to the future of the product.

    BTW, here is the image the elicited an audible gasp from a 26 year old. Of course, this poor copy pales in comparison to the 6X9 Provia original. Everyone's invited to my house for pizza and pictures. You have to bring your own beer.

    10R Annapolis Royal Boat Repair.jpg

    The Bessa did get comments from some friendly Canadians (which are just plain, ordinary Canadians). One said he had his father's which still had a roll of film in it and wanted to know if it was still possible to get it developed.
     
  17. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    There is no art and creativity inherent with film any more than there is art and creativity inherent in digital. It's what you bring to the table, however it is set.
     
  18. Nodda Duma

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    The art and creativity inherent to film and digital is in the research, engineering, and formlation of both. However, that is rarely - if ever - seen by anyone outside the design teams and perhaps the design reviewers.
     
  19. Agulliver

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    I think the way we tend to use film is with more care and thought directed to the process of taking a photograph compared to digital....because film costs money and cannot be erased and reused. Therefore there is some more creativity inherent in film usage. Many users of both report that they think more about the composition, exposure and other factors when shooting film.

    My local camera shop does have a sign "Bring your film here" out front but their actual display of films is behind the counter. I wonder if it would be permissible for them to make their own banner "Buy Kodak and Ilford film here"? Or would the two companies be upset at being on the same banner? As far as I know it's one of just two shops in town that sell film (the other being Boots the Chemist, last chain store selling film in the UK).
     
  20. ME Super

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    Indeed. I've only ever shot negative film with my 6x6 TLR, but I did have one B&W roll reversal processed. If you really want to "step into the picture," though, I'd highly recommend getting a stereoscope and a Stereo Realist. Dr. Brian May (yes, that Brian May, the lead guitarist of Queen) has one and recently published a book "Queen in 3D." While I confess to using a hybrid process to make the stereo cards (I totally cheat and lay out the cards as a digital file suitable for printing a 4x6 print from, and have an adapter that will let my 4x6 stereographs fit in a Holmes type stereoscope which expects 3.5x7 stereo cards), the results are pictures you feel like you could definitely step into. I definitely had to get my own scanner though - the Stereo Realist's frames are 5 perforations wide instead of 8, and my lab couldn't handle those. On the plus side, now I don't have to pay the lab to scan my 35mm film anymore!
     
  21. OP
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    thuggins

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    I have a Stereo Realist, along with a box of mounts and one of their own viewers. I have long been enamored with stereoscopic images and have two Olympus RC's that I had intended to make a common mount for.

    But after shooting a couple of rolls thru the Realist, the bloom faded quickly. Cutting and mounting the frames is a bit of a pain, but that is a minor inconvenience. The real drawback for me was that you have to completely change the way you think about the composition. With a normal photograph you are projecting three dimensions onto two, creating a scene that has its own balance as if it were framed in an imaginary proscenium arch. With a stereo image you need details that will render strongly in 3D. That means a lot of detail close to the camera, as the effect fades for more distant objects.

    I have seen old stereo cards that render beautifully with a strong sense of presence, but none of mine ever made me think, "That's a lovely image". The idea of printing them on a card to view thru an old type stereoscope is interesting though. I may have to try that.
     
  22. ME Super

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    I feel you. Scanning 58 frames (for a 36-exposure roll) is a bit of a pain, and then dropping the left and right frame of each pair onto a stereo card template and lining the images up vertically as well as horizontally takes a bit of time for each pair. I don't really consider the changing the way you think about composition to be such a big deal. I see the world in 3-D, and the Realist is designed to mimic the way we see, since its lenses are about the same distance apart as our eyes, so you just have to think about composition by not thinking about composition (within reason, of course), and just go with the way you see in real life. Conservative estimates indicate that we can see in three dimensions out to around 1km (0.62 miles), so it's entirely possible to have a stereograph with depth between objects in the distance with a Realist.

    Some have said that you should shoot 3-D with a high degree of depth of field so that the viewer can take their time and explore the image. I try to do this and like the results. One photo I took was rather busy, with lots of plants in the foreground and background. I liked what I saw, so I took the picture. When I got the film back from the lab and scanned this pair of negatives, I looked at them and seriously wondered what I was thinking. As a 2-D image, quite frankly it sucked. I almost didn't bother to turn it into a stereograph. But I went ahead with it anyway, and it really came together as a 3-D image. So hang in there and persevere. You'd be surprised at what looks good in a 3-D stereograph that you wouldn't think about when you're used to shooting 2-D.

    For what it's worth, I took my Realist with me when my son, daughter, and son-in-law, and I went up Pike's Peak in July 2018. The best picture of the whole trip (it was a week-long stay in Colorado) was one of my daughter and son-in-law sitting on a rock at Devil's Playground (about a 2 mile drive from the summit), with the Pike's Peak Highway in the background, and I shot it with my Realist on Kodak Portra 400.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018 at 4:33 PM
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