Marketing Campaign Case Studies

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Although Electronic Data Systems (EDS), the Plano, Texas–based company founded by H. Ross Perot in 1962, was the acknowledged inventor of the information technology (IT) services industry, by the end of the twentieth century EDS, despite continued growth, had fallen behind its competitors—especially regarding its public image. To correct that, EDS chose Fallon McElligott (later Fallon Worldwide), an independent Minneapolis ad agency, as its lead agency in May 1999. Fallon, in conjunction with new corporate management at EDS, saw its mission as changing the EDS image not only with respect to the company’s present and future customers but also for EDS employees, whose morale was low. The ad campaign set out to do this by creating brand awareness where either none had existed or the awareness had petrified over the years.
‘‘Cat Herders’’ (the name applies to the initial television spot and the campaign), which played off the industry expression ‘‘it’s like herding cats,’’ served both these purposes. It gave EDS employees an image that was serious, despite the humor of the commercial, and it highlighted EDS’s problem-solving capabilities for its customers. The initial campaign used television, print, the Internet, and the COMDEX trade show at a cost of approximately $8 million. The campaign was presented as a trilogy. The first television spot, ‘‘Cat Herders,’’ was a huge success, while the second and third spots, ‘‘Airplane’’ and ‘‘Running with the Squirrels,’’ were eye-catching follow-ups but lacked the impact of the initial spot.
The ‘‘Cat Herders’’ spot ran through 2001 and won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award nomination. EDS also enjoyed an improvement in employee morale and corporate image, along with new contracts and acquisitions. In 2000 EDS reported fourth-quarter earnings of $5.2 billion, a 5 percent increase from the previous year and a new quarterly high for the company.

Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, EDS experienced phenomenal growth and was the recognized leader in the IT services industry, enjoying government, military, and commercial contracts. In 1984 EDS became a division of General Motors (GM), and three years later, when EDS celebrated its 25th anniversary, it reported global revenues of $4.4 billion. In 1996 EDS severed its relationship with GM and once again became an independent company. The 1990s, which saw the rise of the dot-com businesses, was a decade in which EDS slipped behind newer competitors in the race for customers. Although EDS expanded globally throughout the decade, its image was that of a lumbering dinosaur whose primary ties were to the military. In an October 2000 article, Associated Press writer David Koenig quoted then EDS president and chief operating officer Jeffrey M. Heller on the company’s decline. ‘‘By ‘96,’’ Heller said, ‘‘technology had changed and skills had changed. We didn’t change fast enough.’’ Koenig noted that 1996 was also the year that IBM overtook EDS as leader in the IT services industry, though the computer giant had only been in the industry a few years.
Events leading to the EDS ad campaign trilogy occurred quickly in 1999. In January Richard Brown was named chairman and CEO. Fallon was chosen as lead agency, and Don Uzzi, named marketer of the year in 1995, came on board. Almost from the beginning Uzzi injected a bold style into staid EDS when he invited broadcast and print reporters to EDS’s Plano headquarters to witness the company’s handling of the Y2K transition. It was a successful PR move that was topped only by the ad campaign.

With the ad campaign itself, EDS relied again on the press to help get its message across. Fallon, in its Brief of Effectiveness (submitted to the EFFIE Awards committee), stated, ‘‘We were after the editorial staff at key business and IT vehicles such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, ZDNet, etc. For them, EDS represented the Old Economy in a changed world. Reporters typically ignored or dismissed EDS as a company with little news value.’’ Other groups targeted by the ad campaign were technology decision makers and EDS employees and possible recruits. The first group consisted of company IT directors, marketing directors of e-commerce divisions, and top-level corporate executives: CEOs, COOs, and CIOs. The second group, employees and recruits, was targeted to reinvigorate corporate culture at EDS.

No company, even one that essentially invented an industry as EDS did, could remain without competitors for long. While EDS, especially during the Perot years, had successfully fended off challengers in the IT industry and grown into a multi-billion-dollar business, others sought to carve their own niches in the fast-growing IT services industry. Most notable among EDS’s competitors was top computer hardware manufacturer IBM and its computer services division, IBM Global Services. Despite being the industry leader, IBM, too, suffered from a somewhat stodgy image. The firm tried to soften and humanize its reputation with a $100 million branding campaign in 1995. Entitled ‘‘Subtitles,’’ the campaign emphasized IBM’s global reach and power by featuring people in different countries using IBM products. In the television spots the actors spoke in their native tongues, and subtitles appeared on the screen. A strong element of humor put a positive spin on IBM’s international dominance.
EDS’s market share was also cut into by such startup companies as Scient Corp., founded in 1997 in San Francisco; then New York–based Razorfish (now known as Avenue A/Razorfish and headquartered in Seattle), which was founded in 1995; and Viant Corp. of Boston, originally Silicon Valley Internet Partners. Though each of these companies experienced its own troubles when the dot-com bubble burst, at the time they were viewed as hipper and more nimble—able to solve technology problems that were arising in the new information age that had come to fruition in the 1990s.

The first spot, ‘‘Cat Herders,’’ set the tone for the trilogy. It provided a humorously visual description of the well-known phrase ‘‘it’s like herding cats.’’ In Silicon Valley parlance this phrase had come to mean working on extremely hard technology problems. The spot showed range-hardened cowboys on the trail, but instead of cattle they herded cats across a river. The visual united the new (Silicon Valley lingo) with the established (an image of a cowboy—rather fitting for a company located in Texas). It also gave EDS’s employees a new identity and feeling of self-worth. As ‘‘cat herders’’ they were the tech people who could get anything done. Brand identification for viewers was provided by a final voice-over, which intoned, ‘‘EDS, managing the complexities of e-business.’’
The ‘‘Cat Herders’’ commercial made its debut in the most glamorous, and perhaps most expensive, of all television advertising venues, the Super Bowl. It aired on January 30, 2000, during Super Bowl XXXIV. EDS and Fallon chose to show the commercial during major televised sporting events, noting that the target group of technology decision makers was more likely to be viewing such programs. Subsequently the ‘‘Cat Herders’’ spot appeared during the U.S. Open golf tournament, in June; the National Basketball Association finals, also in June; the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in late August to early September; the Presidents Cup golf tournament, in October; and Monday Night Football. Fifty percent of the ‘‘Cat Herders’’ portion of the campaign went to television. The television spots were reinforced by print ads in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, and Wired. Ads also appeared in the online magazine Salon.
The second spot in the campaign was ‘‘Airplane,’’ and it made its debut later in 2000. EDS and Fallon stuck to the winning strategy of breaking the commercial during a prime televised sporting event; ‘‘Airplane’’ appeared during the Thanksgiving holiday National Football League network broadcasts. The spot also appeared during broadcasts of Monday Night Football. ‘‘Airplane’’ depicted a group of mechanics assembling an airplane while in flight. Like its predecessor, ‘‘Airplane’’ was a visual manifestation of a well-known business expression, in this case ‘‘building an airplane on the fly.’’ Explaining the spot’s connection and symbolism, David Lubars, then president and executive director at Fallon, as quoted over the PR Newswire, said, ‘‘This is the second commercial in the series. The first, ‘Cat Herders,’ talked about the importance of aligning a company’s scattered technologies and moving them in the right direction. The message of ‘Airplane’ is a natural follow-up in that it answers the question, ‘Now I know what to do, how do I do it without messing up my company in the process?’ ’’ ‘‘Running with the Squirrels’’ was the final spot in the trilogy, and it debuted on January 28, 2001, during the broadcast of Super Bowl XXXV. The ad parodied the famous running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. This was a bit of a departure from the first two spots in the series in that it did not depict a popular industry maxim. The humor aspect aside, squirrels were chosen because of their speed and agility. The commercial, at least the actors’ part of it, was shot in Pedrazza, Spain, not far from Madrid; the squirrels (some real but most computer generated) were filmed on a California soundstage. Following Super Bowl XXXV, ‘‘Running with the Squirrels’’ ran in rotation with the previous two spots in the series.

‘‘Cat Herders’’ was an unqualified success for EDS. The campaign won numerous advertising awards, including a First Boards Award in 2000, a Cannes Silver Lion in 2000, a bronze Clio in 2001, Advertising Age’s Best Visual Effects Award in 2001, and a silver EFFIE Award in 2001. EDS also estimated that its initial investment of about $8 million brought in an additional $12 million in ‘‘incremental PR’’—233 outlets mentioned EDS in their pre- and post-Super Bowl coverage (according to the EFFIE Awards Brief of Effectiveness submitted by Fallon). The ad was even referred to by President Bill Clinton.
Speaking a year after the fact, Uzzi, EDS’s senior vice president for global advertising, as quoted by Stefani Eads in BusinessWeek Online, said, ‘‘The Super Bowl [ad] played out in spades for our business. The first week after the Super Bowl, we had 10 million hits to, which is five times our normal rate. And brand awareness increased 40 percent year-on-year in 2000, something we attribute greatly to the commercial’s success.’’ Uzzi’s summation was echoed by Fallon boss Lubars in an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, written by Ann Merrill. Speaking a few days prior to Super Bowl XXXV, Lubars observed, ‘‘Last year the Super Bowl ad got an incredible internal buzz at EDS.’’ Merrill also noted that there was ‘‘an influx of resumes’’ at the company following the ‘‘Cat Herders’’ airing.
The effectiveness of the latter two spots in the series was less clear cut. Critics were generally silent on ‘‘Airplane,’’ but ‘‘Running with the Squirrels’’ provoked a mixed reaction. Some media critics, such as Ellen Neubourne, questioned the commercial’s effectiveness in putting across its message. Writing in BusinessWeek Online, she gave ‘‘Running with the Squirrels’’ a thumbsdown, commenting that ‘‘the sure sign that the ad is in trouble comes at the end when text has to pop onto the screen and explain to the viewer that the squirrels are meant to represent small and nimble competition. If we got all the way to the final five seconds without getting it, the ad didn’t work.’’ Other media critics, analysts, and advertising professionals felt ‘‘Running with the Squirrels’’ was as funny as ‘‘Cat Herders’’ but too much like the previous spot to be effective. Nevertheless EDS continued to prosper throughout 2001; the company reported fourth-quarter revenues of $5.9 billion and net income of $405 million. The ‘‘Cat Herders’’ campaign ran through 2001 and was replaced by a series of 50 thirty-second television spots that ran over the course of 17 days during the 2002 Winter Olympics.


The San Jose, California, company eBay, Inc., was an online-based auction and selling community that in 2004 serviced 115 million shoppers, who purchased items ranging from clocks to shoes to automobiles. The company did not sell anything itself, instead making money from advertising and by charging sellers listing fees for using the company’s website,, to sell items. In 2004 eBay restructured its listing fees, charging higher fees for more expensive items, in an effort to encourage sellers to offer lower opening prices for auctions. This carried the risk that some sellers would be less inclined to use eBay, because they might want to avoid the fees. Although eBay was the most popular online-auction site, it faced pressure from other Internet companies, such as Amazon and Google, whose own services diverted consumers away from eBay.
In order to maintain strong visibility in the face of this pressure, eBay earmarked $250 million for marketing in 2004. From its inception eBay had only run one major television campaign, relying on word of mouth, Internet ads, and print campaigns to attract consumers. In 2004, however, the company commissioned Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, an agency based in San Francisco, to run a new television campaign. There were four spots in all, rolled out that October and November. The most popular spot was known as ‘‘Toy Boat.’’ It featured a boy losing his toy boat at sea, only to find it again as an adult after a fisherman found it and posted it for sale on eBay. The commercial featured a voice-over by Hollywood actress Rosanna Arquette. Other spots appealed to the sense of community offered by eBay. The campaign was meant to differentiate eBay from impersonal sellers such as Amazon or search engines like Yahoo and Google. The spots were a hit with critics. The Directors Guild of America singled out Noam Murro, director of ‘‘Toy Boat,’’ for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials. The commercials helped eBay’s fourthquarter revenues jump 24 percent compared to the same period in 2003. The campaign also marked the end of eBay’s relationship with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. In 2005 eBay offered its business to BBDO, a larger advertising agency based in New York City.

The Internet-centered company eBay, Inc., was founded in September 1995 and was based in San Jose, California, near the state’s famous ‘‘Silicon Valley,’’ so called because it was home to a number of technology-related businesses. By 2004 eBay employed about 9,000 people and operated around the world. It was intended to provide a global trading platform where consumers could trade or auction different items. EBay allowed vendors and consumers to buy and sell a wide range of items, ranging from clothing to electronics to celebrity collectables to cars. To describe its business it adopted the slogan ‘‘The World’s Online Marketplace.’’ Throughout the 1990s the company expanded, adding local eBay sites to service countries that included Australia, China, India, and France.
EBay offered buyers the choice between either bidding in an online auction or buying an item outright for a predetermined price. All sales took place via the company’s website, which in the United States was located at The company made a profit not by selling items itself but by taking a percentage of the sales price of the items sold on the site. EBay collected listing, feature, and final-value fees from all of the registered sellers that used the site. Advertising on the site itself provided another source of income. The company also expanded its business by offering PayPal, an online payment system that could be used on other websites. In 2004 eBay purchased a 25 percent stake in the online community Craigslist, which offered online ‘‘classified ads’’ for people to buy and sell items. It had thus been emerging as a potential competitor for eBay. In eBay’s early years the company primarily relied on word of mouth to attract buyers and sellers to Even in the early 2000s the company stuck to more conservative print campaigns. The company’s first major television campaign was released in 2002; it was created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, a San Francisco–based agency that was especially known for its work with technology companies. The campaign later won a 2004 Gold EFFIE Award in the retail category. The spots helped eBay’s online community expand to 115 million shoppers.

EBay’s target market was anyone interested in buying or selling things online. Because younger people were often more comfortable with technology such as the Internet, consumers under 40 were especially important to eBay. Collectors, who used the site to track down hard-to-find items such as out-of-print books and CDs, were also considered to be valuable users of the site. After eBay raised its listing fees in January 2004, there was concern that some sellers might be more inclined to avoid listing on the site. The company had raised prices by about 9 percent across the board, but increases were as high as 45 percent on more expensive items. EBay hoped that this would convince some sellers to use a lower starting price for auctioned items, which would attract more bargain-conscious consumers, who then might be tempted to bid on more and more items. To prevent competitors from cutting into its core business, eBay decided that it needed to run another television-based marketing campaign. The company wanted to make sure that consumers still thought of eBay as the best place to buy things online.

By 2004 eBay was the dominant online-auction site in the world. Because of the nature of the Internet, however, the company did not only compete with other auctionoriented sites. EBay made its money through the sales conducted on its site and via advertising on that same site. Both required the company to keep attracting a large numbers of visitors to the site. While eBay did not sell anything directly, it needed brisk sales to generate fees. Therefore, one of its biggest competitors was the online retailer Amazon. Amazon sold a variety of products, ranging from books to electronics. It conducted highprofile radio and television campaigns. Its direct sales often competed with the sellers that used eBay, so the auction site had to be sure to keep its own profile on par with Amazon.
Perhaps the most dynamic force on the Internet in 2004 was the search engine Google. Google and other search engines, including Yahoo, did not sell anything directly, but users could find individual sellers via such search engines. Users went to Google’s website and searched for a particular product or seller; then they could connect with these sellers directly. Google did not have any connection with such sellers, instead making money from advertising sold on the website itself. Google even added a special search called ‘‘Froogle,’’ with which users could filter a search to show only online sellers. This cut into eBay’s business, because if buyers could find sellers directly through Google, they would have no reason to shop at eBay. It also meant that sellers could sell items on their own websites and avoid paying eBay any fees.

In 2004 eBay earmarked about $250 million for U.S. advertising. Once again, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners ran the campaign. The San Francisco–based agency had made its reputation designing innovative campaigns for online-based businesses such as E*Trade. It had handled eBay’s only other television campaign in 2002. The new campaign centered on four television spots, two that launched in October and two more that followed a month later. The spots were intended to promote the idea of eBay as a community, differentiating it from the impersonal retailer Amazon or the sprawling Web that the search engine Google harnessed for its users. By underscoring the communal aspect of eBay, the company hoped to lure consumers into spending more time—and therefore making more purchases—at The campaign used the slogan ‘‘The Power of All of Us.’’ One spot featured shots of people doing good deeds for each other, including opening doors for people and delivering food to shut-ins. On-screen text explained to the audience that eBay’s online community ‘‘proved’’ that people were ‘‘good.’’ The spot was an appeal to the sense of community that had inspired some eBay users to set up collectors’ clubs built around particular products sold on
The most popular spot, ‘‘Toy Boat,’’ was designed to underscore the perceived benefits of online auctions in general and eBay in particular. It began with a shot of a young boy playing with his new toy boat. The boat then was swept out to sea by the receding tide and apparently lost forever. Years later, however, it turned up in a fishnet. The fisherman who found it decided to make some money selling the toy on eBay. The now-adult boy discovered it there, posted in an online auction. The spot closed with the tagline ‘‘What if nothing was ever forgotten? What if nothing was ever lost?’’ Voice-over for the spot was provided by the actress Rosanna Arquette, known for her work in such films as Pulp Fiction and Desperately Seeking Susan.
Another commercial featured a man dusting off his clock collection. Soon his home was filled with other collectors offering him new clocks. He chose his favorite and added it to his current group of clocks. This spot appealed directly to collectors, people especially drawn to the site in hopes of finding a rare or unusual item. These kinds of items—a strange clock, for example—were not easy to find on sites like Amazon that focused on new, practical items, or via Google, which offered searches that showed popular (not quirky) products at the top of its listings.

Critics and audiences enjoyed the new spots. One, ‘‘Toy Boat,’’ garnered special recognition at the Directors Guild of America Awards for 2004. The spot’s director, Noam Murro of the production company Biscuit Filmworks, was honored for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for ‘‘Toy Boat’’ and two other spots. EBay’s television commercials also helped boost the company’s sales in the last quarter of 2004, which coincided with the campaign’s run. U.S. revenues at the company were up 10 percent from the previous quarter and had increased a solid 24 percent compared to the previous year’s fourth quarter.
While the increase was below the 38 percent growth the company had seen in the same quarter between 2002 and 2003, it was still a healthy pace. EBay nevertheless discontinued its relationship with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners soon after the campaign finished, moving to New York City–based BBDO for future campaigns. The agency was larger and operated a more diverse portfolio than Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

Sunday, September 7, 2008



In 1995 eBay Inc. was founded in San Jose, California. It was an online site, located at, that enabled users to buy and sell items from other users. Rather than sell items itself, eBay made money by charging fees on completed transactions and by charging for advertisements on its website. In 2003 more than 900 million items were posted for sale on eBay. These items included automobiles. Because of their relatively high prices, automobile sales generated larger fees than many other kinds of sales. In the arena of used-car sales, however, the company faced competition from online search engines such as Google and Yahoo! as well as from traditional newspaper advertisements. EBay charged the ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, based in nearby San Francisco, with developing a radio spot that would inform consumers of the benefits of using eBay to sell automobiles. The result was a humorous 60-second spot called ‘‘Abbreviated.’’ The spot featured a narrator using an ‘‘abbreviated’’ language culled from newspaper classified ads. Rather than just telling listeners that classified ads did not provide enough space to adequately describe an automobile, the narrator demonstrated this through his own speech. Then he touted the benefits of selling cars on eBay. The spot was a hit with critics. In 2005 it won a Silver Lion at the International Advertising Festival, a 2005 Bronze Clio Award, and the top prize at the annual Radio Mercury Awards. These awards, however, came after eBay’s decision in March 2005 to part ways with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. The company elected to work with BBDO on future campaigns. EBay felt that the larger New York–based agency was better equipped to handle integrated campaigns that combined online, televised, and radio elements. Both agencies were part of the larger communications company the Omnicom Group.


The San Jose–based eBay was created to capitalize on the increasing expansion of the Internet into everyday life in the United States and around the world. The company provided sellers and consumers a platform where they could find each other and conduct transactions. Sellers offered a wide range of goods via the eBay website,, including sneakers, automobiles, furniture, clothing, and collectibles. The site was best known for the online auctions that it enabled. Sellers posted an item on, and buyers could view the item and bid on it. The highest bidder purchased the item.

As the Internet became more popular, eBay was able to expand quickly, and the company set up companion sites around the world. Soon eBay began describing itself as ‘‘The World’s Online Marketplace.’’ The company’s profits came via fees it collected on each transaction as well as from advertising it sold on its assorted websites. The approach was largely successful, and in 2003 alone more than 900 million items were listed on eBay. By 2004 eBay was offering the PayPal service, which enabled buyers to pay sellers through their credit cards or via secure account transfers. There were several subsections to the eBay site, including one for automobile sales, labeled ‘‘eBay Motors.’’ Consumers could search cars by make and model or by price. Because higher-priced items generated higher fees, the company made more money from automobile sales than it did from many other items sold via

At the outset eBay relied on word of mouth to promote its business. As the company became more successful, it branched out into print and radio advertising. In 2002 eBay conducted its first television campaign, ‘‘Do It eBay,’’ which was developed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. The San Francisco–based agency had been responsible for all of the company’s radio advertising through 2004 as well. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners was best known for its award-winning ‘‘Got Milk’’ campaign on behalf of the California Milk Processor Board. The agency was founded in 1983 by Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein, who had previously worked together at the Ogilvy & Mather agency.


EBay usually aimed for a very large target market. The company wanted to be the destination of choice for anyone shopping online. The website had always been especially popular with collectors, who used the site to track down rare and hard-to-find items, such as out-ofprint records or idiosyncratic household goods. The site listed many types of items for sale, however, and it was also a major attraction for bargain shoppers and consumers who were comfortable doing their shopping online. The company also allowed people to sell automobiles on the site. These were expensive items, which meant that the company collected higher fees on such transactions. The kind of shopper that bought an automobile on eBay was a typical used-car shopper: younger and on a budget. The company saw automobile sales as a prime candidate for growth.


The most serious competitor for eBay, especially for bigticket items such as automobiles, was the search engine Google. Like eBay, Google did not sell anything itself. Instead, consumers used Google’s website to search for items online. For example, a used-car dealer or an individual would post on a website the vehicles they had for sale, and buyers would find the site via Google. Other search engines, such as Yahoo!, offered similar services. In fact, Yahoo! even allowed sellers to post ads that would appear in the Yahoo! Autos section of the search engine’s website, Although neither of these companies provided online auction services, they competed with eBay by providing an alternative way for consumers to buy automobiles online. The company was even more concerned, however, about its off-line competitors. While certain products, such as music files, collectibles, or books, seemed to attract online buyers easily, most consumers were accustomed to buying automobiles through off-line means, such as classified advertisements in newspapers. To grow its automobileselling business eBay needed to lure more of these people into buying (and selling) automobiles on


Goodby, Silverstein & Partners was the agency of record on the 2004 radio campaign, which consisted of a 60-second spot titled ‘‘Abbreviated.’’ It was part of the $250 million in U.S. advertising that eBay purchased in 2004. Later that year eBay augmented its radio efforts with a television campaign, also engineered by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. This campaign, which carried the tagline ‘‘The Power of All of Us,’’ ran in the fall and winter shopping season. It did not focus on automobiles. The ‘‘Abbreviated’’ radio spot was fairly straightforward. It featured a man speaking directly to the audience, without any music or sound effects. In the ad the speaker communicated in short, abbreviated words, like those used in a typical classified ad in a local newspaper. He explained to consumers—especially potential sellers—that the abbreviated language used in newspaper classifieds was too unclear to give potential buyers an idea of what the car was actually like. In contrast, eBay allowed sellers a chance to post more detailed text and pictures, so buyers knew just what they were getting. ‘‘Abbreviated’’ was distinctive both for its message and for its quirky vocabulary, which entailed shortening words by leaving out most of the vowels and many of the consonants. By referring to a car as ‘‘cr,’’ for example, the spot captured the listener’s attention. It began with the announcer saying, ‘‘If YR FMLR with the CLSIFDS section of the NWSPPR, you PRBLY understand this MSSG quite well.’’ This strange-sounding language was scattered throughout the spot, driving home its central thesis—that classified ads offered too little space for sellers to describe a vehicle properly—by demonstrating it. At one point the speaker described a car using the abbreviated language of newspaper ads, and the results sounded like gibberish.

The commercial also touted eBay’s Vehicle Protection Program, which guarded consumers against being stuck paying for a car that was not in as good a condition as the advertisement had claimed. Finally it reminded listeners that eBay offered a nationwide customer base, as opposed to the local reach of most newspapers. Even when describing eBay’s own services, the narrator still slipped into abbreviated words occasionally, using them sporadically enough that his meaning was not lost but often enough to keep the spot’s humor going. ‘‘Abbreviated’’ referred specifically to ‘‘eBay Motors’’ instead of just ‘‘eBay’’—even though ‘‘eBay Motors’’ was only a category on, as opposed to an actual separate entity. This distinction was made for consumers who were used to thinking about eBay as a place to buy smaller items, such as household goods or clothing. It also reinforced the idea that eBay was not only a place where automobiles were available for sale but also a natural place to go shopping for these kinds of items. This subtle gesture allowed the spot to concentrate on the benefits of selling cars on eBay without having to clear any hurdle the listener might have about shopping for an automobile that way. The commercial was recorded at the GSP Post studio in San Francisco. It was produced for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners by Brian Coate and was written by Tyler McKellar. GSP Post served as the production company.


The spot was a success, although it also marked the end of eBay’s account with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. In March 2005 eBay ended its relationship with the agency, replacing it with the New York–based BBDO. The company believed that BBDO, a larger agency, was better equipped to provide integrated marketing campaigns that would combine Internet, television, print, and radio elements.

Regardless, ‘‘Abbreviated’’ was particularly successful with critics. It received a Silver Lion in the Radio category at the 2005 International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France. Called the ‘‘Olympics of Advertising,’’ the Cannes festival was among the most prestigious in the world, with campaigns and agencies from all over the globe under consideration. ‘‘Abbreviated’’ also won a Bronze Clio that year; the Clios were one of the largest international advertising award programs. In addition Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won the $100,000 first prize at the 2005 Radio Mercury Awards for the ‘‘Abbreviated’’ spot. Based in New York, the Radio Mercury Awards were begun in 1992 to offer an exclusive recognition for excellence in radio advertising. All of these awards were announced after eBay had terminated its relationship with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. The effort contributed to a solid year for eBay. The company finished 2004 with consolidated net revenues of $3.27 billion, a 51 percent improvement from 2003. The company also reported a record 1.4 billion listings during 2004, up more than 45 percent from the previous year. More than $34 billion of transactions took place in 2004 via eBay’s online auctions and listings. Therefore, the ‘‘Abbreviated’’ commercial appeared to succeed in helping traffic at continue to grow.



In the early 1990s Kodak, the venerable photo products company, found itself in increasing difficulties. Despite a long history of pioneering products and dominating the market, the company was up against strong competition, and it also faced rapidly changing new technology. In trying to keep up, Kodak had ventured unsuccessfully outside its core market of imaging, which for Kodak included photography, digital imaging, color management systems, and image and document storage systems. In this digital age most consumers were unaware that Kodak had digital products; rather, Kodak was seen as the ‘‘yellow box’’ company. By 1993 Kodak posted a $1.5 million loss. The company still dominated in film sales, but it was perceived as old-fashioned and out of touch with younger consumers.

The company took several steps to revitalize its image. It created the tag line ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ for all of its advertising in order to show consumers the many possibilities available to them in taking and developing their photos. Kodak also turned to the New York advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather to create the ‘‘Tall Tales’’ corporate brand campaign for television, the first such effort for Kodak. The campaign had a twofold objective: to establish the Kodak brand as one offering a multitude of possibilities for pictures and to make the company more relevant to potential new customers in the generation X age group.

‘‘Tall Tales’’ was made up of two series of spots, each minimovies of 60 seconds, which ran during 1996 and 1997 on television and at movie theaters. The 1996 series was highly successful, winning a Gold Effie and a number of other awards. In 1997 Kodak followed with a second set of ‘‘Tall Tales.’’


Kodak was founded in 1881 by George Eastman and became a household name and market leader with the introduction of the Brownie camera in 1900, color film in 1935 and, above all, the Kodak Instamatic camera in 1963. Eastman believed in reaching ordinary people, and his mission was to make photography, then a cumbersome procedure, something anybody could do and enjoy. ‘‘You push the button, we do the rest’’ was the Kodak slogan, and it was a tremendous success. It made Kodak far and away the market leader for a century, maintaining a 60-70 percent market share.

When CEO George Fisher took over the reins at Kodak at the end of 1993, his goal was to refocus Kodak on what it does best. He was in a sense returning to the vision of George Eastman but placing his efforts firmly in the context of digital technology—meaning the use of computers and other digital media to create, manipulate, send, and store images. Fisher began selling off the new ventures that had led the company off its path—which had included Sterling Drug, L&F Products (makers of Lysol and related products), and the Clinical Diagnostics division—and refocused the company on imaging.

Kodak’s marketing dilemma was that it had failed to position itself as a digital imaging innovator. Surveys showed that few consumers were even aware that Kodak had digital products. Indeed, as the magazine Sales and Marketing Management reported in early 1997, only very technology-savvy consumers were aware of the range of possibilities for enhancing photographs. During the 1990s, of the 60 million photos that were taken annually around the world, fewer than 2 percent were enlarged, manipulated, hung for display, or used commercially. Most went into a photo album or shoe box.

To resolve this dilemma Fisher created the new position of Chief Marketing Officer and in 1995 appointed Carl Gustin to fill it. Gustin left a position with the computer giant Apple to join Kodak and had also worked for a number of prestigious marketing agencies. Thus, he embodied exactly the talents Fisher sought to position Kodak for the digital age. The marketing department led by Gustin sat atop the business units and created centralized corporate branding and strategic planning. The new system was a dramatic change for Kodak. Whereas formerly each business division had carried out single-product advertising, Kodak changed to system advertising, which was planned through the corporate marketing division.

‘‘Our goal is to go beyond ‘You push the button’ and take customers toward a future where they ‘Take pictures. Further’,’’ Fisher told Sales and Marketing Management. ‘‘But we’ll do this in a way that makes it just as easy to take pictures further as it was to push the button. We want our imaging technology to be easy to use. Consumers want more and better pictures, not technology for its own sake.’’


The ‘‘Tall Tales’’ campaign was directed at three separate and distinct groups. It focused first on parents of schoolage children. More specifically, this group, generally 25 to 55 years old, was college-educated, used a PC at home, often subscribed to an on-line service, and took pictures. The group was also thought to influence the technology decisions of mainstream Kodak consumers who were less comfortable with technology.

A second major focus group was the ‘‘wired generation,’’ adults 18 to 34 years old who were collegeeducated and PC and Internet users. It was thought that this group influenced other young consumers, as well as technology providers. Finally, the campaign focused on business managers and department heads, aged 35 to 64, who might have been part of the decision-making process for technology purchases in medium and large businesses. This group was likely to influence the technology considerations of fellow business executives, managers, and employees. All three groups were considered influential in the ‘‘Information Age.’’


For much of its history Kodak had been without serious competition. However, the company met with new threats to its market position, during the 1970s and 1980s. Companies like Fuji and Konica successfully entered the film business and companies like Microsoft, Apple, Sony, and Hewlett Packard became leaders in the arena of new technologies. Because Kodak initially failed to position itself as a player in the digital age, it posed little threat to key digital competitors. Few consumers saw Kodak as a forward-thinking and innovative company; many did not even know of Kodak’s digital products and services. But Kodak retained strong brand recognition. In 1996, for example, branding expert Interbrand Schechter Inc. called it the world’s fourth strongest brand, surpassed only by McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Disney.

Kodak saw Fuji as a particularly strong competitor in the film business. The two companies engaged in a protracted dispute over Kodak’s share in the Japanese film market during the 1990s, with Kodak asserting that it had been denied a fair chance to reach out to Japanese consumers. Although Kodak lost the battle legally, it had the backing of the U.S. government and was able to wring some concessions from the Japanese government.


Prior to the ‘‘Tall Tales’’ campaign, Kodak had used single-product advertising, parceling out its $300 million advertising budget among some 200 agencies worldwide. By 1996 Gustin had consolidated these 200 agencies to four: Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson, Uniworld, and Saatchi & Saatchi, assigning each to focus on specific products worldwide. In a further consolidation, Ogilvy & Mather became the sole agency for the ‘‘Tall Tales’’ executions, which combined product and image advertising in Kodak’s first-ever corporate brand campaign. The campaign had very specific goals. It sought to position Kodak as a digital technology innovator among those most influential in the Information Age; to develop Kodak brand awareness among the young wired generation, a good number of whom did not own cameras; and to increase awareness that Kodak had digital imaging products for both home and business uses. The point of the campaign, which cost between $20 million and $40 million, was to convince the target groups that Kodak could best help them unleash the power of pictures. Kodak’s products were perceived by consumers as being both reliable and of high quality, and evoked images of family values. On the other hand, consumers also saw Kodak as an old-fashioned and stodgy company that mostly made little yellow boxes of film to capture ‘‘Kodak moments.’’ The campaign sought to draw on the long-held positive values to reposition Kodak as an innovative company more focused on the future than on treasured moments of the past. At the same time, Kodak was concerned that it not alienate its core group of older consumers. In other words, the campaign needed to promise the digital future without abandoning a long and worthy heritage. During the first phase of the ‘‘Tall Tales’’ campaign, buses at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta carried Kodak advertising, and a CD-ROM containing video clips and company materials was distributed to selected members of the press. The campaign included Internet marketing as well. The Kodak website was redesigned around the ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ theme for both 1996 and 1997.

The 1997 series consisted of three ‘‘60-second movies’’ that linked life events with Kodak products. Among the products and services the campaign showcased were the Funsaver single-use camera, Kodak premium processing, Kodak Gold film with color sharp technology, Gold Max film, and Image Magic cropping and enlarging features.

In the first television spot, ‘‘Tattoo,’’ a teenager desires a tattoo. Rather than prohibiting it outright, her mother proposes a compromise: she can photograph her friends’ tattoos, and they will study the results together. The girl uses a Kodak camera to take snapshots of her friends’ tattoos: Mickey’s bulldog, Rachel’s rose, Daphne’s lizard, and Uncle Leo’s faded and indecipherable ‘‘something.’’ That night she awakens screaming from a nightmare in which ‘‘Viva Macarena’’ is tattooed onto her forehead. To her mother’s visible relief, she announces the next day that she has decided to forego the entire project. In another spot, called ‘‘Saturday,’’ a bouncy teenager takes pictures of scenes from an ordinary suburban day. Her bright and colorful pictures of feet, socks, a dog, and a bowl of cereal are fun and offbeat, and unexpectedly a museum curator offers the young photographer $100,000 to exhibit them. She accepts eagerly and basks in the spotlight of instant fame. Finally, in ‘‘Stacy’’ a young man sweeps his girlfriend off her feet with a digitally enhanced Kodak photo, paving the way for the couple’s dreams of marriage and a long life together. Specific network, cable, and syndicated programs made up the television media plan. The airings were planned to reach viewers of lighter television shows and those with an interest in technology and innovation. ‘‘Tattoo’’ had its prime-time debut on the Drew Carey Show on March 12, 1997; ‘‘Saturday’’ made its first appearance also on March 12 on the Fox Network; and ‘‘Stacy’’ premiered on The Simpsons on March 9. ‘‘Saturday’’ was also shown during the Academy Awards on March 24. The broadcast schedule ran May through July 1996 and during March 1997.


Kodak executives viewed the ‘‘Tall Tales’’ campaign of 1996 and 1997 a success, declaring that the campaign had effectively redefined Kodak as a serious player in the Information Age. A 16-country tracking study showed a 3 percent gain in brand equity (or confidence in the brand), which the company attributed to ‘‘re-energizing, rather than abandoning a focus on memories,’’ as CEO Fisher expressed it in a letter to the magazine Advertising Age. The campaign’s commercials of 1996, which won a Gold Effie, registered an ‘‘enjoyability’’ score higher than 97 percent of all spots ever tested by Millward Brown International (MBI). In the category ‘‘uniqueness,’’ ‘‘Tall Tales’’ received the best MBI score ever. Post campaign ad surveys by MBI Ad Trackers found that target consumers had changed their brand perceptions and that Kodak was seen as a more forward-thinking technological innovator after the campaign.

The wired generation also found more relevance in the Kodak brand. MBI found that the perception of the Kodak brand as ‘‘contemporary,’’ ‘‘cool,’’ and, above all, relevant rose by 25 percent in this group. Looking at the target audience as a whole, MBI found increased awareness that Kodak offered a variety of products for home and business users and that Kodak was more than just the ‘‘yellow box’’ company.

The campaign also had an immediate short-term effect on film sales for the second quarter of 1997. Still, despite the positive outlook, many financial experts felt it was too soon to judge the success of the ‘‘Tall Tales’’ campaign and questioned whether customers had truly accepted the company as a digital leader. ‘‘Kodak is in the midst of a long-term transition,’’ Tom Graves of Standard & Poors told Sales & Marketing Management. ‘‘But if Kodak offers innovative, affordable products, it can be accepted as a leader in digital technologies.’’


In the mid-1990s the Eastman Kodak Company was not just the leading manufacturer of photographic film, paper, and chemicals; it was listed as one of the top companies in America. In both 1996 and 1997 the stock-market researcher EquiTrend selected Kodak as the number one brand for quality in the United States. At that time digital photography had not yet reached critical mass, and Kodak wanted to promote its new Kodak Advantix Photo System. Advantix was pitched as an ‘‘error-free, drop-in film’’ that allowed consumers to download film images onto a computer. At the same time camera makers such as Canon Inc. and Sony Corporation were developing digital cameras. Hoping to brand Kodak for a younger market and promote Advantix, Kodak released its ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ campaign. The television, radio, outdoor, and print campaign was funded by Kodak’s $100 million marketing budget and debuted in April 1996. Created by the ad agency Ogilvy & Mather of New York, the campaign was separated into different executions. ‘‘Anthem’’ consisted of five 60- and 30-second spots with the actor Luke Perry repeatedly answering the question ‘‘What can a picture be?’’ The second execution, titled ‘‘Tall Tales,’’ featured two 60-second commercials that each told a story through images. Campaign spots that were not connected to ‘‘Anthem’’ or ‘‘Tall Tales’’ aired later. The headline in an advertisement in People magazine asked, ‘‘Isn’t it time you had a new box to keep your pictures in?’’ A second magazine ad featured a photograph of workers mining vivid yellow sulfur on a steaming volcano. The text explained that Kodak Ektachrome Elite II amateur slide film could capture vibrant, pure colors under varying light conditions. The campaign officially ended in March 2001. ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ began just as digital photography was entering the mainstream culture. Advantix was not as popular as Kodak had expected. From 1999 to 2001 the company’s sales dropped from $14.1 billion to $13.2 billion. Because the campaign branded Kodak with film technologies instead of emerging digital technologies, the advertising community blamed it for outdating the Kodak brand while digital photography blossomed.


Kodak traced its roots to Eastman Dry Plate Company, founded in 1880 by George Eastman and Henry Strong. Dry plates represented a significant improvement over the chemically treated wet plates of glass that photographers had previously used to expose one picture at a time in their cameras, a procedure that required considerable expertise. In 1884 the company patented the first roll film, a long strip of paper coated with emulsion that was sensitive to light. In 1888 Eastman began marketing the Kodak, a portable box camera that cost $25 and was loaded with enough film for 100 pictures. The invention of this type of camera and film was important in the growth of the motion-picture industry, and it opened the field of photography to amateurs.

Emphasizing that its new cameras were simple enough for the average consumer to use, Eastman Company advertised with the slogan ‘‘You push the button,we do the rest.’’ At the turn of the century the firm increased its massmarket appeal by introducing a small Kodak camera called the Brownie at the inexpensive price of $1. By that time the enterprise was known as Eastman Kodak Company. Among its many noteworthy innovations were the introduction of color film in 1935 and the launch of the Kodak Instamatic camera in 1963. Ease of use remained a primary theme in the company’s marketing efforts. ‘‘Kodak Instamatic Cameras load instantly! Automatically shoot and take sharp, clear pictures time after time!’’ said an advertisement in Good Housekeeping. ‘‘No threading. No fumbling. No rewinding.’’ With a market share that averaged 60 to 70 percent, Kodak led the industry for decades. By 1997 it was one of the 25 largest companies in the United States. Its products included photography equipment and supplies, film, projectors, and copiers. Units such as Sterling Drug had been acquired over the years but were divested in the early 1990s as part of a general overhaul that focused the company on imaging products. During the late 1990s the firm kept up with changing technology by rapidly expanding and improving its digital equipment and services. These innovations allowed consumers to store their photographs on compact or floppy disks, view them and alter them on computer screens, and transmit them over the Internet. Kodak offered numerous state-of-the-art products and services, and it formed marketing alliances with companies such as America Online and Intel Corporation to encourage customers to use their photographs in new ways.

Over the years Kodak had cultivated a familyoriented image with advertising that revolved around the ‘‘Kodak moment,’’ a portrait of a consumer capturing a heartwarming experience on film. Many people were not aware, however, that Kodak offered more than film and cameras. In addition, research showed that consumers thought the company was old-fashioned. In 1996 Kodak released the ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ campaign to change its image and to publicize its many products along with the possibilities they offered to consumers.


Kodak had cultivated a loyal following among consumers at least 35 years old, but it was not particularly appealing to most younger people. The new corporate-image campaign was intended to retain Kodak’s traditional customers while reaching teenagers and young adults, with a particular emphasis on consumers who were interested in mastering the most recent technologies. The first advertisements to use the ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ theme were aimed at the parents (ages 25 to 55) of school-age children, at young adults who used computers and had a college education (ages 18 to 34), and at business managers and department heads (ages 35 to 64). These ads promoted products such as ImageMagic service, which allowed consumers to crop and enlarge their photographs using Advantix, and the Fun Saver, a camera designed to be used only one time. Later advertisements also showcased innovative products. ‘‘Introducing the easiest way to get your pictures into your PC. The new Kodak Advantix film drive,’’ said a magazine ad that ran in 1998.

Some advertisements targeted the company’s core clientele of snap shooters 25 to 54 years old, primarily women, who took pictures to remember events such as birthday parties and family vacations. Kodak had become the industry leader by making it easy for people to take good photographs, and as the company introduced digital cameras and other innovations, its advertising assured consumers that photography would still be easy and more fun than ever. One advertisement in Travel & Leisure promoted Kodak Max film with the headline ‘‘I don’t care about f-stops. I don’t care about shutter speeds. I just want to take a picture.’’ The ad showed three badly exposed photographs labeled ‘‘Before Kodak Max’’ and three correctly exposed photographs labeled ‘‘After Kodak Max.’’ By showing new ways for people to enjoy their photographs, Kodak encouraged its customers to do more with their pictures than toss them in a drawer or file them away in a photo album. Of the 70 to 80 billion photographs that Americans snapped each year, only 2 percent were reprinted or enlarged. The ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ campaign urged consumers to use new technology such as E-mail to share photographs with their families and friends, to incorporate more photographs into documents created on their computers, and to improve photographs by altering their appearance. In addition to promoting Kodak’s digital products and services, the campaign was intended to revive interest in traditional film and cameras by explaining the many ways that average people could work with visual images.


One of Kodak’s primary rivals was a company with headquarters in Japan, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Both Kodak and Fuji made film and photographic papers for professionals and amateurs, both firms had acquired large film processing companies nationwide to increase their share of the photo-finishing market, and both had begun manufacturing products such as digital cameras to compete in the emerging field of digital technology. Fuji had earned a reputation for low prices and high quality. In the spring of 1997 it suddenly slashed the price of its film, saying that one of its largest distributors had switched to Kodak and left Fuji with 2.5 million rolls of excess film to sell. During that summer Kodak’s film sometimes cost as much as 30 percent more than Fuji’s. According to Brandweek, Kodak’s share of the $3 billion U.S. film market slipped from 85 percent in 1988 to about 70 percent by the summer of 1997 and 65 percent by June 1998. Fuji had about 15 percent of the film market in 1998, up from 10 percent in 1996, and it also controlled about 15 percent of the photo-finishing market. Lacking the brand loyalty that Kodak had cultivated over the years, Fuji attempted to strengthen its corporate brand image in 1998 with an advertising campaign that used bright colors, surreal scenes, and the slogan ‘‘You can see the future from here.’’

Kodak also competed with companies that made cameras and related products. In 1998 Canon U.S.A. promoted its Advanced Photo System camera, the ELPH, with the tagline ‘‘So advanced . . . it’s simple.’’ The company’s ‘‘Wildlife as Canon Sees It’’ series of magazine ads featured large, beautiful photographs of wildlife above text that characterized each animal and mentioned Canon’s efforts to protect endangered species. Each ad included a small photograph and description of a Canon product. Another camera maker, Pentax Corporation, asked, ‘‘Aren’t your pictures worth a Pentax?’’ The campaign showed customers explaining that they had been able to take spectacular photographs thanks to certain features on their Pentax cameras. Minolta Corporation continued its ‘‘Only from the Mind of Minolta’’ campaign, while Olympus America Inc. used the slogan ‘‘Focus on Life.’’


Kodak had been using 200 advertising agencies worldwide but reduced that number to 4 during a general restructuring of its marketing program in 1994 and 1995. The company then increased its advertising expenditures for film, cameras, and its first image campaign. Kodak’s U.S. advertising budget was $65.4 million in 1994, $82 million in 1995, and about $100 million from 1996 through 1998. Each of the four agencies (Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson, Uniworld, and Saatchi & Saatchi) promoted a specific group of products, with the separate advertising campaigns all using the new slogan ‘‘Take Pictures. Further.’’ Ogilvy & Mather was responsible for the overall corporate-image effort. Kodak’s trademark yellow served as the dominant color in the advertisements, helping to unify the brand message. In print ads the tagline was positioned beside or below the red and yellow Kodak logo, often near the address of the company’s home page on the Internet, which was also designed around the ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ theme. The tagline first appeared in advertisements designed by J. Walter Thompson to publicize Kodak’s new Advantix camera and accessories, which were launched in April 1996. Ogilvy & Mather handled the Advantix campaign in 1997 and 1998, still using the ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ slogan. Ads for Advantix products explained that the camera could take pictures in three sizes, that it featured drop-in film loading, and that the consumer received an index print when the film was developed. In 1997 Kodak spent about $60 million to advertise the Advantix brand in the United States. Ogilvy & Mather also created the ‘‘Tall Tales’’ execution, which had a budget of $20 to $40 million and ran during 1996 and 1997. These humorous scenarios, which aired on television and at movie theaters, showed people using products and services such as Kodak Gold and Max films and Kodak premium processing. One spot showed a young man accidentally photographing a flying saucer, then being pursued by government agents and rescued by space aliens. In another spot a consumer used Kodak’s Image Magic digital enhancement station to hide the dents in a photograph of a Gremlin automobile. Many executions in the ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ campaign emphasized Kodak’s digital products. A twopage ad in Reader’s Digest in 1998 featured a photograph of three boys playing soccer. The headline read, ‘‘Your son was a blur as he raced down the field. But every detail will be crystal clear when you print out your pictures.’’ The opposite page showed a digital camera with text explaining that the product allowed consumers to preview pictures, delete whatever they disliked, store the digital images on a picture card, use a computer to E-mail them to family and friends, and print them on high-quality paper. An ad in People magazine in 1998 also showed boys playing soccer next to the headline ‘‘This kick went clear across the country.’’ A coupon was included, inviting consumers to try Kodak PhotoNet (an online service for E-mailing photographs, ordering reprints, and purchasing gifts via the Internet) or Kodak Picture disk (a floppy disk that allowed consumers to view photographs on their computer monitors and incorporate pictures into documents). Kodak continued to use the slogan in new advertising campaigns during the late 1990s to promote three digital-imaging products that allowed amateurs to enlarge or crop their photographs, remove the red that flash photography sometimes caused in a subject’s eyes, add messages to the image, and place decorative borders around their pictures. Noting an increase in the number of teenage consumers, Kodak began slanting more of its U.S. advertising toward teenage girls. One spot, titled ‘‘Tattoo,’’ featured a girl who wanted a tattoo. Adhering to her mother’s advice to ‘‘shoot your friends’ tattoos, and we’ll look at the options,’’ she used an Advantix camera to photograph four different tattoos she liked. After having a nightmare in which the phrase ‘‘Viva Macarena’’ was tattooed across her forehead, the teen decided against getting a tattoo.

Unifying its global advertisements, the company launched its first worldwide image campaign in 1999. The effort built on the earlier campaign’s ‘‘Tall Tales’’ commercials and featured more fantastic stories told through photographs taken with Kodak products.


During the six-year span of ‘‘Take Pictures. Further,’’ Kodak’s uncontested dominance over the photography industry began to wane. The enterprise lost business not to other film companies but to the skyrocketing popularity of digital photography. According to Kodak executives and advertising analysts, the problem with ‘‘Take Pictures. Further’’ was that it failed to promote Kodak’s own advancements in digital technology. In 1996 Kodak was one of the first companies to introduce a range of pocket-size digital cameras. Instead of marketing the digital cameras, however, Kodak promoted Advantix, which did not offer as many features as digital photography and cost more for consumers to develop. Belinda Parmar, an Ogilvy & Mather representative who worked on the campaign, told Marketing that Kodak’s greatest problem was that ‘‘[i]t may have promising digital technology, but it has failed to communicate this effectively and convince consumers that Kodak is a digital brand.’’ Sales for Kodak steadily declined during the campaign’s final three years. Kodak released several digital cameras throughout this period, but technology critics believed that digital Kodak cameras lacked the functionality and form of cameras made by Sony and Canon. In 2001 Kodak also made a late entry into online photo development with its launch of, a website onto which consumers could upload their digital images and later receive the printed images in the mail. Kodak was offering digital products, but its campaign pushed the more expensive and less popular film products. ‘‘Kodak is well placed to become a success in home printing, particularly as the sector moves from high-end to mass market,’’ Parmar continued in Marketing. ‘‘But first,’’ she said, ‘‘it must focus its marketing communication on why, rather than how, people print out digital.’’