March 15, 2004
Kodak has been reluctant to embrace online ads, so when they finally give the go ahead to their agency, it was with a very small budget. So the creative director had to get, well, creative.
This quick inspirational Case Study includes design tips for landing pages that are more powerful than sending consumers to a product home page:
Last year, Kodak launched a new digital camera geared
toward two very different demographics: men who love techno-
gadgets and women interested in fashion and style.
Although Kodak hasn't traditionally been a big online advertiser,
they decided to allocate a small slice of the budget to test Net
ads. It was so small, that there wasn't much for production
costs -- so a single series of creatives would have to be
compelling enough to drive both demographics to a single
So, Michael Borosky, Partner & Creative Director for Kodak's
creative agency Eleven Inc. had to get really creative...
Because the camera was "such a cute little stylish
thing," Borosky asked himself: "How would Banana Republic market
They'd do a photo shoot with models in a variety of scenes
interacting with the camera, he decided. But he didn't have the
budget to pull that off.
He tried PhotoShopping the camera into scenes with models from
stock houses. "It actually worked with a few of them, but it was
sort of sporadic," he says. "We couldn't keep that up, and we'd
run out of steam very quickly."
Without a photos, all he was left with was the camera itself. "So
we came up with the idea of anthropomorphizing it, turning it
into the mighty-morphing camera," he explains.
He asked his copywriter invent a list of words that were
descriptive of the camera; and hired an artist to come up with
some doodle-like drawings to go along with them.
Each ad showed the camera on a pastel background with a doodled
drawing around the camera. The ads were animated, so that the
camera embodied the object that the doodle turned it into, and
the copy played with camera puns.
1. Camera as high heel shoe -- Tilted on a pink background,
the camera has a toe and heel doodled onto it. The toe is
impatiently tapping. Copy reads: Super model.
2. Camera as robot -- Standing on end on a gray background,
with an R2D2-type rounded head, arms and legs, gears spinning.
Copy reads: Tomorrowcam.
3. Camera as rocket ship -- On a blue background with
doodled stars flying past, the camera has thrust coming out of
the end to denote speed and seems to fly across the page. Copy
reads: Shooting Star.
Each ad also said, "Introducing the Kodak EasyShare LS420 digital
camera, special edition," with a link to 'Learn More' that led
directly to the interstitial on the Kodak site's digital camera
Borosky didn't worry that the palette of the ads would be seen as
sexist or clichéd. "The camera is a nice metallic silver, and we
wanted a nice contrast, to not get washed out. We picked the
palette and then based on the context or idea, used the color
that made sense," he says. "It's a subtle thing."
The team created standard banners, skyscrapers, and pop-ups, and
ran them on sites geared toward the male/female split:
The ads drove traffic to what Borosky describes as "more of a
mini-site than an interstitial" on the digital camera section of
Kodak.com. He identified four key areas of consideration when
creating the microsite. (Link to sample below.)
o Creative -- informative and match the existing site, but
The microsite incorporated many of the same elements as the ads -
- the doodles around a photo of the camera, the animation, the
simple text -- but it also needed to include more information
about the camera itself.
And it needed to bridge the gap between the colorful ads and the
clean, white look of the Kodak site while maintaining the
character of the campaign.
So after the animated camera did its thing (in this case, zooming
off the screen as a racecar), it came back simply as a camera on
a plain white background. Links offered viewers the options to
"Explore the features," "See what's included," and "Find out
where to get it."
Too boring? Maybe, thought Borosky, "So we gave the camera itself
a personality," he says.
For example, the photo of the camera winked at the viewers when
it was at rest. And when they clicked on Explore the Features,
the camera whipped around the screen as it took pictures, "kind
of Ninja-like," Borosky explains.
o Make people click to open
The campaign took place just as pop-up blocker was really coming
into play, says Borosky. While people who clicked through from
the ads were directed straight to the mini-site, it popped up by
itself for visitors who happened to arrive at the Kodak digital
camera section on their own.
"Halfway through we changed it from something that popped up
automatically to something with a strong call to action on the
product page specific to that camera," Borosky says.
They ran one of the banners. Only when people clicked on it would
the interstitial pop up.
o Load sequentially
When people clicked on any of the links for more information,
Borosky didn't want them to have to wait while it downloaded. His
team designed it so that it downloaded sequentially. For example,
on the page to explore the features, viewers are offered options
in two horizontal rows of three boxes each.
"In our society, most people read from left to right, so we
started it loading at the upper left corner. It would give the
experience right away while loading the rest," he says.
o Don't sacrifice a key feature of the product for the sake
of existing creative
The size of the camera was one of its selling points. Borosky's
team struggled to show the size of it in keeping with the
creative: "We thought of a lipstick, car keys. There was the
whole male/female thing to consider," he says, "and finally,
people want to know how big it is in their hand."
He eventually decided to use a human element, adding a photo of a
woman's hand holding the camera.
The ad campaign got a clickthrough range of .33% to
12.5%. As expected, standard 468x60 banners got the lowest CTR.
Larger square banners got a CTR of 1.1%; and skyscrapers did even
The top performing ad, at 12.5% clickthrough, used top-layer
technology, creating a pop-up that sat over the entire site on
which it ran. "There's that double-edge sword of adding to the
mess of noise," Borosky says. "People hate them, but they do
work, it's an in-your-face sort of thing where you see results."
Borosky was surprised by the results, "The standard banners got
standard responses, but because there's no call to action I'm
surprised they even did as well as they did. The big site overlay
really sort of took us all by surprise."
Kodak won't publicly release data from the landing page -microsite, but they revealed enough results on their AD:TECH Awards entry form that the campaign won Best Pop Up/Interstitial for 2003.
Here's a link to see a sample of the campaign:
Note: The entry forms for the 2004 Awards will be available in May 2004 if you have a campaign you'd like to submit. More info: http://www.ad-tech.com