Many consumers may still think of Kodak as mainly an enabler of still images. But the company is becoming deeply involved in the Web's most popular site for moving pictures: YouTube.
Kodak has launched a branded YouTube channel, ForMom, featuring user-generated testimonials from real moms on topics ranging from parenting and cooking to health, beauty and exercise.
"It's a Web site that has a lot of different content for mothers," says Mike Mayfield, Kodak's marketing manager for branding and content. "We've created some videos for that Web site, sort of like mommy how-to videos. This is just another way we're reaching deep into YouTube to explore different parts of the brand."
The Rochester, N.Y.-based company has also launched a YouTube-based contest in which consumers are encouraged to upload 10-second videos depicting their ultimate family portrait -- whether that is their immediate family, extended family or even family of co-workers -- for a chance to win Kodak prizes.
Both strands of the YouTube promotions are intended to push the company on the popular social network, while promoting Kodak's video camera, the Zi8, Mayfield says.
"We're very active in social media, and a site like YouTube allows us to be where consumers are," he says. "We're trying to go where the target is engaging and interacting with each other, and where we can provide them with tools and content. Also, to get them to share content with each other even more."
The brand's heavy sponsorship of YouTube programs is intended to augment support for the company's recently launched "it's time to smile" brand campaign, which touts the connections people make by sharing photographs. Television ads for the campaign, which highlight the connections and relationships people have, launched last week.
"[YouTube] is all about sharing, and the campaign is all about sharing," Mayfield says. "Now is the time where Kodak can show people how they can use technology to reconnect with their loved ones."