Kodak CMO Makes Hay While 'Celebrity Appearance' Shines

Kodak CMO Jeff Hayzlett summed up the company's new marketing strategy in an aside.

Caught by cell phone on his way to the Pi Sigma Epsilon Pro-Am in Dallas Friday afternoon, having just stepped off a plane and after the wild end to his company's involvement with "Celebrity Apprentice," he quipped: "We don't have time to develop pictures anymore."

No, they don't. Kodak has clearly moved beyond its iconic picture-taking base. These days the brand is marking time with the culture's swells, Trumps, actresses, singers, athletes and rock stars.

On Thursday night, Hayzlett went virtually head to head with rock star Gene Simmons--beamed in from Tokyo--debating the winning slogan for the Kodak EasyShare 5300 All-In-One Printer versus the slogan Simmons preferred, and the reason he left the show in January. "Anytime you have 9 million people watching and you don't throw up, that's a good time," Hayzlett said, about his several minutes more of fame.

He told Simmons and Donald Trump that Kodak believes it will triple sales this year after having doubled them since the January appearance of the product on "Celebrity Apprentice." The contests had been tasked with creating an advertising slogan. Simmons' team came up with "It's a Kodak World." The winning team delivered the "Ultimate Knock Out Experience" by focusing on the low price of the printer's ink. Kodak ended up using both slogans.



Such product placements on TV shows cost between half a million and two million dollars, although Hayzlett isn't saying what Kodak paid. "We are really getting out there," he told Marketing Daily. "We're thinking big and acting bigger. We got our name out in so many different ways. I got calls from marketers from all over the world."

Hayzlett described the placement cost as "a small fee for getting into the game. Once you're in, you hustle--you do all the things you need to do to get more court time."

Kodak's involvement with the Trump program, he says, made for lasting bonds with some of the celebrities. Currently, there are three vignettes posted at Kodak.com, featuring three of the celebrities from the "Apprentice" show--Marilu Henner, Vinny Pastore and Nely Galán, the last of which is done in both Spanish and English.

"It's a great way for Kodak to change its message and delivery," says Hayzlett. "We're having some fun. We've got a couple more things up our sleeve that are fairly aggressive."

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