Kodak have done something very simple and something that probably shouldn’t work. But it does. Find a popular event, take photos, photoblog explaining what you did and thereby demonstrating the product. Why ‘shouldn’t that work’? Well because, looking at top blogger lists, about the second most popular blog subject is photography and/or photoshop. (First is – you guessed it – how to blog and make money from blogs). We have a surfeit of bloggers talking about taking bloomin’ pictures. Kodak has had to fight their way into the discussion.

Jenny Cisney is Kodak’s 1000 words blogger. She is at the Olympics, taking shots of every day scenes. Kind of a basic advertising premise. Advertise the product – in this case, cameras both still and video – talk about the product, show the product, explain the product, but mostly show what it can do, in a real way.

Jenny is roaming Beijing, finding nice everyday shots and give some tips:

Use your friend as a human tripod. Or would it be bipod? If you need to steady your camera to get a shot, use anything close by to brace it on. Even your friend.

…. cute no?

There’s another guy, Richard Mackson, who is some kind of famous photographer, blogging for them as well.

But remember, blogs – particularly when used in this way – are locked down content, a one-to-many social media channel. So for example, I didn’t find any Kodak-Fan generated content.

Our bloggers are either Kodak employees or former employees who loved participating in A Thousand Words so much that we have grandfathered their continued participation. They come from all across the company. There are many different disciplines represented across the world. We aim to post stories frequently on the main page. They will then be archived both by date and category.

Our readers are another big part of the blog. Please leave comments and we will try our best to respond back to you as soon as we can. We want to know what you think.

Comments are not content, they are discussion. Perhaps with the next Olympics, Kodak will have a UGC strategy?

For example, upload your photos to Flickr (or Kodak Gallery, Kodak’s branded photos sharing community site), tagged with Olympics12, and with an embed option so you can blog, or Facebook, photos from Kodak friendly fans.

And better still, pick out two or three Leaders (Brand Evangelists). They are the ones with hundreds of photos and videos, and thousands of friends on the site, and send them to London Olympics. For a few thousand dollars, you’ll get millions of social media impressions, from people who, when they blog or link or upload photos, connect via a ripple into many many social networks.

Cos, though Jenny and Richard are cute, and consumers love to connect to employees, chances are they aren’t the people who will win the hearts and minds of Kodak fans. Those people are already connecting and spreading the good oil on Kodak. You just have to find them.

For Julian Cole:
It was for internal use only …

“make nanotechnology look like a MacDonald’s happy meal” Booyah!

EDIT:
Jenny got back to me:

Well, we do have a bunch of groups in Flickr where other people can add their photos… like Vintage Kodak Cameras (very popular), Kodak NASCAR pictures, etc.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/vintagekodakproducts/

and we favorite a lot of Kodak related videos on our YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/profile_favorites?user=KodakTube

I want to get more user generated content on Facebook and will be looking into that when we get back from Beijing.

Also check out our Kodak Picture of the Day which is usually user generated (just not during the Olympics)
http://www.kodak.com/go/potd

and our Gallery of Kodak Moments from users
http://www.kodakgallery.com/galleryexposure/kodakmoment

So now there you go, not just using social media sites as broadcast advertising, but engaging with the members. Yay! 🙂