Polaroid shoots for instant success

The polaroid Corporation of Canada is expecting consumers will refocus their attention on instant cameras with the launch of captiva, the newest technology in instant photography.Unlike the bulky design of previous incarnations, the captiva instant camera has the compact styling of...

The polaroid Corporation of Canada is expecting consumers will refocus their attention on instant cameras with the launch of captiva, the newest technology in instant photography.

Unlike the bulky design of previous incarnations, the captiva instant camera has the compact styling of a conventional 35-millimetre camera.

It also boasts several new features, including a built-in storage chamber for photos and a single lens reflex system usually associated with higher quality cameras, says Will Mlacak, Polaroid’s consumer products marketing manager.

A $3-million tv advertising campaign, developed by Toronto agency McKim Baker Lovick/BBDO, kicked off Oct. 4 and is scheduled to run until mid-December.

Mlacak says limited print advertising has also been placed in magazines such as Photo Life and Popular Photography.

The company is hoping to bolster its market share with the introduction of captiva by bringing new users into the instant camera fold.

According to Mlacak, the demand for instant cameras has declined in recent years, partly as a result of photo labs offering speedier turn-around times on photofinishing.

He says the instant camera segment of the photography market is worth about $80 million.

Polaroid expects to increase its market share by 4% to 5% by the end of the year with captiva.

Polaroid is currently the only player in the instant photography market after winning a major law suit with Kodak over patent rights to the technology.

Research conducted among 15,000 consumers in Europe, Japan and North America provided Polaroid with a snapshot of what users wanted in an instant camera.

Most importantly, Mlacak says research showed consumers found instant cameras too cumbersome and asked for a smaller, more compact design.

The product has been rolled out across Europe and was recently launched in Japan. Captiva is expected to retail for $169 in Canada.

Consumer photography products account for about 50% of the company’s sales, with medical and business imaging comprising the remainder.