Encouraging trial use is the goal of one-time camera marketers who say they have just begun to scratch the surface in growing the category.
According to Fuji, which makes the second most popular single-use cameras, only 25% of U.S. households have ever tried a single-use camera. Tom Shay, director of corporate communications at Fuji Photo Film USA, Elmsford, N.Y., pointed out that Fuji's research also indicates that 50% of the photos taken with one-time cameras would otherwise never have been taken at all.
So manufacturers like Fuji have focused promotional activity on stimulating trials mainly through rebate offers. Fuji will run a national freestanding insert on June 11 with a 40-cent-off coupon on film and a $1 rebate on Fuji's QuickSnap line.
Kodak, the market leader in one-time camera sales, has launched the "Picture Perfect Easter," a co-promotion with Hershey Chocolate that began Feb. 15 and will run to April 16. Redemptions tied to the promotion are valued from 20 cents to $1. A national FSI will be delivered to 50 million consumers on March 19, offering three coupons: one on a Kodak Fun Saver camera, one on Hershey's products and a high-value coupon on both Kodak Gold film and Hershey's candy.
Packaging for single rolls of Kodak Gold film also will feature one coupon on Hershey's products, and multipacks of film will have three coupons on the Hershey brand. In turn, Hershey packages will have a coupon on Kodak's Fun Saver camera with flash.
"This promotion offers retailers a great opportunity to display both Kodak and Hershey's products and increase incremental sales," said Larry Morgan, general manager of Kodak Image Taking products at Eastman Kodak, Rochester, N.Y. Konica, No. 3 in the one-time camera market, has concentrated its distribution of single-use cameras at supermarkets. On-pack coupons are a part of Konica's strategy to stimulate trials with $1-off mail-in rebates, and 55-cent-off coupons on the next single-use purchase. One of the ways Konica has chosen to distinguish its Film-In single-use cameras from the competition is to promote the 15-exposure models at an attractive price point. "We are third and trying harder," said Paul Gordon, Konica's advertising and marketing manager at Konica U.S.A., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Gordon said Konica's price points fall below the average range of most single-use cameras, which is $5.99 to $7.99 for nonflash models, and $9.99 to $11.99 for flash.
"Our selling position is unique in that we aren't everywhere at mass market. With our concentration at major food chains, our brand allows the retailer to carve out a product identity, which is what supermarkets need now more than ever, and they can still have strong margins," he added.
Konica supports its Film-In line with three promotions a year. Last month Konica launched its "Star Trek: Voyager" sweepstakes in which consumers have a chance to win a number of Star Trek merchandise, including a trip for two to Los Angeles to visit the Star Trek set at Paramount Pictures. Each Film-In flash and nonflash package will have a special sleeve that highlights the promotion. A fourth-quarter promotion will feature incremental rebates with the number of single-use cameras purchased: buy one, get a $1 rebate; buy two, get a $3 rebate. The promotion also includes a bounce-back offer for a plush animal.
The introduction of the party pack is another marketing technique designed by manufacturers to get good trials, and make single-use picture taking not only a special event, but a year-round activity for weekends, backyard barbecues, gifts and parties.
Kodak introduced its wedding party pack with five floral decorated single-use cameras with flash last year. Fuji and Konica have been quick to follow with their own party pack version this year.
"We encourage retailers to merchandise the party packs off the planograms and in the party goods or greeting cards section," said Shay.
"Sixty percent of all consumers don't know what a single-use camera is. We are trying to trigger a need and awareness for the consumer. The retailers have to help out by making products visible in their stores, and advertising it around key picture-taking times," said Konica's Gordon. Both Kodak and Fuji have been running national television ads to broaden consumer awareness of the cameras and their benefits. Kodak's animated commercial, which began airing in May last year, portrays the Fun Saver vacation edition flying in and out of unique picture-taking situations.
Last year Fuji also began airing 15-second television spots that illustrate various risky picture-taking situations in which the QuickSnap would be a better choice than using a more expensive camera.