Business Challenge: Introduce Ilford, a black-and-white photography brand, in Kodak-dominated U.S. market. Launch with $1 million budget and 0% of US market vs Kodak’s $200+ million and 80+% share of market. 
Professional (and, secondarily, amateur) B&W Photographers who purchased film, paper and equipment.
The Insight: “I am the artist. I am the arbiter of beauty in my work.” 
Customers purchased from Kodak out of habit and familiarity. When opening up their feelings, they actually harbored negative feelings. On the surface, they resented the dominant brand’s pricing and inventory control. On a deeper, emotional level, they felt Kodak regarded itself, not their customers, the photographers, as the “artist” and arbiter of beauty. This was the rub. So, counter-intuitively, for the photographer, it wasn’t about “the photograph” per se – it was about their deeper emotional connection to their art. They didn’t need to see yet more photos in ads.
  Position Ilford as the true specialist in B&W for the artist of B&W — by communicating Ilford’s authentic respect for the photographer’s vision and artistry. Be the brand that recognized the photographer, not the brand as the arbiter of beauty — the artist…. and Ilford as their singularly dedicated tool.
Creative Solution:
Campaign of iconic black-and-white imagery — ads that were, in effect, B&W art exhibits of their own, but without the use of any photography. Ads that looked and felt more like an idea than an ad (no typical logo and product shot). Ads whose media would be just as differentiating — appearing in unexpected, non-trade lifestyle media, uncluttered by other photo ads. Way beyond the usual mandatory presence in “photo publications” — into a bold range of reading experiences that photographers lighted to (e.g., Architectural Digest, Luerzers Archive, Black Book,  etc)
Business Value:
Differentiated Ilford from Kodak, established a realistic, respectful, and still creatively inspired experience and relationship between artist and “tool”  — built instant awareness and empathy that led to 3% market share in first six months. Ten percent by end of year. Moved the needle in photographer awareness and sentiment to registering Ilford as 1. the black and white specialist; 2. the one that seemed “different and more interesting” than Kodak and other suppliers.

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Caption: Inventive. Irrepressible. Illuminating. Ilford. Nobody sees more into black & white than we do.

Rorschach Ilford



Caption: Interactive. Introspective. Inseparable. Ilford. Nobody knows the philosophy of black & white like we do.





Caption: Intriguing. Involving. Indelible. Ilford. Nobody’s wilder about black & white than we are.







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