Kodak embarks on Twitter name campaign

NEW YORK: Kodak has launched a Twitter-driven contest to rename its new Zi8 pocket video camera, which is intended to compete with the Flip.

NEW YORK: Kodak has launched a Twitter-driven contest to rename its new Zi8 pocket video camera, which is intended to compete with the Flip.

Kodak CMO Jeff Hayzlett said the idea for the contest came about after a Boston Globe column gave the Zi8 positive reviews, but called the name "dreadful" and "lame." The contest launched yesterday and will run until Monday. People participate by either tweeting the suggestion with #NameAKodak or leaving a comment on the company's blog post about the contest.

“We've always used input from our customers with testing and feedback,” Hayzlett told PRWeek. “But I don't know that we've ever done a naming contest like this.”

Hayzlett said he would measure the effectiveness of the effort by the number of entries received, level at which consumers engage with the campaign, and media coverage in mainstream outlets.

“This will not only help raise the profile of our new product but it also raises the profile of our existing products,” he said.

Hayzlett also said he's not concerned that renaming the Zi8 could cause brand confusion.

“We're new in the category and the most important name and the one that I think people will remember is Kodak,” he said. “And actually this has a halo affect on our HD videos, still cameras, our printers and all our other products.”

While Kodak consumers are traditionally female heads of households, Hayzlett said the “thousands” of entries for the contest have varied across gender, age and cultural groups.

The winner of the contest will be sent to Las Vegas for the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Kodak will also randomly choose 100 people to give away cameras to among those who submit names. Both prizes also play on Kodak's reputation, according to Hayzlett.

“This all connects to Kodak being a very celebratory brand,” Hayzlett noted. “Kodak is associated with birthdays, weddings, and parties. This is another celebration.”

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