Kodak Snaps Teens at Bolt.com

Kodak has joined with Gen-Y Web site Bolt to provide digital photo services to Bolt’s more than four million worldwide registered members.

According to Nicole Witt, marketing manager of strategic targeting at Kodak, New York-based Bolt is “very unique” and an ideal partner because of its reach and stickiness.

Co-branding partnerships such as this one have become a popular way to skirt banner ads and create added value for users and companies, both online and offline.

Dan Pelson, chairman and CEO of Bolt, agreed that the site offers an optimal springboard for Kodak to introduce products to the desirable teen demographic. Pelson stressed that Bolt offers Kodak more than simply slapping up a few banner ads on the site.

“What we’re really doing here is contextual branding,” said Pelson. Bolt will build Kodak into all aspects of the site dealing with digital imaging, Pelson said. Going forward, Kodak’s message might appear in opt-in marketing campaigns, Bolt clubs and message boards built around photography.

Pelson claimed that the results and metrics from this co-branding partnership can be used by Kodak to decide in the future how much spending to make on advertising across mass market sites such as portals.

Kodak’s Witt also acknowledged that the data Bolt can deliver is richer than that from banner ads and more real-time, which adds additional value to the relationship.

The new partnership comes on the heels of Bolt’s announcement of its fifth round of funding. Lead investors include Bechtel Enterprises, Highland Capital Partners, Oak Investment Partners, Moore Capital and Sandler Capital Management. Pelson said that he expects this significant financial push — the exact numbers were not disclosed — to catapult the company to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2001.