Polaroid Sets Ad Blitz Behind B-to-B Products

Polaroid is introducing a slew of business-to-business products with a print, direct mail and Web campaign from independent shop Connelly Partners/CGN.

The effort uses minimal copy and mild humor in about a dozen print executions.

One series of ads promotes the launch of Polaroid’s T690 instant film to professional photographers. In one execution, a cat gazes hungrily at a Polaroid photograph of a caged bird. Another ad shows a woman’s feet climbing onto a chair to “escape” a Polaroid of a tarantula. The headline on both ads is, “For lifelike proofing,” which is intended to underscore the film’s “sharp, bright, realistic colors.”

Several other ads tout the company’s Macro 5 camera to professionals with high-resolution imaging needs. One execution aimed at dentists shows two Polaroid photos clipped to a patient folder. Both show a set of teeth, one much more vibrant than the other. “Instant images so realistic, you may find yourself handling them with latex gloves,” the copy reads.

The ads are running in Dental Equipment and Materials, Day Spa and American Spa, among others.

Another ad targeting beauty- industry professionals shows a portrait of a woman’s face, with one eye highlighted in a Polaroid shot. Text reads, “With every picture, your clients look closer to the age they tell people they are.”

Though each ad conveys a different message, the campaign’s overall goal is to promote Polaroid as the most reliable solution in the b-to-b sector. “The key message is that Polaroid is making a lasting impression—it’s a household name,” said creative director Alyssa D’Arienzo-Toro. “In all markets, [the work] makes an impression on business customers that keeps them coming back.”

With the rise of digital-camera technology, Polaroid is attempting to position its instant products as more convenient than the products offered by players such as Sony and Olympus.

“Digital is the new technology, but it doesn’t offer the same results as instant film,” said Keri Benson, a partner at Connelly, citing the need to scan a digital image into a computer after it has been taken. “There’s that second step involved. Polaroid has to position itself as a new-business solution for professionals.”

Sources pegged the budget in the low seven figures.

Boston-based Connelly succeeded defunct crosstown shop Holland Mark on the assignment in October. That shop produced Polaroid’s last major b-to-b campaign in June 2000. The print-based work featured often-startling Russ Quackenbush photographs (such as a boat up a tree) to illustrate the variety of uses for Polaroid products.

Polaroid spent $30 million on ads in 2001, but only $8 million in the first 10 months of 2002, according to CMR, as it struggled to get its financial house in order. Polaroid was sold to an equity group last year and emerged from bankruptcy.

Chicago-based Leo Burnett is the company’s lead global agency for consumer ads. —with David Gianatasio