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Photos worth more than jewels, say consumers

November 18, 2010: With Australian mass merchants involved in photo retailing devaluing the perceived value of photographs across the sales counter, it’s worth noting the value your actual consumer places on family pictures:

US online photo services company Smilebox has announced results of an online survey indicating that over 60 percent of consumers would rather receive photos that have been collected and saved over the years than family heirlooms, such as antiques, jewelry and furniture.

Both men and women, regardless of age group. would both prefer to be given old family photos and albums stretched over generations than receive family treasures.

‘Consumers love to capture special moments on camera, but many family photos collect dust in boxes or are stored on computers for months or years at a time,’ said Tricia Montgomery, vice president of marketing for Smilebox.

‘A photo scrapbook or slideshow burned to a DVD can be passed down from generation to generation. And it only takes a few minutes to create a thoughtful and unique gift for the holidays that will bring smiles to the faces of your family members and friends!’

The survey was conducted by Kelton Research and included 1000 consumers aged 18 and older.

COMMENT: The Smilebox survey was presumably conducted primarily for the purpose of producing a press release to highlight Smilebox services. Not exactly award-winning marketing communications, but a darn sight more sophisticated than the marketing approach of most companies involved in promoting photo services in the Australian marketplace! Australian retailers have been grievously let down by the sheer parsimony and dullness of the leading companies involved in the category. Where are the inspirational national photo book/gift campaigns from the likes of HP or Fujifilm or Kodak? While the suppliers are very keen on selling their equipment and consumables to retailers and urging them to promote and educate the Australian population on what’s available, they seem to be suffering from short arm/deep pocket syndrome themselves. And it really doesn’t need to cost the earth if a bit of imagination is applied – Smilebox got its message across with a hokey survey and a press release! It seems the same leaden lack of creativity among mass merchants which has delivered us 10 cent prints is at large in the marcom offices of some of our leading suppliers as well.

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