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PMA Launches: "Print from Digital" Push

PMA Launches
“Print from Digital” Push

Dealer and Consumer Initiatives To Promote Printing Digital Images at Retail

by Dan Havlik

For retailers, the campaign includes Digital AdMaker 2.0, a free web-based resource for PMA members that provides professional print and broadcast advertising materials that can be tailored to a retailer’s particular market. Located at, the resource offers free ad slicks and short television and radio spots which retailers can use to promote prints from digital.

Consumers, in turn, will be courted through the new “Print from Digital” promotional campaign which includes a PMA-sponsored website,, providing digital camera users with tips on how to make prints from their digital images.

Another component of the campaign is the Qualified Digital Processing Center program which helps consumers find qualified retailers who can make prints from digital images.

“It’s all part of a coordinated effort to get consumers to think about printing digital images at retail because a lot of times they only think of printing at home,” said Ted Fox, executive director of PMA.

Print ad material is available through PMA’s Digital Admaker 2.0 program for retailers to use in promoting the printing of digital images at their stores.

PMA’s recent push is perhaps the largest industry effort so far to inform the public they don’t have to let their digital images lie fallow in cameras and on hard drives. Despite efforts by some manufacturers, and by photo retailers themselves, many digital camera users remain confused about what to do with their digital images once they’re captured. According to a recent InfoTrends survey, 39% of digital camera users in 2003 were not even aware they could print their images at retail. With statistics showing that photofinishing has taken a hit in recent years, largely because of digital, the effort to promote printing from digital at retail has been seen as something of a panacea for the industry.

“Digital cameras are going to be the hottest product at Christmastime this year, so now’s the time to get them printing,” Fox said, explaining why PMA decided to launch the campaign when it did in late fall of 2003.

He emphasized that because many so-called soccer moms are used to taking film to retail to get prints made, they’re already familiar with the process.
“Today and tomorrow’s digital camera users are going to be the soccer mom and she’s stretched for time but she’s also the family archivist so she wants to make prints. And she’s probably mad at her husband who’s been storing all these images on the hard drive,” Fox said. “I don’t think it’s a tough nut to crack. I think she’s already on board.”

The ad material from Digital Admaker stresses this point. One print ad shows a memory card shaped like a roll of film with the headline: “Shoot 35mm or Digital? We Print Both.” Another shows the plastic photo holder in a wallet filled with a CD, two memory cards and a jump drive. The headline on the ad reads: “Preserve Memories...Make Prints! We Print Digital.”

The campaign has already started to catch the interest of PMA members. John Moore, president and CEO of Photomagic Professional Imaging in Austin, TX said his store and two other camera stores and photo labs on Lamar Avenue in Austin, are considering using one of the TV spots as a cooperative advertising commercial on a local cable channel. The businesses are hoping to run the spot, with all the stores’ logos included at the end, some time in the Spring.

“[Getting prints from digital at retail] is a message that has been lost. It just hasn’t gotten out there, and this is exactly what this ad does so well” Moore said. “I can’t believe the industry as a whole hasn’t been able to drive that point home.”

To get the message across to an even larger audience, Moore suggested that PMA ask members to pitch in $100 apiece to get one of the spots running on national television.

“It would really serve to drive prints back to the place where people made them before, which is photo specialty,” he said.

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