” It must be good because…” is one of the truly universal advertising slogans. It has been seen since the dawn of the posted bill and has continued in every printed, spoken, or projected medium since. It sells dodgy motor car dealers, cigarettes, religion, and cameras. Sometimes all at once…and that is one interesting ad, I can tell you…
In the camera selling-and-we-don’t-want-you-to-come-back-to-the-store-until-you-have-more-money trade the idea that an expert endorses something that you want to buy anyway is a common theme. Sometimes the person endorsing the goods is presented as an expert – sometimes as an icon – and sometimes as a legend. In most case the customers have never heard of them, but are prepared to pretend they have if it means the endorsement of their own desires. It is an expensive version of the cheap thrill you get when you get likes on Instagram or Facebook. When you get into the digital medium-format world, it is a very expensive version indeed.
Currently we are set to see a three-way fight between two Japanese and one Chinese ( nee Swedish ) company for the nervous professional/cashed-up geek market. The game is skewed here in Australia by the fact that two of the agencies are held by the same wholesaler and they are going to have to have to decide which product to push. I am confident that they, like Janus, have the physiognomical resources to do the job.
For my part, I am less swayed as a photographic customer by the world-class expert showing me how gloriously arty it is for him or her to do something – and more by seeing Cheryl Doe from Moorabbin saying that it worked first time, even if the kids were clambering over her and the car wouldn’t start. Success closer to our own level is success more clearly seen. Kodak knew that when Kodak knew how to be Kodak. That’s what made them pre-eminent then.