Black’s ups its digi game

The retailer has launched two new digi products and a campaign to encourage consumers to use its imaging services.

Black’s has launched another salvo into the digital photography realm this week with a new strategy designed to encourage consumers to start printing their photos again.

Announced at its flagship store in Toronto yesterday, the company has released a new smartphone app and new website with a goal toward engaging the amateur digital photographer. The retailer’s new digital tools will be promoted with a multimedia campaign handled by Toronto-based agencies Devlin (creative and online) and Gaggi Media.

The new app, created in partnership with Telus and free for download, allows users to send photos from their smartphones to be printed at the nearest Black’s location. The website is also sporting a new digital photo organization tool, again developed with Telus, that allows users to store and organize up to 4,000 photos on, as well as create products such as mugs, mousepads or albums that can be picked up in-store.

The campaign to promote the new products includes magazines and TV, targeting females 35 to 49, with spots on Corus’ W Network and Citytv’s Breakfast Television. The ads will run until after Christmas.

The ads encourage viewers to preserve their memories by using photos to create products on the new Black’s site instead of keeping them on memory sticks, digital cameras and cellphones.

‘People take pictures of things that are really happy and of moments they never want to lose, and we want to help them do more with that,’ Ethel Taylor, president and general manager, Black’s, tells MiC.

The strategy to promote photo ‘memorables’ (such as mugs) is an area in which the Canadian arm of Black’s has been lagging behind its US and European counterparts, Taylor admits.

‘Part of [this campaign] is repositioning us as the industry leader, but the sub-element is to introduce and the simplified online experience and to get customers to do more with their images.’