RealTime IT News

e-photomail Brings Viral Branding/Marketing to Italy

[ITALY] As the first step of its 2001 expansion strategy, the global event photography company, e-photomail.com, opened their doors to Italy this week, bringing a unique viral marketing model to dot-coms as well as brick and mortar businesses across the Mediterranean peninsula.

"Our strategy has always been to grow internally and expand geographically through sound business fundamentals," said e-photomail Managing Director, Andy Nobbs. "Beginning with a London base, we have, in recent months, established our presence not only in the United Kingdom and Ireland, but Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Germany, Spain, and now Italy."

Listed as one of the "hot start-ups" of 2000 by Europe's Internet trade publication, Tornado Insider, e-photomail uses photography, real-world events, and the Internet as a distribution channel to provide a viral branding/marketing engine that is firing-up the attention of marketing directors and PR agencies around the globe.

"Our team of professional, young digital photographers capture the passion of fans, guests and spectators at premier national and international sporting, cultural, music and social events," explains co-founder Stephen Ostrer. "These personal and unique 'we were there' photo-memories are uploaded directly to our Web site using the distribution power of the Internet to deliver a deep-reach viral audience for the event organizer, owner or sponsor."

"The individuals photographed access the site and search for their images using unique information contained in an e-photomail location card. Once they have viewed a thumbnail and watermarked version of the photo on the site they are able to send sponsored images free of charge to friends and family around the world."

e-photomail's services provide a number of branding and marketing aspects. Fans, guests and spectators, for example, can be driven to a sponsor's website to access photographs. Each image also contains the sponsor's logo and a brief message. When individuals click on a photograph, a pop-up window with the sponsor's message or other data gathering information can also be added.

"This, however, is merely the beginning," explains Nobbs. "The overwhelming viral marketing aspects of our service is what draws clients like MSN, Aberdeen Asset Management, Kronenbourg 1664, and Axa Sun Life."

When one examines the viral figures, it is easy to understand why such national brands are lured into the digital photo world. Kronenbourg 1664 contracted e-photomail to run a year long campaign photographing guests at their 'Passion Parties' held in pubs all over the U.K. E-mail photos are then offered to guests for free. "We have had an excellent response to the Kronenbourg 1664 campaign over the past 5 months with over 70 percent of all the branded photos taken," says co-founder Stephen Ostrer. "We estimate that this has delivered a large viral audience exposure to a dynamic cutting edge brand who understands its market."

E-photomail's business partners include such companies as Hewlett Packard, Octagon Sports Marketing, Internet consultancy Proteus Ventures, and the pre-eminent global sports photographic agency, Allsports. Eastman Kodak has also established a series of joint initiatives with e-photomail to bring added value to the customers of both companies.

In recent months the company has covered such events as the Rugby League World Cup 2000, Heinekin European Cup, UEFA Champions League, ODI Cricket Series in South Africa, the America's Cup in New Zealand, Running of the Bulls in Spain, the Belin Love Festival, and the Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia.

"We are now positioning our new office for Italian sports, holidays, and events like Carnival in Venice," said Nobbs.