Since the Polaroid Corporation was founded in 1937, its reputation has fluctuated between innovation and obsolescence. But with a wave of nostalgia hitting consumers, the brand's name seems poised to make a comeback. Its instant cameras now have a retro-cool cred, and now, a new campaign from Ming Utility and Entertainment digs deep into the company's roots to promote Polaroid Eyewear.
While in the U.S. the Polaroid brand name is most associated with photography, the company was established on advances its founder, American scientist and inventor Edwin Land, made in light polarization technology -- which were then translated into a line of eyewear. Polaroid Eyewear, now owned by Italy-based Safilo, endures today and seeks to become a bigger name worldwide with the new campaign.
The anchor of the global effort is a five-minute-long short film directed by Nacho Gayan via Stink and shot by "Jackie" and "Captain Fantastic" Cinematographer Stephane Fontaine. It debuts in time for the 80th anniversary of the Polaroid Corporation and depicts Polaroid Founder Land's colorful life of innovation. Like a mini Hollywood production, it shows how Land was the Steve Jobs of his time, a brilliant showman scientist who baffled his audiences and turned his ideas into popular consumer products. It takes us through Land's early years and then, his company's evolution.
Throughout, we see how his company's polarized lens tech impacted culture and business during times of trial and celebration. We also see how Polaroid was forward-thinking on the social front: the company hired female scientists in the 1940's and in the early 1960's appointed African American execs to leadership positions. It also became a patron of the arts and fashion, supporting talents such as Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams.
Accompanying the main film are five other stylish spots that highlight Polaroid Eyewear through various "lenses." One focuses on fashion and stars androgynous model Elliott Sailors wearing sunglasses from both the Men's and Women's 2017 collection. Another is a music video from upcoming band LionBabe, who wrote a campaign-specific tune that launched on Spotify today, while others tap into the sports, dance and art worlds.
On May 24th, the films will be woven together in an online consumer experience at PolaroidEyewear.com. There, viewers will be able to toggle through the stories via a unique multi-directional interface.