Polaroid, you tease.
Over the weekend the Polaroid Instagram account posted, ‘Tune in on September 21 for something new. Hint: it’s not a camera.’ Instantly, the comments were alive with Polaroid fan’s hopes and dreams. Peel apart film, new i-Type film, black and white film, anything film related please, the people said! The message here from the company’s customers was clear, give us film.
It did not seem like Polaroid film lovers were hoping for what they got, which was Polaroid Music. Nothing film or photography related. The release included what they call Polaroid Players, Polaroid Music App, and Polaroid Radio. There are four different designs of music players which remind me of cd players and radios from the first decade of the new millennium. The campaign is called “Music in Full Color” and features more as a lifestyle brand rather than a camera and film company.
Scrolling through the responses on the Instagram announcement post from September 21st, it’s near impossible to find a comment where someone wasn’t disappointed. Comments range from mild disappointment to disbelief to outrage. The response on Twitter is much the same story.
So this begs the question, why has Polaroid gone in this direction? Have they miscalculated or are they diversifying their revenue streams further? It’s not the first time the Company has used the name and brand on ventures and products outside of the camera and film niche. Recently, they partnered with Nike to create a pair of shoes with the Polaroid Spectrum featured in the design of the classic Nike swoosh. They also have put their name on TVs and 3-D printers as well, just to name a couple of examples recently available.
There has been no response from Polaroid on the community feedback on social media yet, but I would imagine they might be wanting to consider their next public announcement or teaser more carefully. Although music and photography are often well-partnered and it’s not a stretch of the imagination to believe Polaroid would brand non-photography related products, the community response to Polaroid’s product announcement was that it was clearly disappointing and not at all what analogue customers wanted.