If you raised your hand and said “yes” to the question above, you’re in for a treat! As a film photographer, I still find those heartwarming Kodak Christmas ads fascinating.
For one, we don’t see camera companies make these types of ads that way anymore. Whether it’s for the better or for the worse, we all have our stand on that. Still, I believe they are important — and charming — pieces of photography history worth revisiting during the holiday gift-giving season.
So, I have hand-picked some of the most fitting Kodak Christmas commercials — and their intriguing cameras — to share a bit of holiday nostalgia with you all. I think the cameras here will either be familiar or surprising to some of you, and it would be interesting to know what you thought of them!
A give and take Christmas
For the first video above, let’s go all the way back to 1969. I love the simple yet heartfelt message of this commercial: “Give a Kodak gift to those you love so they can take pictures they’ll always treasure.”
Several Kodak goodies made an appearance in this five-decade-old commercial, but the Brownie Starmatic is one the stars of the show. The first automatic Brownie camera, it featured a fixed focus Kodar lens, “instant” shutter setting and Automatic Exposure control through a built-in exposure meter.
The unexpected gift of Kodak Colorburst 50
Moving on to Christmas of 1979, Kodak released a touching commercial featuring the Colorburst 50, which the campaign dubbed as “The Unexpected Gift.” It was a nice surprise for the gentleman then, and I’m sure it’s an intriguing surprise for many today.
Also known as Colorburst 50, the Kodak EK160 was part of the company’s short-lived foray into instant photography after manufacturing Polaroid instant film from 1963 to 1969. Despite Kodak’s being different from their instant film, Polaroid filed a patent infringement suit against the company. After losing the dispute in 1985, Kodak discontinued their instant photography products, and cameras like the Colorburst 50 were forgotten.
Give the gift of Kodak Disc for the family
In Christmas of 1984, the company recommended gifting a Kodak Disc camera for the family. The particular model featured in the commercial, the Kodak Disc 3100, was introduced in the same year and was sold until 1987.
The camera and its peculiar disc film format was innovative for its time, allowing it to enjoy a fair bit of popularity among amateur photographers. However, this success was short-lived since the image quality was poor compared to newer 35mm cameras.
Got a film photographer or camera collector in the family or among your friends? Some of these vintage cameras are still around, and would still make an interesting gift for them. So, consider this list as a recommendation for giving the gift of Kodak nostalgia!
Did I miss your favorite vintage Kodak commercial? Share it in the comments below!