A Struggle to Survive

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Polaroid came out with the instant film camera in 1948, dominating the market and becoming a household name.  That is all changing in recent years and the development of digital cameras is making it even harder for Polaroid to hang on to their once dominant role in the camera market.  They are now seeking ways to come back, will they be able to do it?

Polaroid is struggling in the market, competing with such brands as Sony, Nikon and Canon.  Polaroid’s halting production of its once famous instant camera, and the film for it, leaves people around the world with mixed feelings as they try to hold on to the nostalgia of this classic camera. With a large fan base, demand is getting higher, but without profit, Polaroid is being forced to stop production of the film for these cameras, causing what is left of the film to become very expensive.

Polaroid is fighting back, holding a press conference in January of 2011, with their new Creative Director, Lady GaGa, and introducing three new products hoping to bring back the instant camera.  The first of these products is one the company has been developing since their beginning, eyewear. But this is no regular eyewear; within the glasses is a camera enabling you to capture and record what you see. Another product is a small printer, the size of the original Polaroid camera, which can be wirelessly connected to your mobile device and instantly print a photograph.  At the press conference Lady GaGa asked, “What is the camera of the future? This is, your cell phone.”  Emphasizing that many of us don’t even use digital cameras to take pictures anymore, instead we use our cell phones.  Having a way to print these pictures instantly is a throwback to the instant camera and this is an exciting product they are introducing to the market.  The last product Lady GaGa introduced directly reverts back to the instant Polaroid camera we are all familiar with. The new camera has a similar style and shape to the old one, but now has a screen and you are able to save your pictures for later or print them instantly.

As we can see by these three new radical products they are introducing, Polaroid is trying to gain back a share of the market they once dominated.  There are mixed reactions; some feel the new products do not have the same feel as the older ones, while some find them exciting. I asked Alex Woo, 20, a Communications major at New York University, if she feels this is a positive or negative step for the company.  Her reply?   “Positive, because that’s what makes it so alluring, the fact that it’s new with a hint of the past.”

In the next few months we will see if the products are a success or not. The revamping of the company, Lady GaGa as their Creative Director, and introducing these new products, they are sure to make a splash in the market and hopefully bring the company back to the forefront.

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