Brands for life - Kodak

Brands for life - Kodak

Imagination experience labs

Imagination's blog for industry insight, innovation, inspiration and general life contemplation.
  • Claire Mcloughlin
  • Creative Strategist

Brands for life - Kodak

Kodak is sadly a brand that has had it’s life. A sad death for a brand that will remain with me.

Kodak captured the peaks, people and places of life in the brands signature Kodak moments. Kodak focused on creating these moments and facilitated us with the tools to capture them; film, cameras, paper, printers. There are countless debates on why Kodak was unable to drive and direct digital photography forward but this is not a place to lament.

Just as Kodak would have wanted, this celebrates the life of Kodak.

Kodak pioneered ‘share’ in the 1930’s, a word that saturates media today as we are reminded, to share every aspect of life through countless channels. Kodak started this with ‘picture ahead’ road signs in picturesque points across America. Encouraging tourists to pause for the perfect pictures. Kodak reminds you to mark the moment with a snap, that you can share with your friends, family or in the future. Kodak became a verb, the signs progressed to read ‘ Kodak scenic spot’. The campaign continued well into the 80’s popping up in theme parks and tourist attraction, featuring in family albums everywhere.

Kodak invited itself unobtrusively into family life present at births, graduations, weddings, celebrations. Kodak encouraged family members to gather round, hold babies and say cheese. It showed me generations of my family who I will never meet. It really is a brand that will be with us for life.

It filled gaps in memories, reminded me of a well spent childhood, endless summer days and raised questions about hair cuts. Kodak will facilitate conversations with future generations, pulling photos from a draw, to share the Kodak moments with the next generations. Sure digital photography allows you to do this, but there is something more profound turning the pages of a photo album, that trawling through an old hard drive. Camera phones and Instagram do make it easier to make these kodak moments. Today we are subjected to over sharing as every aspect of life is documented rather saving sharing for something monumental and precious. Each snap on a Kodak film was used to document something special.  

It makes me sound old fashioned, but I’d prefer to see it as sentimental. Kodak encouraged us to go out and seek more. Climb higher. Go further. Gather round. Kodak is a brand that encouraged us to experience. It’s these experiences that make up life. Kodak was a brand for life.


We'd love to hear your brands for life, so please post them below or join the discussion on Twitter #brandsforlife @ImaginationLabs. 
Previous blogs:
Kickers and Osh Kosh
Twitter chat - #brandsforlife
Delta Airlines
The Guardian


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