Nostalgic Kodak Commercial Reminds Us of Sharing Photos Before Social Media

In the mood for some major throwback? Let’s confuse the kids a bit with this four decades old Kodak commercial.

These days, sharing photos is just a matter of tapping away on our smartphones and sending photos from our camera roll to social media and messaging apps. Quick, easy, and convenient. Modern. Back in the days, you needed to have something tangible if you want to share a photo with family and friends. You need to have a print, as this nostalgic Kodak commercial from decades past reminds us!

How time — and technology — flies, as the commercial above from the 1980s show us. Of course, back in the days, you needed to have your film rolls developed and printed by your friendly neighborhood film lab before you could see and share your photos. But in this commercial, it’s not just the camera, films, or even the developing and printing services that Kodak was trying to sell: it’s the sentimentality of taking photos so you have a lot of memories to share in tangible form. More prints, more memories to look back on with family and friends.

It’s worth pointing out how the commercial was effective because it treated photography as a bonding activity built on the Kodak moment. It’s a marketing term, but it clicked, and advertisements made sure to reinforce the concept. Still, the unforgettable moments, when shared in print form, became even more personal and valuable, and the commercial depicted sharing photos as a social activity to emphasize this reality.

Apart from making us nostalgic for a bygone time, the commercial also shows how much photography and sharing photographs work differently now. It’s easy to imagine smartphones replacing the prints in all the scenarios, but that won’t be totally realistic. Let’s face it; these days, sharing photos has become a less social activity and more a social media activity. So much to gather from a 40-year-old commercial!


Screenshot image from the video by Gone But Not Forgotten Commercials