This Vintage ORWO Film Commercial Is Dripping With Nostalgia

While we still see some ORWO films today, we can’t help but feel nostalgic about the slice of ORWO history in this vintage commercial. 

In many of the vintage camera ads and commercials we’ve seen so far, it’s easy to feel nostalgic with the household brands that became part of our personal histories. But for some film brands, like ORWO, today’s generation of film photographers have just begun to discover them. Today’s vintage camera commercial would make an interesting and unique introduction, dripping with nostalgia all the way from the 1960s.

The commercial below is from the East Germany in 1960s, reflecting some of the visuals and aesthetics of the time — fashion, colors, situations and all. However, there are also some things evidently different from this commercial, as we’re sure you’ll notice when you watch it:

The first thing you’ll notice is how this clip goes longer than, say, most of Kodak’s commercials. Also, there aren’t any dialogues or voice overs throughout the clip: just an energetic, jazzy tune that complemented the vibrant scenes. In fact, if not for the “vintage ORWO film commercial” label, it wouldn’t be obvious to viewers what the product/s is/are until near the very end, save for the quick suggestions by characters holding cameras. Only at the end do we find out what it’s all about: ORWO films.

According to camera-wiki.org, ORWO is actually short for “Original Wolfen,” as the brand was made in Filmfabrik Wolfen, which used to be an Agfa plant in the East German town of Wolfen. Apart from still photography films, Wolfen manufactured cine films and radiography film and plates. The ORWO brand name was eventually adopted in 1964 when the East German company faced trade agreement issues in the western market.

Today, there are many online shops that still carry ORWO films. Take note that there are always stocks — both old and new emulsions — to check out on eBay!

Screenshot image from the video