Photo Nostalgia Eats Its Kids

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Samsung campaign. Vintage silver.
New camera campaign looks great, awesome production values, plus, engaging interactive element. But there is an opportunity for advertisers to break-out of the current image nostalgia 


The Road Movie as photo-diary is Samsung’s pitch in the campaign for their wi-fi enabled SH100. “We’re four friends with a camper and an SH100 digital camera. We’re passing it along to friends and strangers across America. Come take pictures with us.” You can follow the journey on Facebook. The tone is instant nostalgia, with an “indie-wistful” voiceover and a collection of image archetypes: the Beauty Queen; Old-Lady Bingo; the Joshua Tree. They’re the essential scrapbook photos. “Feel young and alive” says the voiceover. 


But the visual and narrative tone all the way through has a sense you’re looking back on your last burst of youth before settling down with a paycheck, a mortgage, and a wi-fi camera for road trips you can’t afford because you’re paying off the college loan. Visually engaging, looks great, and you can see why they want to pitch the product as a kind of scrapbook of memories. It pushes all the right buttons.  But…This marriage of youth, new tech plus style that ‘looks back in time’, that creates the present-as-the-past (Instagram/Polaroid) is fast becoming the new orthodoxy.  Which means there’s a real opportunity to use photography that visualizes something different. Like, Now, Dude.


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