Product placement for hipsters: Kodak Instamatic

This blog post is written for all hipster readers of Brands & Films. Just kidding – it’s about a piece of photo history that was immensely popular, became almost extinct, but is now fashionable again. Thanks to hipster culture and >Instagram, an iPhone app that has more than 50 million users.

A few days ago I watched

an old Swedish movie by Roy Andersson En kärlekshistoria (A Swedish Love Story). The movie is a 1970 romantic drama about two teenagers (Pär and Annika) falling in love. It’s one of the most realistic portraits of teen-age love that I’ve seen, but the movie is not only about two teenagers in love. It also captured rather ordinary lives of some fairly dysfunctional families.

I have to agree with one reviewer on Amazon.com who said that all Andersson’s movies are similar: “all of them are beautiful on one level and devastatingly harsh on another. Without the hardness under the surface, the beauty on the surface would be empty and of only minimal, temporary value.”

The movie was Andersson’s first feature-length film and was selected as the Swedish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 43rd Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. Nevertheless, if you have a chance, you should watch it.

Kodak Instamatic in En kärlekshistoria (1970, screen capture)


I’ve spotted a few products in the movie, but we could hardly say that it was product placement. For me, the most important product/brand in the movie was Kodak Instamatic.

The Instamatic was a series of inexpensive, point-and-shoot cameras made by Kodak. The first Instamatic went on sale in early 1963 and was immensely successful. It introduced generations to low-cost photography and initiated numerous imitators.

In the movie the two teenagers try to take photos of them with a help of a long stick – Instamatic of course didn’t have a self-timer, so their action was quite funny :)

Kodak Instamatic in En kärlekshistoria (1970, screen capture)


There was another brand with some (unwanted) exposure in the movie. Annika’s father worked as a salesman and brought a refrigerator to a birthday party. Unfortunately Electrolux’s fridge didn’t work as it should :)

Electrolux refrigerator in En kärlekshistoria (1970, screen capture)


So, if you want the original Kodak Instamatic you’ll have to find it on eBay or in some vintage store. Otherwise you’ll have to stick to Instagram :)


* All photos were altered and manipulated with filters at PicMonkey.com


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