By Alex Thorne
My worlds have collided (public relations & photography) with the news that Polaroid and Lady Gaga are teaming up to introduce a new line of products later this year. I wrote a brief article over at Thorne Communications which is posted below.
When my Google alert contains two of my favorite subjects; public relations and photography, I can’t resist writing about it. Last week, Atomic Public Relations announced that it had been chosen by Polaroid to assist in re-introducing the company’s iconic brand. The new campaign has already made a big splash with the news that Lady Gaga is going to join Polaroid as its creative director for a line of Polaroid Imaging products to be debuted later this year. The pairing of Polaroid and Lady Gaga, one of today’s hottest artists, is a brilliant move to redefine the Polaroid brand.
As I see it, Polaroid has two main goals. First, introduce the Polaroid name to a young target market that may only vaguely remember those cameras that spit out square instant photos by associating the company’s new line of products with one of today’s hottest young artists. Lady Gaga will definitely help the Polaroid brand stand out in today’s crowded and noisy consumer electronics market. Second, leverage its existing brand equity and history into its new campaign to peek interest with an older demographic that still remembers Polaroid’s fun products of the past. A quote from Polaroid’s press release spells out their rebranding strategy nicely:
“Building upon Polaroid’s rich history, the Polaroid partner network will support fans and users of classic Polaroid products and deliver new Polaroid products to a new generation of Polaroid customers while staying true to Polaroid’s long-standing values of fun and simplicity.”
It goes without saying that Polaroid’s new products must be compelling, unique and remain true to the company’s historic nature or else the campaign will fail. If Polaroid’s new products don’t establish the company’s credibility with their target market, the risk of damaging the brand is considerable. Every marketing and public relations professional involved in rebranding is familiar with the lessons learned from the New Coke fiasco. Re-introducing the Polaroid brand has its risks, in large part because the company doesn’t have its version of Classic Coke to fall back on.
As an avid photographer and public relations consultant, I’ll definitely be watching Polaroid’s rollout of its new products later this year.