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Adventures in Marketing: Polaroid Will Make an ‘Instagram Camera’

As if Instagram weren’t easy enough already, last week we learned that the Socialmatic, aka the “Instagram Camera”, is really going to happen thanks to a deal between an Italian inventor and the folks responsible for the Polaroid name. We find the concept behind this product amusing, but it also represents the latest step in an interesting rebranding experiment.

The old-school camera company went bankrupt more than a decade ago, and the folks who bought the name quickly began making money by licensing it to other brands. PLR IP Holdings, LLC nows owns the rights to all things “Polaroid”. A licensee agreement with Fotobar LLC tied the brand even more closely to the smartphone craze with a planned series of “FotoBar” locations aping the Apple Genius Bar retail model.

The Socialmatic is an even more blatant attempt to link the Polaroid name to the social photo sharing phenomenon–its design closely resembles the Instagram icon. So what does the product do? It’s just a web-enabled camera that lets you post your pics to all your social networks and contains an internal printer so you can produce “sticky-backed images on demand” in case you want to, say, paste embarrassing photos of your friends all over the walls of your high school. We just hope they add a few more filters to the mix, because it would shock you how quickly we get bored.

Will this rebranding effort work, or is it just another case of someone trying to make money by piggybacking on a social trend?

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