by Skip Cohen
I recently ran across a small stack of Life Magazines I picked up years ago. The date on the one I was looking at was December 20, 1968, and the real fun was looking at the ads. I went through it page by page, and the ad above was the only real photography ad! Polaroid's budget for print media, must have been severely limited because this was only a 1/4 page B&W ad - while the cigarette and liquor companies all dominated with full-page color ads.
I don't know how many of you remember the Swinger, but this was the BIG Swinger and dominated camera sales for a long time, giving Polaroid some of their most profitable years. I remember joining the company in 1970, and they had an employee bonus program for profit-sharing. But, sadly, you had to be employed for approximately 3 1/2 years to be fully vested.
By the time my shares were worth anything, the glory days everyone had talked about were long over. But the mystique of what Swinger sales did for everyone's annual earnings became a legend. Even a $2.0/hour employee on the production line, who was fully vested, had a sizable bonus check. That legend kept everyone excited year after year back then. It was similar to the 40-foot putt you once made that kept you in golf!
I found one of the original television commercials on YouTube featuring Ali MacGraw. It was a definite classic, and it's true - back then, everybody had a Polaroid!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.