Introduced in 1998 Instax offered instant photographic gratification. Load the special film, press a button, and a superb photo pops out. Nice, but not appropriate for the Digital Age? And yet… starting in 2008, Instax sales spiked in Asia, and they have been rising as well in Europe and the US.
In 1964, communications theorist Marshall McLuhan said “The medium is the message.” Taking an analog photo these days simply offers a different message from taking a photo with a mobile phone, or even with a high-end digital camera. There is a certain warmth to both the technology and the resulting tangible photograph that brings people together. Instantly outputting the photo and watching it come to life is a special reminder of the reality of that moment, the mutual experience. Taking several photos with Instax and sharing them can strengthen communication and build cohesion in a group.
There is an amazing amount of high-tech in one small camera. Only a company that really knows film and cameras could produce the system in the first place. Plus, there are a lot of unique Fujifilm technologies in Instax. That’s all well and good, but why produce an instant pic when today’s mobile phones can do all that and more?
There is a bold retro appeal to Instax. Take a photo, write a message on the white border, and give it to someone special. Put a photo in a scrapbook. Cook something nice, take a photo, and paste the photo into a recipe book. Take a series of photos of a pet to record his or her growth. It just feels right!
While producing world-class digital cameras and helping drive the digital revolution more than anyone, Fujifilm still produces the world’s finest old-school color film. There will always be something special to the non-digital approach. Millions of customers around the world say so. Instax is simply one incredibly fun, incredibly convenient example of the past remaining relevant!