Global Kodak: The Instamatic, Family Values, and Kodak’s Marketing Strategy, 1950- 1970

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Kodak’s name and its familiar yellow logo has remained one of the most well-known brands in the photography throughout history. Since the company’s founding, one of its main goals was to make photography easier and more accessible to consumers. For most of the 20th century, the company found great success achieving this goal with the help of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. Kodak and JWT saw a peak in their success in the 1960s when the two companies targeted efforts towards the global expansion of the personal photography industry. This thesis explores the decades immediately before and after this global expansion in order to understand Kodak’s understanding of itself as a company, its social and political environment, and its role in the personal lives of consumers. To do so, this thesis focuses on one product, the Kodak Instamatic, and Kodak’s attachment to advertising families and nostalgia from 1950 to 1970. As a result, it also provides a possible explanation for the more recent downfall of the once dominant company. The thesis relies on archival research from the J. Walter Thompson Company Collection at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscript Library.






Josephson, Kyra (2018). Global Kodak: The Instamatic, Family Values, and Kodak’s Marketing Strategy, 1950- 1970. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from

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