In the Instagram Generation, Instax Reminds People That Tactile Photos Are Still Magical

New work from McCann taps into the communal nature of photography

There are great rewards in exchanging photos you can hold. Instax / Fujifilm
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Even in this digital generation with cameras in every pocket, there’s something special about the moment at a party where someone breaks out a camera that spits out actual photographs. Suddenly any event can turn into an impromptu photoshoot.

So what makes a camera different when it isn’t on a mobile phone? Even though the quality is sometimes worse than the average iPhone camera, classic cameras bring a bit of nostalgia. They may also help avoid some unwanted attention. Say you’ve had a couple tequila shots, and someone takes a picture of you with an instant camera, that picture can head straight for your pocket, no need to worry about it coming up on Instagram and somehow ending up in your bosses feed.

These types of pictures are also communal. There’s no need to go through an Airdrop editing session. Instead, you get a photo out of the camera, and that’s what you get. No time to nitpick the smile you are making or the weird thing you are doing with your hand. The picture is raw, personal and private.

That’s the focus of the new Fujifilm Instax campaign from McCann. The tagline “Don’t just take, give” speaks to how the ability to print a photo on the move makes photography a more collaborative experience. According to the ad, with Instax, you don’t take pictures, you gift them.

“The McCann team came forward with an idea that got to the heart of our company’s culture and our target audience,” said Manny Almeida president of Fujifilm North America Corporation’s Imaging Division. “It turns the notion of photography on its ear.”

The new ad also serves as the announcement that McCann is working with the brand.

“We are delighted that our network was chosen to handle Instax,” said Devika Bulchandani, President of McCann New York. “It’s a very cool brand with real cache among its Gen Z users, which will be reflected in the unconventional cross-channel creative work we’ll be launching later this year.”

Even as the iPhone 11 adds a gratuitous third camera to the smartphone, there is still a significant demand for cameras that give out a real picture on the spot. According to Fuji, 45 million of the cameras have been sold, with 10 million alone in the brand’s 2019 fiscal year.


Agency: McCann NY
Co-Chief Creative Officer: Tom Murphy
Co-Chief Creative Officer: Sean Bryan
Executive Creative Director: Matt Bisher
Group Creative Director: Dov Zmood
Group Creative Director: Andre Massis
Associate Creative Director: Lizzie Wilson
Associate Creative Director: Annie Elliot
Chief Production Officer: Nathy Aviram
Executive Producer: Deb Archambault
Executive Integrated Producer: Andrea Kay
SVP, Senior Integrated Producer: Wendy Leahy
Senior Integrated Producer: Sally Hotchkiss
SVP Executive Music Producer: Eric David Johnson
Music Producer: Dan Gross
Executive Business Director: Kevin Scher
Account Director: Aleja Santamariar
Account Executive: Nikki Thomany
Executive Planning Director: Laura Frank
Senior Strategic Planner: Jacklyn Baillergeon
Executive Business Director, McCann Tokyo: Yukari Osawa

Productions Credits:
Director: Sara Dunlop
Production Company: The Corner Shop, Los Angeles
Founder, Executive Producer: Anna Hashmi
Head of Production: Jessica Miller
Producer: Tessa Mitchell
Director of Photography: Monika Lenczewska
Production Designer: Oian Arteta
Editorial Company: No6
Editor: James Duffy
Photographer: Jeff Hahn

Executive Music Producer, SixtyFour Music: Rebecca Grierson
Executive Music Producer, SixtyFour Music: Nick Payne
‘Higher’ track by Josh Sneesby

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Mitch Reames is a freelance writer based in southern Oregon. A 2017 graduate of the University of Oregon school of journalism and communications, Reames covers a wide range of industry topics including creativity, agencies, brands, esports and more.