first ever fujicolor disposable camera | image courtesy marophoto
Often times when a marketing campaign is good enough, the campaign will outlive the product itself. Take, for example, Fujifilm’s campaign for their Fujicolor disposable camera. Their catchphrase, oshogatsu wo utsuso, fujicolor de utsuso (let’s capture New Years, let’s capture it with Fujicolor) led to a phenomenal streak of never-ending commercials and celebrity cameos, as well as huge sales in disposable cameras. It was reported that, at their peak around 2003, Fujifilm was shipping about 120 million of their iconic cameras a year. But we all know the next few chapters of the tragic story. First came digital cameras, then came the iPhone and now all those sales numbers feel like a long lost dream.
But one thing wasn’t lost – the catchphrase. If you say to someone, “oshogatsu wo utsuso” (let’s capture New Year), 9 times out of 10 – guaranteed – they will reciprocate with “Fujicolor de utsuso.” Try it. It’s fun.
However, that’s not the end of the story. Sometimes products can be reincarnated. In a poetic twist of fate, Fujicolor’s disposable camera has become an accessory to murder: a case for very thing that killed it – the iPhone.