Lady Gaga Shocks The Polaroid Brand Back To Life!

How does a brand from the pre-digital age that filed for bankruptcy in 2001 survive in the 21st century of social media and advanced gadget wizardry? They hire a pop icon who has created more buzz since Madonna first uttered "Material Girl." Lady Gaga, the 23-year old wacky fashionista might be considered this millennium's Mae West on steroids but it looks like she's landed a legit day-time job, just in case her 'performance art' persona falls out of favor.

Appearing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it was announced that Grammy nominated songstress would be the new creative director for a line of imaging products for Polaroid. And as her first line of business, she rejected the 'old school' means of promoting a brand by simply becoming their spokesperson and slapping her photo on their products. Instead, she noted, "we won't be selling cameras with my face on them...I'm working on bringing the instant film camera back as part of the future."

And for those doubters that don't think the Haus of Gaga has "the chops" for marketing in the real world, check out her recently developed "Heartbeats," high-performance in-ear headphones that sells for a cool $

So what exactly is the connection between Polaroid and LG, and how does this help in the branding of an out-dated camera and film company. Well, for starters, its certainly got the blogosphere fired out (example, this posting) and if you want to shock people back into looking at your products, what better way to do it than have a controversial figure carry your flag. Also Polaroid was always known as a company that offered instant gratification, and the use a pop icon to reinforce that appeal was a very savvy move on their part.

From a tradition of avant-garde performers before her, Lady Gaga descends from female performance artists who date back to Josephine Baker who was also known for outlandish oufits and controversial stage performances. See any similarities between the shock value created by these two costumes.

Lady Gaga with Hat HairLady Gaga with Hat HairJosephine Baker with Banana SkirtJosephine Baker with Banana Skirt

When diving into her new role as creative director, Ms. Gaga might want to capitalize on and build off of some of Polaroid's greatest moments of the past. Hard to believe this company went into Chapter 11 based on some of their very unique product placement tie-ins with famous movies and album releases over the last 20 years.

When Cher (Alicia Silverstone) goes shopping and needs to try on new clothes, she always takes a Polaroid camera with her. Why? Because she doesn't trust mirrors.

Director Christopher Nolan first grabbed the attention of the masses with this twisty noir flick, which centered around a guy named Leonard (played by Guy Pearce) who has a brain condition that doesn't allow him to make new memories. What does he do to supplement his brain? He takes a ton of snaps with his trusty Polaroid camera.

Outkast, "Hey Ya!"
When Andre 3000 dropped this single from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, "Shake it like a Polaroid picture" became a pop culture catch phrase for most of 2003 and 2004.

When Wynona Ryder is trying to prove that her new house is haunted by ghosts, what does she use? Some rapid-fire snaps taken on a Polaroid camera.

And most recently, with the release of the highly successful film produced on a shoestring budget this past year...

"Paranormal Activity"
One of the things that leads Katie and Micah to realize that something has definitely gone wrong in their house, Micah finds a partially burned Polaroid in the attic.

So while CES continues to 'gaga' over Gaga, I think Polaroid achieved what it set out to do - establish themselves as the come-back kid at one of the world's largest forums for product launches. While their new exec is probably not your typical pin-up girl, it certainly looks like landing the "Paparazzi" singer as the Polaroid Girl has given the company and her the added lift of at least another 15 minutes of fame, if not 15 years. Funny thing about never know! So just keep snapping,

Jan 11, 2010
by Anonymous


Did you really just make a stupid comment about GaGa being more shocking then Madonna? You prove to be nothing but a idiotic heterosexual male that has no idea what Madonna did for women, the gay community and music in general. GaGa is talented and a great artist, Madonna is an icon of the highest degree and deserves the uttermost respect.

Jan 11, 2010
by Ron Callari



Ron Callari is a freelance journalist and editorial cartoonist. His slighlty off-center published work includes trends, social media, politics, travel, humor and political articles.

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Jan 12, 2010
by Anonymous

Will GAGA be as successful as MADONNA?

Does Ga Ga have what it takes to be as successful as Madonna, or will she become another Cindy Lauper / Boy George?
In the early 80's, Cindy Lauper, Boy George and Madonna all were outrageous in their fasion, all started careers positively with great hits, and all these artists were around at the same time.
By the end of the 80's, only Madonna remained. And this is because Madonna had that extra something. It wasn't only her look/image that she used to draw people into her. In fact, she changed her look/image when the whole world was in love with it, and trying to copy it.
This was a very dangerous move, but Madonna did it with success. When Boy George and Cindy Lauper changed their image, their fans disappeared, along with their popularity.
Lets look at other artists from all generations: in the 70's people became obsessed with a band called KISS. They too had a look all of their own. When they changed their image by removing their make up, they too lost fans and popularity.
FREDDIE MERCURY (Lead singer of QUEEN) changed his public image by coming out as gay, and out went his fans and popularity.
In the 90's, MICHAEL JACKSON had an image of giving charity to children more than any other celebrity, however when his image of what he did to little children changed, so did his fans and popularity.
In the naughties (00's) BRITNEY SPEARS started the decade out with an innocent, wholesome and pure image. As her image changed, her fans and popularity changed too.
Above, I have only used one or two artists per decade, however these artists were the biggest in the music industry of their time. By looking further, you will realise that Gaga too, has an image, and Gaga needs to make smart calculated choices or she can be gone as quick as she is here.
Madonna is the only artist in the history of music to succeed where no one else can.
Madonna was successful in changing her look where Cindy, George and Kiss failed.
Madonna was successful in talking about gay's and bi's where Queen failed.
Madonna was successful in the topic of sex, where as Michael failed.
Madonna was successful in not being wholesome and pure, where Britney failed.
What was it that made Madonna so successful - Her constant image change? Her ability to shock? The way she manipulated the media? How she pushed boundaries? How she changed stereotypes? How she integrated sex into music? Because she doesn't take drugs? Because she eats healthy food and exercises everyday? Was it because she was controversial? Or was it because she would be willing to give anyone the finger? Was it her energy? Her determination? Her confidence? Or her want to remain in the spotlight? Could it have anything to do with her mother dying? Or how she revolutionised the music industry? Or in Madonnas words was it "Her resciliance and survival skills?"
The one thing above everything that made Madonna what she is today is - Her BRAINS. We hear how intelligent this woman is, but it often it gets hidden behind other elements. Madonna is what she is because of her BRANS
Does Gaga have the brains of Madonna? Or the brains of Britney Spears?
Will Gaga become as successful as Madonna or as successful as Cindy, Goerge and Kiss?
Gaga's look/image is begining to over ride her. She needs to, like Madonna, change her look/image and still draw people to her. From the Live to tell and Pappa don't preach era through to the Like a prayer and Vogue era, Madonna didn't link a fassion look like she did in the Holiday / Like a Virgin / Get into the groove era, she used her BRAINS. In this time, Madonna became more and more popular. If Madonna used fasion like the Like a Virgin era, Madonna wouldn't be here today. By Vogue, Madonna was even more popular than Like a Virgin. Her look/image was completly different than what the world fell in love with, but yet Madonna was getting bigger and bigger.
Will Gaga be able to change quick enough like Madonna and still remain on top, keeping fans that love her even if she won't dress in the same way her fans fell in love with? Or will Gaga ride the train like Cindy, George and Kiss - Great hits, unique looks and around for a short time?
Time will tell.

Jan 15, 2010
by Anonymous

Sorry Madonna sucked...Lady Gaga is already better than Madonna

There's only one reason Madonna has remained -- relentless one ever lost money underestimating the taste or intelligence of the American public.

Madonna has never "re-invented" herself-- not really. She's just put on different costumes..... she's never done anything but make herself look bad or strange-- Lady Gaga has taken big risks already. Madonna never took risks.. just continued to make herself look sluttier and sluttier-- I'm no prude but I can tell when someone is just exploiting sex to sell records. Lady Gaga already makes people wince with her oddness because she is a real artist.. and a real musician-- Madonna ...yuck

Jan 19, 2010
by Anonymous

Lady GAGA is dead

"just in case her 'performance art' persona falls out of favor." Got great news for you all. It already has!

Feb 21, 2011
by Anonymous

It's totally silly to say

It's totally silly to say Madonna never took risks. She has taken risk with the Blond Ambition Tour, Justify my Love video, the Sex boo,k the Girly Show, American life etc. I don't think that putting a weird outfit is to take risk or to be an artist. Gaga prove by stealing Madonna's words and music that she's only an impersonator. Gaga is just the shape, Madonna is the form and substance: she had made a lot of artistical(tamara de lempicka, cabaret,bob fosse etc) and psychoanalitical references. But what made Madonna hated from a lot of people is that she is openly sexual and gendered and she loves to provoke. She was reduced to provocation and her artistic work has been quite ignored and yet it is one of the most rich and complex
Gaga is more like pathetic posturing for celebrity rather than a true work of art. This is not wear wigs, crazy clothes and makeup that makes you an artist. She has no message and she is everything that was Madonna blamed for : the thirst for fame at any cost and money

Feb 21, 2011
by Anonymous

+1!! Madonna's work is more

Madonna's work is more profound that people want to admit. Gaga is just a pathetic piece of shit. But as she is not as sexual ( she's as sexy as an amputation!) she's not a threat. American people have a very hypocritical relationship with sex and Gaga is Madonna without any sensuality. Talking about mediocrity Gaga is the epitome of it.
Did you ever heard when a Madonna single came out that is sound exactly as an another artist?
NO. And you know why? Because it was an original creation not theft.
Gaga is over protected by the media because she's not as free and dangerous that Madonna was . It's a weaker version.