When OutKast encouraged listeners to “shake it like a Polaroid picture” we all sang and danced and, indeed, shook it. Remember?
But representatives of the Polaroid brand were either not amused or, in a stroke of genius, saw an opportunity to get some earned media attention, when they distributed a media pitch, urging fans not to shake Polaroid pictures.
Polaroid warns buyers not to ‘shake it’
LONDON, England (Reuters) —OutKast fans like to “shake it like a Polaroid picture,” but the instant camera maker is warning consumers that taking the advice of the hip-hop stars could ruin your snapshots.
OutKast’s number one hit “Hey Ya” includes the “shake it” line as a reference to the motion that amateur photographers use to help along the self-developing film.
But in the “answers” section on the Polaroid Web site, the company says that shaking photos, which once helped them to dry, is not necessary since the modern version of Polaroid film dries behind a clear plastic window.
The image “never touches air, so shaking or waving has no effect,” the company said on its site. “In fact, shaking or waving can actually damage the image. Rapid movement during development can cause portions of the film to separate prematurely, or can cause ‘blobs’ in the picture.”
A Polaroid spokesman added: “Almost everybody does it, thinking that shaking accelerates the development process, but if you shake it too vigorously you could distort the image. A casual shake typically doesn’t affect it.”
Polaroid said its film should be laid on a flat surface and shielded from the wind, and that users should avoid bending or twisting their pictures. Of course, “lay it on a flat surface like a Polaroid picture,” doesn’t sound nearly as cool.
Thirteen years later, it’s still one of my favorite PR/media moments of all time. What are your favorites?