Kodak’s Evocative ‘Turn Around’ Ad From the 1960s

I was happy to find a YouTube version of this Kodak ad from about 1963. I’m not sure why a 12-year-old would understand how it feels to watch your children grow up, but I remember I used to cry watching this ad.

I would have to say this is good advertising — makes a strong emotional connection with the viewer and an excellent tie-in to the product. Until today, I hadn’t seen this ad for over 40 years, but I still remembered that it was for Kodak.

Interestingly, the ad is two minutes long. I understand that the song “Turn Around” is by songwriter Malvina Reynolds.

AB — 7 April 2010


12 thoughts on “Kodak’s Evocative ‘Turn Around’ Ad From the 1960s

  1. I was 10 or 11 when the commercial first aired, and it made me cry then, too (and still does). It’s one of handful of songs I can’t sing because I’m choked up. I think, for me, it was at least in part because my dad and I were very close and I was able to see the content of the ad from a father’s perspective. It’s always been one of my all-time favorite songs. It makes me think of my dad, who died 30 years ago.

    There are several posts of it on YouTube. This one (at 2:27) is the entire ad, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy3z2qfyF0A.

    There’s a comment on one of the YouTube posts from a Bruce Taylor, who writes (in part), “My dad produced this commercial when he was at J. Walter Thompson in the 1960’s …. The guitarist is Tony Mottola. The singer is one of the Ames brothers, and if memory serves, it is Ed. My dad used these performers frequently, and the track was recorded in New York.” (It was, of course, Ed Ames.)

    Someone else said the photography was by (Dr.) Irving Bennett Ellis, who, it turns out was the father of Judy, the girl in all the photos. See (OMG! get out your tissues!!) http://judyglickmanlauder.com/dads-work/00sdtsjybg61jxvy19jyfxyd8qfydb.

  2. You’re most welcome. If you’re interested,there are also videos on YouTube (not necessarily live) of Malvina Reynolds singing it (as well as other people’s versions). I learned years ago that she’d written the song but I hadn’t heard hers until today.

  3. Mario Piperni

    Why do I recall another version of a Kodak commercial with this song? It showed video of a baby crawling into another room where she’s now a young ballerina pirouetting into yet another room where she’s now a college student and then finally into another room where she’s a mother. I can’t find this commercial anywhere. It played in either the 60s or 70s I believe.

  4. Sharon Moren

    Add me to the list of people who can’t hear it without choking up! I, too, was about 11 when it came out and even then it got to me. Beautiful. I would like to see it remade, perhaps in a more “inclusive” way.

  5. Martha Mawson

    I was only 7 when it came out and I wept! Now, with my own daughter grown with two daughters of her own, this song always brings tears.

  6. Cassandra

    Oh my goodness it is so reaffirming to hear that others remember this commercial and that it also made them cry. I too was around 10 when the ad came out. There was something about it that hit me in a very visceral way, that I did not understand at the time. As one commenter said we were too young to understand how it feels to watch your children grow up but somehow we intuited it. Thank you all of you for the affirmation.

  7. Marcia Taylor

    I was 7 when it came out, and i would cry really hard when it came on. At that young age, the idea that I would grow up and not live with my mom, dad and siblings any more made me really sad.

  8. poledancemore

    I know I saw the ad ( the http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy3z2qfyF0A version) in Van Nuys, California, at the end of a Disney hour, either in the last half of 1961 or the first half of 1962 (I know the time-span because of which house we were in.) As a 7-year-old, I could tell that the song, and the visual accompaniment, had a special, poignant emotional direction. A few seconds after the ad started, dad called out for mom (who had briefly gone to another room) to “Come watch this …!”

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