... are both perhaps present in time future'
T.S.Eliot, Burnt Norton
I have noticed two examples of brands that have made news this week by combining past and present to (maybe) create the future.
I'll start with the one not absolutely everyone has heard of, which is Polaroid Swing. I've often wondered how the Polaroid brand lives on, while the Kodak brand seems to have died, or at least retired and disappeared from view. This is one reason: a nifty little app that combines the heritage of Polaroid (for the name inspiration, see the groovy ad above) with bang up-to-date technology. In this case, moving photos. These are kind of like gifs, put different. 60 frames are captured in 1 second and the picture comes to life when you tap it or get swinging your iPhone. The world of Harry Potter has nothing on this!
The people from Polaroid and their collaborators at Swing have high hopes - could this be the visual version of Twitter? The insight is that we perceive the world as a series of (very short) moments. I'm not 100% convinced, but let's see.
The other new launch needs no introduction - Pokemon Go . You can't avoid having heard about it unless you're living under a stone (although that, too, is unlikely as you're probably sharing your under-a-stone space with a funny little yellow creature.) As well as combining old (well, 90s) with new to appeal to at least a couple of generations, much has been made of the combination of real and virtual worlds. Here is one of the better articles about the success factors.
So there you have it - for a successful brand extension, maybe we have to think like a bride and combine the old, the new, the borrowed (preferably via collaboration) and the blue - or yellow.