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Nikon D80 Picture This Campaign

Posted By Darren Rowse 4th of May 2007 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

Journalism Hope has a good interview with Tom Biro from the New Media Strategies Team at MWW (a PR company) on the latest campaign that Nikon are doing with 50 bloggers to promote their D80 DSLR.

The campaign is called ‘picture this’ and it involves Nikon loaning a D80 (and lens) to 50 bloggers for 6 or 12 months to test. At the end of that time bloggers can return the camera, ask for a further 6 months or buy it at an ‘editorial discount’.

They require transparency from bloggers writing about the camera and are having a Flickr group for participants to post their shots to.

Some of the bloggers participating are BL Ochman, The Viral Garden, Jason Clarke and Jaffe Juice among others.

We’re seeing more and more companies taking this approach and doing a better and better job of it on each occasion (ie with transparency, thought out conditions of participation etc).

My only question was along the lines of how they selected bloggers. I think they’ve got some great participants so far – however I’m yet to see one of the many great photography bloggers participating and would have thought that they’d have targeted some of those. I can see the sense in finding other types of bloggers – but to have brought a blog specifically on their topic into the mix would have seemed like a sensible move (NB: this is not a ‘pitch’ to participate – just me wondering out loud).

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Darren,

    Do you know what other companies do that, how can we find them ?

    PS: good article tho.

  2. i do like the fact the multinational companies are now using bloggers in targeted campaigns to draw customers but i too have a problem with them choosing a Flickr group to participate…i would think the group and the people it influences already have decent cameras and asking them to spend a couple hundred dollars on another one might be redundant in some way.

  3. Darren, perhaps because bloggers like you and I have too publicly aligned ourselves with Canon they are afraid it will not hold up to our current gear favourably? ;)

  4. perhaps Chris – but I thought they would have been up for the challenge of converting some Canon using photography bloggers :-)

  5. Darren I believe Nikon and MWW also tried to target marketing bloggers in particular because they knew even if we didn’t blog about the camera, we would blog about the program. For example, I’m not going to blog about my experience with the D80 on The Viral Garden, unless I decide to buy it. But I have, and will continue to blog extensively about the program itself, both the good and bad. So far there have been numerous comments on the posts I and other have left about the program, and I think that’s a good thing. Nikon will benefit, but so will other companies that are considering a similar program. And of course, we bloggers benefit from the conversation as well.

  6. re: aligning with Canon and being excluded. I was selected for the Picture This program and I have always publicly stated I love Canon. I’ve been using their cameras for about 6 years and, in fact, I just did a big upgrade to the Canon Digital Rebel XTi a few months before getting the Nikon D80. But I am looking forward to comparing and contrasting and seeing what I like better.

    Also, as I understand it, the Flickr group was not set up by MWW, but by the Picture This participants, on their own.

  7. Damn it would be awesome to be a part of a program like that! Throw a D80 my way for 12 months and I would put it to good use. Although I must say my Canon A710 IS is a ridiculously good camera and I am sure that the only area it lacks in up against the DSLRs would be in low light performance. But I am far from an expert!

  8. I already have a D80. Oh well.

  9. Really? Wow –and here I have a D80 and am posting photos on my blog all the time —- wish I’d known about this before I bought it.
    Great idea though — it’s an awesome camera.

  10. One of the interesting things to me is that the Picture This Flickr Group came into existence w/out any direction from MWW Group or Nikon. It was one of the first things that came to my mind, as I’m sure it did others. Laugh it Up Fuzzball actually started the group, though.

    Re: Lack of Pro-Photo Bloggers (so far – I don’t think we know all 50 yet…) I know they had another campaign last year involving Flickr users somehow. So maybe they wanted to try to put the camera into the hands of everyday people to see what we could do with the camera? That is, after the experiment they can run ads saying look at what average people have done with the camera. I dunno yet.

    The whole thing is pretty fascinating to me, though, especially the marketing aspect.

    As for the camera, it’s come in very handy with my Grassroots Journalism effort here in the Midwest. I think this is part of the reason I’m a participant. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy the camera after the 6 or 12 months. Nikon will probably also get a lot of my attention as kpaul media expands and buys hardware like this for the citizens (and our paid staff…)

    In the interview, I asked Biro what he thought of bloggers being able to ‘pass on’ the camera to other bloggers after the 6 or 12 months and he seemed to like the idea. We’ll see what happens. It sounds like it’s an evolving campaign, which is good.

    In any case, thanks for the mention/link!


  11. I agree; they should have gone for a wider blogger audience — photography bloggers would’ve been ideal. Nonetheless, I think it’s an effective campaign and I’m confident we’ll be seeing the ripple effect of this PR strategy soon.

  12. If only I’d known about this, having just purchased a D200 a fortnight ago….!

    Nice idea from a marketing perspective though, getting real feedback and publicity for both the camera and Nikon. I look forward to following the program and seeing how the lucky participants get on with their new D80’s.

    Perhaps the issue with a project like this (apart from the obvious ethical ones that it raises) is that cameras like the D80, which are at the top end of the “hobby’est” photography market, sometimes require more than an ‘all round’ kit lens to get the most from them.

    Someone who spends upwards of £600-£700GBP on a camera is more likely to want to buy high quality accessories and extra lenses to get more out of the camera than someone who has got one ‘on loan’ and is likely to stick to the standard lens supplied. Whether this will be of benefit to Nikon if the users are unwilling to expand the camera’s capabilities by using accessories to get the most out of it, who knows….

    Regardless, its interesting as a cultural experiment, if nothing else.

  13. I work in the photography industry, Nikon is also dropping off a dozen or so d40’s to various independant retail stores so they can loan them out to customers for a few days to get the feel of them.

  14. I’ve been looking at the d80 for the last month… and haven’t yet made the jump. Even if it is a 6-12 month thing, I’d love to be included.

    They have to be pretty sure of themselves to loan a camera that long to a group of bloggers though. Either this is plain nuts or they have a truly amazing product. I think they may have avoided pro photo bloggers intentionally though as part of the marketing strategy. They are trying to brand the d80 as easy to use and get the hang of. It has the in-camera photo editing features that would make it ideal for bloggers to use and just upload.

    I will be interested to see the outcome of this particular method of advertising. If anything they may have already achieved their goal of viral marketing through just releasing it to bloggers in the first place.

    Laptop anyone?

  15. Unlike Microsoft, though, they told us in their letter to us (before we accepted the camera) to be transparent when (if) we blog about it…

  16. As a professional nature and travel photographer, there are many reasons why Nikon would choose these bloggers. First, they are the ones who said yes. Second, they are the ones who said yes. ;-)

    Many top photographers don’t have the time to do as Nikon asked. Many are also not into their “gear” as much as they are into the photography. I’ve interviewed and talked with many pros over the years and some of the best think of the camera as a hammer that gets the job done and they aren’t really into their hammers other than as the tool that gets it done.

    Me, I’m a techie geek and love picking apart cameras, lenses, testing and challenging what they will and won’t do, but I often don’t get the time to actually test and play with gear as my writing and other work gets in the way, so I concentrate on the photography and not so much on the equipment. To combine the two…oooh, I’d love that. :D

  17. “First, they are the ones who said yes. Second, they are the ones who said yes. ;-)”

    And if they asked others, I’d bet they’d say yes too.

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