Ads I Love: Nikon

by Small Business Planned

In case you’ve never snapped a photo in your life, Nikon is regarded as one of the premier camera makers in the World. All the camera nerds I know swear by Nikon and wouldn’t dare switch to a competitor. Now that’s brand loyalty.
Have you seen the latest Nikon campaign – ‘I AM…’? It’s a great example of how to run a strong emotional campaign. Check it out:
YouTube Preview Image

Why I Love This Ad

I love the above Nikon ad. Even tough weathered marketers give Nikon the thumbs up.
It’s a great example of how a powerful emotional ad can have a strong connection to a product/service. In this case Nikon is presenting snapshots of memorable moments. Memorable moments that people can relate to – and hopefully that can project themselves into. This ticks all the boxes for their brand personality.
I especially love the Jamie Oliver cameo. The second expression Jamie makes at the 0:18 second mark is priceless and really conveys a sense of humility during a key family experience. It always makes me smile. Without this I think the ad would be all the poorer.
Nikon have some other campaign ads in their arsenal, even featuring Robbie Williams and Stephanie Gilmore. I hear Ashton Kutcher features in the US version, but we don’t get this in Australia.

And the cinematography! Magic. Add a strong emotive background sound track, and BAM! you’re drawn in to the whole situation and left with a pleasant uplifting feeling. In actual fact, many people love the soundtrack – every third comment on YouTube seems to be: Which band sings this song? The answer for the curious being – Welcome Home by Radical Face.
Nikon made a smart move in this regard as the song isn’t that well known – and based on the feedback it may become big in the future. If the song does get big, it will forever be known as ‘That song from the Nikon ad’. And that is an automatic brand trigger. An automatic slice of free publicity.
The other powerful element is the striking boxed overlay ‘I AM…’ prevalent through the whole ad. This is a seemingly omnipotent branding device which stamps Nikon throughout the entire ad, rather than at a slide at the end where it could be forgotten. What’s more this sentence is powerful. It binds the user to Nikon has with the memorable situations. Plus, it’s used in such a way that infers that your name or situation could easily be added to the black box. This makes the brand more accessible and more relevant to you.
nikon branding

Nikon I Am Ad: Good One

What Sucks About This Ad

Good ads should seamlessly integrate through every brand touch point. E.g when I go online, visit a store or contact the support centre, the current messaging should be present throughout.
Does Nikon tick the boxes in this regard?
Well… not entirely. At the end of the ad, Nikon promotes the website And this website is quite good – encouraging people to submit their ‘I AM’ picks. But why can’t Nikon bolt this onto their current website?
People may see the ad and simply visit And if they do go to the main site – lo and behold –  there isn’t a hint of the ‘I AM’ campaign. What’s that about?
That’s a missed opportunity and a sales pathway disconnect. The core Nikon, website doesn’t seem to give a toss about the strong emotional attachment of the campaign, but rather prompts you to identify the country you are from – then throws a bunch of product categories at you. For a leader in cameras, I would have thought they would be able to integrate their brand promise at least a little better.
I see a lot of brands directing advertising campaigns to domains other than their main domain and I cry a bit. Not a lot, but a bit. Why is it so? People interested in your products or messages will naturally visit your main brand site for more information. Don’t complicate things by insisting on another domain or you risk losing them entirely.
Plus it doesn’t make sense from a SEO perspective. Shouldn’t sites be trying to drive traffic to their main site – rather than a separate satellite site? You’re funneling traffic away from your main site and therefore also away from an integrated sales pathway.

So Why Do Businesses Promote Separate Websites?

OK, I’m not in their boardroom when they make this call. But I do have a theory. This hinges on the fact that the main website of a business (in this case is overseen by the internal  IT / Design department at Nikon.
When a new campaign is dreamt up, many companies face IT challenges. Either internal resources are already stretched, or unwilling to co-operate with marketing and other external advertising agencies. For this reason it’s a lot easier to build a new website than cut through the necessary red tape to integrate the campaign with the existing website.
So as a result of this internal conflict, the two sites are kept separate – and the user experience dies a bit.
…and plus there may also be security concerns with increased functionality that IT departments simply don’t want to expose their core website to.
Have you seen the Nikon ad? I would love to know what you think,
Growing your small business,
David Moloney
Small Business Planned


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5 thoughts on “Ads I Love: Nikon

  1. Jessica

    It is very apt for Nikon to use memorable life events as the basis of the advertisement. After all, the function of their product is to record those memories for posterity.

  2. Laureen

    I’ve been using Nikon for years now in capturing photos for my fashion blog, and I can say that I am a loyal Nikon user. Even my family chose Nikon camera because of my little sales talk to them about the quality of the camera. Great ad and it fits perfectly for what every camera’s purpose – capture precious moments. :)


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