This ad is part of Nikon’s new campaign featuring Ashton Kutcher, an actor who is best known for being on a sitcom many years ago, and for being marreid to Demi Moore (who was an actress many years ago). The ad appeared in People oriented vertically, with the Nikon logo in the upper right corner. The reader has to rotate the magazine to view the ad properly.
Nikon has always been a manufacturer of the highest quality cameras. Nikon and Canon have been slugging it out in the professional digital camera market. With this campaign, Nikon is trying to increase its market share in the amateur market.
They’ve chosen to do this by dumbing down their image. Who better to pick as a spokesperson for all things dumb than Ashton Kutcher? The downside to this strategy is that they risk diluting their brand and putting off the professionals and advanced amateurs whom I suspect make up the bulk of their existing customer base. Like Mac owners, Nikon owners are brand loyalists. What professional photographer won’t cringe when confronted with the words: Ashton’s Nikon.
In this ad, our good friend Ashton is having coffee with an unseen companion. Study the ad for a moment and you realize that Ashton’s coffee date is you, the reader. Ashton is pointing at you and laughing because he’s just taken your picture, apparently a really funny picture.
Inexplicably, the headline of this ad points out that the Nikon Coolpix S550 is “the smallest camera of its kind.” I don’t understand the relation between this headline and Ashton’s mirthful photo fun. Notice that Ashton’s right hand looks gigantic and completely out of proportion. This makes the camera look smaller.
Underneath the headline is the message:
Get your pictures on Ashton’s Nikon at ashtonscoolpix.com.
I don’t know what this means. Get my pictures on Ashton’s Nikon? What? I went to the web site and waited a few minutes for the Flash to load. Here’s what it said at the site:
Small, sleek, stylish—keeping your all-new Nikon Coolpix camera at hand is the perfect way to capture life in all its random glory.
It’s also the perfect way to mess with Ashton’s head. Upload up to 3 images from your life onto his COOLPIX. Pics of your friends, your dog. Whatever. Just select a category that matches each. Then send it to your friends to bring a little bit of Hollywood to their hood.
So, I can upload three photos onto Ashton’s Coolpix, which will mess with his head and bring Hollywood to my friends’ hood. Do my friends even have a hood? Does this make sense to anyone?