As you may already be aware, Nikon and Flickr (the very popular Web 2.0 company just purchased by Yahoo) made a unique deal a few months ago. www.flickr.com, the place to store and share photos, would place Nikon branding on its site and then Nikon would launch a campaign called “Nikon Stunning Gallery”, where photographers could upload their images to Flickr and tag them as part of the “Nikon Stunning Gallery”.
And although some initially viewed this move as another “annoying branding deal”, the cooperative effort seemed to be working. And the great part is that the “Nikon Stunning Gallery” contains very little agency-created content. It is, for the most part, consumer generated content.
This past Thursday, at the Momentum Growth Conference 2006, (covering the exploding digital media ecosystem) Susan Kuchinskas, of The 360 blog, wrote about advertising within consumer generated content and reported that “Jason Zajac, Yahoo’s vice president and general manager of social media, said that the most successful promotion overall this year was the Nikon Stunning Gallery, the branded photo gallery that pulled in images from Flickr.”
Nikon’s next move: Get its customers to promote the brand.
A group of heavy Flickr users were sent free Nikon D80 cameras and told to use them as they saw fit. Some of their pictures have been collected into a 3-page ad insert in the latest issue of BusinessWeek. With this move, Nikon has developed an extension of both the Nikon "Stunning" campaign as well as the partnership between it and Flickr. The Flickr brand name and logo is featured prominently in the Nikon ad, by the way.
So, it seems to me that the “Nikon Stunning Gallery” advances Nikon’s long-term strategy to “transform imagination into creativity”. And I think it does this in three ways:
- Promote Nikon cameras within consumer generated content, encouraging photographers to use Flickr
- Associate the Nikon brand with the Flickr brand, which represents the ideals of community, empowerment, user interaction, and knowledge
- Created a URL, nikonstunninggallery.com, that sticks and combines the brand name with an adjective evoking the brand promise
Rohit Bhargava, VP Interactive Marketing, Ogilvy, had some great thoughts about the campaign: “This promotion is simple, relatively easy to implement, and perfectly on brand for Nikon. The Stunning Gallery positions Nikon again as the choice for photographers of all levels serious about capturing stunning moments in images. Best of all, it doesn't alienate Flickr users, but rather engages them in the promotion and encourages them to add their content to this gallery.”
I think Nikon's partnership with Flickr does what it is supposed to do: motivate camera buyers to feel passionate about the Nikon brand. What do you think?