Last year, Nikon launched its “Stunning Nikon” campaign by giving a bunch of pro photographers their D80 Digital SLR camera, which was brand new at the time. Nikon used the resulting photos to create a pretty cool campaign. It was a great example of how to use sampling to get cool content. As a bonus, there was a great P.R. echo chamber effect baked right into the idea. The campaign got a lot of press, and generated major buzz and discussions where it matters most: on Flickr and other photography sites.
The latest iteration is even more interesting: this time, Nikon took 200 of their D40 cameras into Georgetown, S.C. and transformed it into “Picturetown“. The premise was that with the right camera, “anyone can take great pictures”. Photos and stories from the residents themselves make up the site content, and you really get a sense that you’re getting a pretty accurate representation not only of the town, but of what the camera can do as well.
Having the current time and weather in the corner is a nice touch — simple and obvious, but it adds an added layer of authenticity.
The site has some usability issues and can get a little hokey at times, but it’s a great idea. Watch for other towns to be rolled out in future — it seems like a bit of a slam dunk to keep extending this idea. This is user-generated content I actually want to look at. And I’m betting it’ll move a lot of cameras.