Ashton Kutcher Gets Snapped And The Problem With Picturetown

By SuperSpy 

Ashton Kutcher, is to be the new face for Nikon’s COOLPIX Style series cameras. The campaign will debut nationally on March 25th with a television commercial, which precedes the print advertisements and an interactive online component. The television campaign spots, directed by Brian Buckley, have Kutcher’s COOLPIX camera being discretely taken and passed around by numerous adoring fans who take several pictures with it before slipping it back into Ashton’s pocket.

McCann Erickson is Nikon’s agency of record. You know, we liked McCann’s campaign for Picturetown U.S.A., where the agency gave away high end, point and shoot cameras to a small town. The resulting ads and microsite were beautiful. Nice work. The problem with Picturetown? You didn’t get much more than the picture and this is where McCann failed their client. It didn’t breathe beyond it’s flat frame. Yes, you could send a photo to a friend. Yawn.

Why couldn’t you:

– Purchase a print of one of the photos with the proceeds going to this small town’s fire department or the individual who took the photo? The first is a “do-good” angle, the second is an empowerment of consumer creativity. Overall, it would be a way for consumers to understand what Nikon had really done and own a piece of it: the brand captured moments of Americana and real life and beautifully, too.

– The photos could have been posted in other small towns tied to semacodes and created a nationwide hide and seek of sorts.

– The concept could have gotten amateur photographers in San Diego and those in Deluth of their towns and sent them to Nikon. Consumers would have to list what Nikon camera you used and some other details about the photograph much like the Lomographic Society. This would of created a consumer generated American art show.

– At the least, they could of repeated the project from US town to US town or from age bracket (1st graders) to age group (octogenarians).

– Oh! And why can’t you buy the camera straight from the website? For fuck’s sake!

We could go on. Swear. We love this concept. It had goodness, passion, locality, etc. but it had no life beyond it’s second of media attention, when it could have lived forever. That’s the real shame of it. McCann didn’t go that extra mile.

Riddle us this: Why do so many campaigns stop short of being a larger movement, digging its fingers into the community and taking advantage of the legs that are beneath it? We don’t understand.