Nikon “Coolpix”

For the past couple of weeks, two TV spots from McCann Erickson NY have urged us to “Get your pics into Ashton’s Nikon.” It’s not as dirty as it sounds-the spots show a trio of ditsy twenty-something women, in a clothing store and a hotel, respectively, stealing Ashton Kutcher’s cute little Coolpix camera and immediately snapping away amongst themselves, then returning the now-defiled digital wiz to his pocket. ” I’ll make copies for you!” he tells the girls-gone-Nikon as he leaves the hotel lobby.

Huh? The tone here is off: To begin with, why would any advertiser want to promote the Coolpix camera as so easily steal-able? Secondly, as an established actor and producer way past his “Dude, Where’s My Car?” years, Kutcher is also a famously devoted husband to Demi Moore. Why not find a cute, noted male heartthrob-cum-commita-phobe to play this role? How hard could that have been?

Whatever. Now that the microsite, (from MRM Worldwide) is live, it makes more sense, and the results are easy and fun. You can indeed upload “your pics into Ashton’s camera”-as a result, the life size version of the actor holds up the camera with your digital picture in it. Then, while showing the photo off, Ashton will articulate more than 58 different phrases of your choosing, from “you’re a tool, ” to “oh, look at the loving family,” that you can then email to a friend. Of course, if you choose, “will you marry me,” the object of your affection will no doubt think she’s been Punk’d, which she might find even more exciting.–Barbara Lippert