Nikon Widens Target To Capture Casual Shooters It’s

Long considered the brand choice of professional photographers and serious hobbyists, Nikon is expanding its message to consumers who shop at places such as Best Buy and Circuit City.

A TV and print campaign for the Coolpix 2100 and 3100 digital cameras, the first work from Interpublic Group’s McCann-Erickson since it won the $20 million creative account in February, broke last night on the Indianapolis 500 on ABC.

With the new tagline, “If the picture matters, the camera matters,” the work seeks to give the average picture taker the confidence to buy and use a Nikon, said McCann cd Pete Jones.

“Consumers now can get great photographic technology at the retail market,” he said. “In focus groups we heard things like, ‘Nikon is too much camera for me. I just take pictures of my kids.’ We needed to broaden the target and give consumers the confidence to … take a great picture.”

One spot shows scenes of couples on a beach and a boat as a male narrator says, “If soaking up the sun matters, beach mode matters. If soaking up the sky matters, sunset mode matters.” For the final scene of a woman in a jacuzzi at night, the voiceover says, “If just plain soaking matters, ‘night portrait’ and ‘scene-assist’ matters.”

Another spot shows the antics of a little girl as a voiceover says things like, “If showing her off matters, one-touch upload to the Web matters.”

The campaign, which uses the same strategy and work McCann pitched to win the business, also emphasizes the Coolpix retail price, which starts at $250.

Print work includes ads for the Coolpix 4300 and the Nikon N75 SLR, showing spontaneous shots such as a prom date and a kid with cream on his face. Both the TV and print use themelines ending in “-ography.” For example, the prom ad, with a nervous-looking boy, says, “butterfliesography.”

Nikon’s move into the consumer-digital category pits it against the likes of Canon and Hewlett-Packard. Sony dominates the category with a 21 percent market share, and Nikon ranks eighth with a 5-6 percent share, according to The NPD Group in Port Washington, N.Y. Digital-camera sales rose from $930 million in 1999 to $3.8 billion in 2002, according to NPD.

“Because of the growth in digital camera sales, we’ve tried to create a selling platform that would appeal to a wider consumer base,” said Anna Marie Bakker, general manager of communications at Nikon.

Nikon’s last work, by Source Communications in Hackensack, N.J., featured Val Kilmer and the line, “We take the world’s greatest pictures.”