Nikon brags about its heritage but shows Fuji camera in ad

Few people would dispute that Nikon is a legendary photography and optics company, known for quality for decades.

Nikon’s Achilles’ heel as a brand is not its products but lack of competent internal marketing and communications staff and a propensity for hiring outside advertising and PR agencies that lack any molecule of passion for either Nikon or photography, at least in my opinion and experience.

Nikon’s outside PR agency in the U.S., for example, rarely shows interest in returning calls for the media, preferring instead to just issue press releases … a meaningless task best suited for an intern.

Fujifilm's X100 digital camera, introduced in 2011.

Fujifilm’s X100 digital camera, introduced in 2011. It is NOT a Nikon.

I am reminded of Nikon’s stumbling in public view by considerable media attention the company’s eyeglasses division recently received — touting the brand’s rich history of iconic cameras.

But … not even Nikon execs apparently noticed that the retro-styled camera featured in its ad is actually made by a competitor, Fujifilm’s hugely popular X100 digital camera.  The image in the ad was Photoshopped just a bit to remove Fuji identification, indicating that someone knew it was not a Nikon camera.  The huge mistake has captured significant media attention, none favorable for Nikon.

Nikon_FujiA friend shared an image that he spotted on eBay of Nikon’s early model S 35-mm film camera … although I don’t think it’s nearly as cool-looking as the Fuji X100.  Made me think how easy it would have been for Nikon’s ad agency to get it right in the first place.  But, then, I guess that would require knowing something about the client’s products.

Nikon 35mm rangefinder camera.

Nikon 35mm rangefinder camera.