Nikon's Tease Campaign

bythom nikon mirrorless

I'm amused and concerned by Nikon's tease campaign for its new mirrorless system, and the Internet frenzy that seems to accompany it. 

First, the campaign so far has been (and I'm being generous here): (1) we had a great mount in the past, we're going to make a better one for the future; (2) we've built great bodies in the past and we're going to introduce another. 

Somehow I expect the next two video teasers to be (3) we've built great sensors/IQ in the past, we're going to make better ones in the future; and (4) we've built great lenses in the past, and we're going to introduce better ones yet.

As a tease campaign, that generic hype tactic is risky. If Nikon doesn't set some explicit expectations in upcoming videos, the risk is that many people expect more than Nikon delivers. Which would make the actual announcement on August 23rd and the Internet discussions that follow it a bit of a downer. You don't say T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then watch a balloon inflate and slowly try to pull a tube up into the sky ;~). A proper tease campaign ends with a launch that has big surprises not yet expected. That way, the perceived velocity is positive and skyward.

Nikon last tried a tease campaign with the Nikon Df. People's expectations at the end of that campaign were not that we'd see a 16mp camera with somewhat crippled retro UI all kludged onto a D600 body. Let's hope Nikon learned from that and the mirrorless product to come is far better than they're teasing, plus has some nice positive surprises to generate new frenzied discussion.

There's another interesting aspect to this that I'm not sure is good: Nikon is going to livestream their announcement. But they're doing it on Tokyo time. 1pm in Tokyo is midnight on the US East Coast, before breakfast in Europe. What you want from a livestream is to generate immediate buzz. What you don't want from a livestream is allow it to percolate for hours before the first serious discussions about it begin, because by then the "holes" in your announcement will be known and they'll end up the topic of discussion.

Of course, the Tokyo timing also means that Nikon believes that Japan is the primary target for this camera. And Japanese Internet discussions are much more polite ;~).

I've got several articles partially or near completely written on Nikon's new mirrorless entry that I'll end up posting sometime later on the 23rd. Don't expect them to appear early in the morning, as I'll be fact-checking them against details that came out of the announcement. I suspect I have a bit of rework to do on all of them. Moreover, Nikon's announcement is going to require some new sections on this Web site, as well, so I've got plumbing issues I have to work through.

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