Nikon Wins by Putting Their Camera in the Hands of Two Beautiful Dads With an Amazing Story

Enough with “millennials” and “Generation Y.” Camera company Nikon has a new name for the social media savvy who document every moment of their lives: Generation Image.

“More than any before, this generation speaks through its images,” the “I Am Generation Image” website states. “So we sent a Nikon camera on a journey to help seven people, with something to say, make their mark.”

“I Am Generation Image” is a new multimedia campaign that documents the experiences of a range of interesting characters—from an urban cyclist and a pair of comedians to a vegan chef and an advocate for the homeless—by putting the camera in the hands of an amateur photographer with a compelling story to tell.

There’s one story in particular, however, that has taken the web by storm.

One year ago, dads Kordale and Kaleb Lewis uploaded an Instagram photo capturing a typical morning in their household in Atlanta. It wasn’t long before the Lewis family went viral, with the image accruing over 40,000 likes.

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Nikon reached out to Kordale and Kaleb, offering them a chance to answer the question that the Internet had already proved it wanted an answer to: How can I know more about this family?

It was evident that Kordale and Kaleb were capable of telling a powerful story in a single frame. Now, Nikon wanted to know what they could do with one of their D750 cameras. They also sent out a video team to documenta two-minute, behind-the-scenes look at that family behind that famous Instagram photo. The video has over 1.6 million views already, and is generating press across the web, from The New York Times to People.

“We just want people to know that, ‘Hey, we’re normal,'” Kordale says in the video. “And you can’t judge people on their normal. You really can’t.”

Nikon’s campaign is a strong example of how brands can benefit from listening to their audiences and reaching them where they already live: on social media. The Internet is already rich with stories that are capturing people’s attention. Instead of pumping out content and asking your viewers to make it go viral, it’s often easier, and in the end more effective, to find out what they’ve already indicated they like and figure out how you can give more of it.

“We did extensive research, which found that people are communicating visually, more so than ever before, with social media as the conduit,” Lisa Baxt, associate general manager for communications of the Nikon Inc. division of the Nikon Corporation of Japan in Melville, N.Y., told The New York Times. “And we are seeing a shift from convenience to quality, in that a more authentic story is told with a better photo.”

The Lewis’ Instagram photo was obviously taken on the fly with a smartphone. But by putting a Nikon product in Kordale and Kaleb’s hands, the brand proves that they’re listening to what their consumers are interested in—share-worthy stories—and giving them the tools to tell those stories, a strategy that has made GoPro the darling of the content marketing world. Though without the surfing pigs.

Image by Nikon

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