Nikon and its PR firm MWW Group have launched an ambassador program to promote the Nikon D80, which I am honored to have been selected to participate in. The initiative puts a D80 in the hands of 50 'online personalities' to let them use the 10 MP digital camera for 6 months. At the end of those 6 months, we can either extend the program for another 6 months, purchase it outright at an 'editorial discount', or return the camera to Nikon, no questions asked.
Here's what ultimately led me to participate, this passage in the material I received inviting me to join: "There is only one requisite for receiving this camera: Should you decide to talk about your experience with the D80 we send you, in any forum, you must let people know that you got the camera on loan from Nikon. We want you to be as candid and transparent as possible about where you got this camera and what you're doing with it."
Smart move, it would have been very easy for Nikon to have said "We only ask that if you receive the camera, you make a point to tell others of your involvement, and clearly identify any pictures you take with the camera." By adding the above language, Nikon instead isn't putting any pressure on those involved to promote the camera, only asking that we disclose our involvement with the program if we do. Which of course is something we would have wanted to do anyway. BTW, it should surprise no one that a couple of pretty smart bloggers work for MWW.
BL has an interview up with the MWW Group's Tom Biro about the program.
Another cool aspect to the program is that "All of the funds Nikon receives from the purchase of these cameras will be donated to an organization with solid roots in photography and education."
So get ready to see more pictures on here shortly, as well as my opinions on the D80. As I told Tom, this means I now have no excuse not to have a Flickr account and photostream set up here.
The Viral Garden, Marketing, Nikon