Hosting virtual happy hours on videoconferencing platforms like Zoom is the new normal for agencies and brands during the Covid-19 pandemic. Nikon, however, is putting its own spin on the concept with a virtual program for photography enthusiasts looking to learn new skills or simply get inspired.
The imaging products company has launched #CreatorsHour, a free, ongoing series of livestreamed events, social media challenges, and prerecorded classes taught by brand ambassadors and photography pros. Nikon is releasing the content on a custom landing page on its website, as well as its social media channels.
“As we navigate these unprecedented times and seek new ways to stay connected, photography has the power to bring us together, no matter the physical distance separating us,” said Jay Vannatter, evp of Nikon Inc., in a statement. “By launching #CreatorsHour, Nikon Inc. created a digital destination to bring people together, where they can get inspired, learn something new and be entertained.”
The series includes livestreamed events such as My Defining Images, twice-weekly conversations where pros discuss their careers. The video event series kicked off April 15 with National Geographic photographer and brand ambassador Brian Skerry, who discussed his work capturing underwater and marine life. Future participating talent includes sports photographer Dave Black and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario. The hourlong chats are available to watch on demand after they stream live.
#CreatorsHour will also spotlight ambassadors in their home environments. Weekly Instagram Live streams will feature two ambassadors discussing topics such as video gear, tips for livestreaming and taking family portraits. Numerous ambassadors have also submitted videos showing how they are staying creative at home. For example, photographer Stacy Pearsall demonstrates how she gets her corgi, Pickles, to pose for photos.
The brand is also offering 10 free Nikon School Online photography classes through the end of April. Topics include the art of making music videos with musician and filmmaker Chris Hershman, a beginner’s guide to taking photos with a Nikon DSLR, and tips on how to photograph children and pets.
Additionally, Nikon is engaging consumers with weekly challenges on Instagram Stories and Twitter. So far, challenges have included branded bingo, where followers could check off different ways they’ve used Nikon gear and tag others to participate. Another challenge included creating a 15-second video using specific household objects, such as a lamp, plant or colored pencil.
For fans simply looking for a bit of peace, the brand is regularly posting Moments of Zen shots on its social channels. These include calming images, such as sunsets over bodies of water, shot specifically with Nikon Z series mirrorless cameras.
“There is something for everyone,” Vannatter said. “Whether you are new to photography or an enthusiast looking to sharpen your skillset, we are helping creators of all levels ignite their creativity and engage their minds.”
Nikon worked with its ambassadors and in-house agencies to create content for the series, as well as PR agency of record MWWPR for social media promotion. Vannatter said the brand currently plans to keep the series going through the end of May, but will post any updates to the schedule on the #CreatorsHour landing page.