Times are tough for camera companies. Humans are abandoning digital point-and-shoots in droves, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets. And this has apparently forced Nikon to extreme measures, like marketing its cameras to dogs instead.
"Dogs?" you might say. "Dogs don't have thumbs." That's a good point, and probably the reason why this new ad (by J. Walter Thompson Singapore) claims Nikon rigged up a gadget that can measure a dog's heartbeat, and take a picture when its heartrate rises, triggering a camera strapped to the dog's neck.
The idea is to capture the dog Grizzler's perspective on things that excite him. That's a cool and sweet notion, even if Nikon probably ended up mostly with close-ups of puddles, empty food wrappers and other dogs' asses.
But if the selection of photos in the video seems a little too G-rated, Nikon admits in a comment on YouTube that "due to Grizzler's high energy and active movements, several shots were blurred, so we only picked the best shots to be featured in this video."
The company has also found itself answering to human skeptics, who are probably just jealous and don't want to believe Grizzler could be so talented, but definitely want to know why there is a reflection of a human holding a camera in one of Grizzler's photos (at 0:56).
"Our camera crew followed Grizzler around to film the process of how he went about capturing images using his heartbeat," the brand says. "There were also crew there to ensure his safety and well-being by providing ample hydration, food and other necessities. This is why you may be able to spot our crew members in the images that Grizzler took."
Regardless of whether Grizzler is a fraud just trying to exploit everyone's love for a charming, lolling-tongued dog, it's unfortunate that Nikon was unable to resist including the pun "phodographer" in the ad.
Plus, before long, someone will come up with version that works with a smartphone. Or, you know, people will just strap GoPros to their dogs, like they've been doing for years.