One of the most memorable ads I've seen in my life is an old Nikon advertising, which at the time was revolutionary: I can't remember its name, but it introduced the new tagline "I am Nikon" -it was different from anything I'd seen.
That was a couple of years ago and everytime I reflect on how I got started with branding, my thoughts circle back to said spot.
Think about Nikon. what do you associate with it? Adventure? Trips? Wanderlust? Photography, obviously. Perhaps cinema? How does it differ from, say, Sony? They're both Japanese companies after all, in a very similar niche. What makes Nikon different?
Before diving deeper down the rabbit hole, let's consider the visuals: although the logo has been revised many times, it has in its essence remained very simple. No fancy pants, no unnecessary elements.
Due to its oblique, sideways-leaning form it reminds of "motion", as the motion involved in photography and cinematography. The faint white shades set against the yellow background alludeto photographic exposure, light waves or something similar. The niche is illustrated in plain sight, you just have to know what to look for.
Here's the crux, though: Nikon has sought to explore the immensely profound question of "who we are" - the answer? "I am Nikon. We are Nikon."
The mighty tagline ties in with the essence most professionals in the field attempt to capture in a shot or in film: "who or what are you in this very moment?"
A deep-rooted psychological issue Frankl looked to analyze, the question of who we are is asked and answered by Nikon: at the moment of the perfect shot, the magnificent mountain is Nikon. In the fleeting second, a fashion model is Nikon. On that pic, an entire family is Nikon.
This is an innovative concept setting them apart from the competition. And it fucking works.
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