Nikon South Africa had a bad week after releasing their Z50 creatives campaign video on social media. South Africans immediately pointed out the lack of diversity in their campaign, with almost all of those chosen to participate being white.
The campaign was made to promote the Z50 camera by having 'influencers' sharing their exciting adventures and moments captured using the camera.
While the idea of having those with big followings promote their product is not a problem in itself, the influencers chosen however left South Africans raging at the obvious exclusion and lack of representation.
We are excited to introduce our new Nikon Z50 influencers in South Africa. Over the next few months, we will be sharing their adventures and the moments they capture on their Nikon Z50’s. Watch this space...#NikonSA #NikonZ #Zcreators #Z50 #NikonZcreators #Zdifferently pic.twitter.com/WdGabiorYBJuly 24, 2020
The video has 285.5K views and thousands of comments pointing out to Nikon where they've gone wrong.
Users directly addressed the company pointing out how offensive it is to have only one black influencer when the country is made up of a majority of black people.
In addition the tokenism apparent by having one black influencer, Austin Malema, who doesn't even speak much besides saying his name, only made matters worse.
Many pointed out the wide range of South African photographers who could have been included, and who have bigger followings than those considered good enough to be in the ad.
While some may chalk this up to a tone deaf, uncritical approach, others in the comments have said it proves that Nikon only care about their white customer base.
The video was posted on July 24 and Nikon have not taken it down or released a statement regarding this backlash.
TechRadar reached out to Nikon SA but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Another tone deaf marketing team award goes to Nikon South Africa. I should actually say Nikon Europe cos clearly the South Africa they market in does not have black influencers. Bleh. 😬😢 https://t.co/HHcsEOC0gdAugust 1, 2020
How can you be this tone deaf and blatantly out of touch with the world around you? Our country brims with incredibly talented black photographers and influencers who understand the market and produce content that is not just excellent, but relevant. Do better @Nikon_SA!August 2, 2020
I have a Nikon camera which I always appreciated but as a black person I have to say I am disappointed by what I have seen here. pic.twitter.com/m3SN4CzkfUAugust 2, 2020
Nikon South Africa could not find Black people... in South Africa https://t.co/FqUh5hlnnzAugust 3, 2020