Nikon ad campaign pushes back against AI photography
Japanese camera maker Nikon is running an ad campaign in Peru highlighting the natural beauty of a world that it says is increasingly “obsessed” with the artificial.
The ad campaign, called Natural Intelligence, featured surreal real-life images from around the world captured with Nikon cameras, and the “prompts” used to create them.
One example included the otherworldly Coyote Buttes formation in Arizona accompanied by a prompt reading “a latte skatepark in the middle of the desert in Mars.”
Another pictured an eerie-looking Socotra dragon tree in Yemen with the prompt reading “a mutant umbrella tree shaped like a nuclear bomb explosion.”
These and other images were plastered across Peru on billboards and print media, accompanied by slogans such as “Don’t give up on the real world” and “The real world will never cease to amaze us.”
The campaign was born from a “harsh context” for photographers, according to Carlos Tolmos, the chief operating officer of Circus Grey Peru, the agency behind the campaign.
“Artificial intelligence has taken over pop culture,” Tolmos said, adding that image makers and clients are now more interested in AI-generated content than the “wonderful artistic work” of photographers.
“That’s why Nikon in Peru decided to take a stand and support the real over the artificial,” he said, noting the overwhelmingly positive reactions the campaign received from the country’s photographer community.
Globally, however, Nikon’s vision includes growing into a “key technology solutions company in a global society where humans and machines co-create seamlessly,” according to its website.
The Japanese multinational has already diversified its operations beyond camera production to cover a wide range of other optics and imaging products, as well as businesses in healthcare, precision equipment, components, and digital manufacturing.
Earlier this year, an AI-generated image won the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards, only for its author, a Berlin-based photographer Boris Eldagsen, to reject the trophy. He said AI-generated images and traditional photography should not compete in the same contests.
More recently, the Recording Academy updated its rules, stating that only human creators can be considered, nominated, or win a Grammy Award.
However, it also said that “elements” of AI-created content can be used in song creation, reflecting differing views among creatives over AI’s role in arts.
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