Feature Article - May/June 2016

Motivation in Focus

Digital Cameras Do More to Inspire & Reward

By Emily Tipping

You know what's better than getting a lot of "likes" on your Facebook posts? Love. Love is much better than likes. At least, that's the gist of a new ad campaign from Nikon, which seeks to demonstrate that taking a photo with an actual camera, as opposed to a smartphone's built-in photo-snapper, is how you really demonstrate your love for your subject—whether that's a beautiful vacation view, your kids' Halloween costumes, your family reunion group shot or just about anything else you want to capture.

"Our current 'Show Your Love, Some Love' advertising campaign really highlights that when taking pictures of people you love, or a special once-in-a-lifetime trip, a Nikon digital camera is really needed to record and store those personal life memories," said Tom Myers, sales manager, Special Markets, Nikon Inc.

It might not be an easy point to catch, but just think for a second about the ephemeral nature of those Facebook "likes"—how quickly they slide into the past, and how almost immediately, the photo you took and shared is forgotten. Is that any way to treat your most treasured friends and family? Your most meaningful experiences?

Smartphone cameras might be having an impact on the digital camera market, but it's not all bad. In light of the competition from those take-anywhere devices, camera companies have upped their game, adding features and functionality from more powerful zooms to the ability to share wirelessly.

"Everybody knows that when it comes to cell phones instead of cameras, we're seeing a lot of erosion," said Shelly Colla, national sales manager, Premium Incentive Group, Sony North America. Because of this, she said, most of the point-and-shoot cameras aren't necessarily being refreshed and updated as often. However, she added, " we're spending a lot of money investing in the prosumer—the average consumer who wants to take their photography to the next level."

Digital cameras are " still a good incentive item, despite the loss of sales to smartphones," said Carey Berg, vice president, Special Markets, Vivitar Sakar. "Because we compete with better and better phones that take great photos, we need to make our offers more specialized and appealing."

In the end, that all adds up to better images than could ever be caught with a smartphone. And for your incentive and reward program participants, who might be relying strictly on those devices, that translates to powerful motivation.

"When someone receives a camera as a reward, they know that they are receiving something of tremendous value that will allow them to capture memories that will last a lifetime," said Tom Sferratore, sales manager, Premium, Distribution and Direct Sales, ITCG National Account Camera/Video Division, Canon U.S.A. Inc.

Myers agreed. "Cameras are often used because they record a special lifetime moment or memory that your smartphone cannot," he said. "They offer great value, and recognition, so the award winners can enjoy new technology, and capture, share, send and even print quality images easily."

Newer digital cameras incorporate a host of new features and functions, including " higher megapixels up to 20.1 MP, waterproof, Wi-Fi, touch screens, sports action cameras and drone cameras," Berg said.

And for those who worry about the ease of posting the photo they just snapped to their favorite social media site, many cameras are now incorporating connectivity, making that process just as seamless as with a smartphone.

"Connectivity is the 'differentiation' factor," Myers said. "Nikon has incorporated Wi-Fi connectivity with Nikon Snapbridge into almost all of our digital cameras."

And that's not all. Nikon's newest addition in terms of connectivity is Bluetooth, even further boosting the power of your digital camera to do everything your smartphone can and then some. "Connectivity, long zoom, all-weather/waterproof, better flash images are all features that your smartphone cannot deliver," Myers said.