Nikon Fights AI Imagery With “Natural Intelligence” Campaign

a large tree with a very long trunk.

Nikon wants to generate good PR among its photographer customers and show the world that you don’t need AI for spectacular visuals.

With these things in mind, the company has launched a “Natural Intelligence” ad campaign that places it at odds to some extent with AI image-generating tools, at least for now.

Specifically, Nikon’s subdivision for Peru has recently partnered with an ad agency called Circus Grey to create a new “Natural Intelligence” ad campaign in which the camera maker highlights the beauty of real-world photography.

Nikon is using the ad campaign to showcase the incredibly lovely, often surreal places and things that can be captured by cameras right in our real world by people getting out there with their cameras.

According to Nikon Peru’s video for the campaign,

We are living in the age of Artificial Intelligence. All over the world, millions of people are obsessed with creating incredible surreal images of anything they can imagine just by entering a few keywords. This obsession with the artificial is making us forget that our world is full of amazing natural places that are often stranger than fiction.”

It adds, “We created a campaign with real unbelievable natural images taken with our cameras”

The large advertising posters for the campaign feature incredible places and objects from the real world, accompanied by a piece of parody text showing the kind of prompt that could have been used to generate them with an image-rendering AI.

a picture of a mountain range with a quote on it.

On the one hand, this makes sense. If any business wants real photography of real-world subjects to survive, it’s a camera maker.

Nikon depends on people going out and taking photos with its products, and AIs that can render photorealistic visuals without using any cameras at all are anathema to this.

a picture of a canyon with a quote on it.

On the other hand, even today’s camera manufacturers are implementing as many AI tricks as they can into their premium cameras.

These are largely focused on helping humans capture their subjects better, but the technology is there and helping redefine photography even from within the most essential tool for creating it, the camera itself.

In this, Nikon’s arguments about “Natural Intelligence”, though worth discussing, fall a bit flat. After all, modern cameras are specifically built to minimize the need for this very quality in capturing an ideal photo.


It is also important to note that AI has inevitably started harming the commercial photography industry as it currently stands.

As the website Little Black Book states, “Millions of people around the world are generating surreal images just by entering a few keywords on a website, which is directly affecting photographers, especially in places with fewer resources,”

It also uses Latin America as an example to stress that “editorial and advertising photographers are called increasingly less by brands, and they are slowly losing space, work, and profits.”

Nikon Peru has spread its “Natural Intelligence” images throughout Peru through its campaign with Circus Grey. They can be found on both billboards and in print magazine ads.

a group of colorful rocks with water spewing out of them.

At least for the company’s own product and name branding, the campaign has apparently been a success. “The reactions were incredible,” according to Nikon. “99% positive sentiment. 95% brand recognition. And inspired hundreds of people to go outside with their cameras.”

We’ll have to see how much any of this helps photographers who are losing work because other companies prefer to switch to cheaper, mass-production AI tools for their images.

Nikon’s catchphrase for the ad campaign, “Don’t give up on the real world” does sound nice though.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.



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