Nikon, a name trusted by millions of photographers around the world has failed the racial equality test in its latest advertisement according to the South African populace. The company is known for its cutting-edge innovations and relentless pursuit of quality in digital imaging and optics.
Nikon announced its new Z50 South African influencers on Twitter on the 24th of July 2020. The company stated that over the next few months, these influencers are expected to share their adventures and the moments they capture on their Nikon Z50’s.
The sin that Nikon committed is that the composition of their batch of creative influencers does not reflect the general composition of South African society. The sample is not representative of the racial composition of the country’s digital imaging and optics community. This failure by Nikon to be contextually aware is what sent Twitter ablaze.
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/WdGabiorYB
— Nikon South Africa (@Nikon_SA) July 24, 2020
Of the seven “influencers”, six are White and only one is Black. There are no Indians or Coloureds on the list. The individuals are:
- Kyle Goetsch – white
- Pieter Buckle – white
- Nicole Capper – white
- Liezel Volschenk – white
- Austin Malema – black
- Izelle Hoffman – white
- Simone Pretorius – white
“Given South Africa’s history, this is unacceptable and Nikon has to come out and explain the logic they used to choose average a and unknown white people over some really amazing black Indian and coloured folks”, said Rhulani Rikhamba, a human rights activist and board member at The Education Support Forum (TEDSF).
The fact that all the white creatives on this list had a turn to speak and the only black creative did not even get airtime literally added salt to the injury. Nikon seriously has to explain itself. Is Nikon so racially biased that they have no problem publishing such a damning video?
Outrage marketing is a highly emotive strategy that plays on our heartstrings. Marketing firms use strong reactionary tactics to draw high levels of polarising engagement on a product. The end-goal is to attract brand advocates and achieve high conversions, at the cost of widening the lines of segregation.
More significant, according to The Signal, the true value in engagement and conversion comes from black outrage.
Nikon SA may or may not have known that by editing Malema out of the promo video, they would pull at the emotional strings of black people on social media.
The subliminal messaging was clear to many people who saw the video. However, Nikon SA and, in fact, Malema has yet to address the matter.
We at MathsGee are committed to inclusive human development thus our appetite to report and question any acts that are deemed retrogressive in our quest for an equitable society. Its is our hope that Nikon will come out and explain its logic and the data they used to arrive at this absurd decision to exclude the majority of the inhabitants of South Africa. The MathsGee Data Police is waiting to review those numbers.
White privilege is having 803 Instagram subscribers and still getting a speaking part as an INFLUENCER. pic.twitter.com/5OTCZz2UXV
— Maboman (@diginza) August 2, 2020
Hey NIKON – I re-did your video to what we actually HEAR based on what we SEE.
Your lack of diversity is not just shocking it's evidently arrogant!
I have NOTHING against the people themselves chosen, it's YOU AS A BRAND thats to blame! pic.twitter.com/gf7F9kHzDx
— Akash (@durbanstar) August 2, 2020
The worst 53 seconds I've ever watched pic.twitter.com/rdvB4yCm8X
— Digital Tsonga (@UncleDenk) 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/m3SN4CzkfU
— Thabo (@Ngoasheng247) August 2, 2020
— Lesiba Malete (@LesibaBigPhil) August 2, 2020
Nikon Please Fire the agency that did this Ad! Sorry but there is Something Wrong here the Black Guy didn't even say a Word ???You guys made the Brother Hold the Camera Up as if He doesn't know what its For… pic.twitter.com/O7VYfSHoRV
— Khusi Vuka (@KhusiVuka) August 2, 2020
My first DSLR and I have never been more stoked. Now I must go trade it in and buy a canon ??
Y’all are weird for this. Do better pic.twitter.com/zbPEg8tyEE
— Mmane (@Mooks163) August 2, 2020
You didn't have to do my brother like that pic.twitter.com/WhEse2exDZ
— Marcus Matlala?? (@Marcus_Matlala) August 2, 2020
Why didn't Austin malema speak ? Is he voiceless? pic.twitter.com/Gu8juVsvhY
— Thandeka ☠??☠ (@Thandeka__teez) August 2, 2020