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Case study: Sony ‘DSLR Gear No Idea’ campaign


Case study: Sony ‘DSLR Gear No Idea’ campaign


Campaign: DSLR Gear No Idea

Client: Sony Australia (digital imaging: NEX cameras)

Agencies: Havas Worldwide Australia, Naked Communications



Every year, millions of amateurs upgrade to a professional DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. They want professional quality, but what they get is a complicated camera they can’t use. Research has shown that two-thirds of DSLR users will keep their camera on auto mode for the entire time they own it. We needed to show people that the compact Sony NEX had the same size sensor as a DSLR and therefore would give them the same result without the bulk or difficulty.


Our communications objectives were two-fold:

  • increase awareness of the Sony NEX camera as DSLR quality without the difficulty, and
  • educate consumers about the compact system camera (CSC) category as a whole and Sony’s leadership role within it.


The key challenge for the agency was that awareness of the CSC category was extremely low. Consumers automatically upgrade from ‘point and shoot’ to ‘DSLR’ without knowing that there is a category in between.


For the vast majority of people, the path to buying a DSLR begins with online search. Our principal aim was to interrupt this search at the earliest possible stage by spreading a simple truth: spending thousands on a DSLR you can’t use won’t make you feel like a pro; it’ll make you feel like an idiot.

The communications strategy for the campaign was to:

  • seed doubt about DSLRs – big, bulky and difficult to use, and
  • highlight Sony NEX as the alternative to the DSLRs (a DSLR without the difficulty); we were targeting ‘point and shoot’ upgraders, or anyone who had started thinking about taking their photography to the next level with a DSLR.
Foreign Correspondent


We decided to begin our interruption process with specifically targeted media. We used viral film, tactical search, pre-rolls and tactical display media to sow doubt among consumers researching DSLRs online.

We then explained how NEX was the perfect solution for those wanting ‘quality without the difficulty’ through online display media and out- of-home advertising.

We created our own YouTube channel where consumers could view and share all of our different content – this linked through to the Sony site for purchase.

In-store POS emphasised the technical benefits of the camera, which highlighted NEX as the leader within the CSC category.


Macro Freak


Our campaign idea ‘DSLR Gear. No Idea’ came from a simple truth: people continue to buy big, expensive cameras that they can’t figure out how to use.

We scouted our city and surrounds to spot the people with ‘all the gear and no idea’ and developed characters based on the stereotypes of people we had observed – then gave them a humorous twist. We wanted to create characters that consumers could relate to themselves, or recognise in their friends and family.

Our characters were:

  • the MacroFreak: obsessed with getting the perfect close-up shot,
  • the Foreign Corresdpondent: the guy at your barbecue who thinks he’s reporting from a warzone,
  • the Vidiot: the ‘Foreign Correspondent’ in video mode,
  • the F-stop Fusspot: the guy who fiddles with settings so much he never gets the shot,
  • the Sideline Hero: the dedicated dad who thinks Saturday sport is the World Cup,
  • the Status Updaters: taking a selfie with a DSLR is just plain silly,
  • the Flasher: the DSLR dummy who hasn’t figured out how to turn the flash off yet, and
  • the Lens Spotter: loves to talk lenses, but very rarely does he actually use one.


NEX YouTube channel


Our characters appeared in unbranded online videos and gathered momentum virally before paid media and branding kicked in one week later. We ran pre-rolls on YouTube, online display and video on sites that our characters from our video would be relevant to, for example ‘F-stop Fusspot Dad’ on the Parents Section of The Sydney Morning Herald.

In-store, we ran our video to continue to seed doubt and our POS positioned NEX as ‘the solution’ and the leader in the CSC category.


Status Updaters


  • Sales tripled within four weeks of launch,
  • 1.6 million online video views in four days,
  • four million views in total, so far,
  • 128 blogs in 16 countries covered our campaign,
  • 268,000 Facebook shares,
  • more than 6000 subscriptions to our YouTube channel,
  • 9898 click-throughs to sales page, and
  • 8,383,485 earned impressions.


Lens Spotter


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