Nikon Film, Digital Broken Night by McCann New York

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Broken Night

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Industry Photo & Video Cameras, Accessories
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile
Market United States
Agency McCann New York
Creative Director Kathy Grover
Production Independent Media
Director Guillermo Arriaga
Creative Director Dov Zmood
Released March 2013


One Show 2013
One Show Entertainment Film / Theatrical and DVD Releases Bronze

Credits & Description

Advertiser: NIKON
Category: Best Use of Branded Content & Sponsorship
Advertising campaign: BROKEN NIGHT
Strategic Planning: Anthony Perez (McCann New York)
Creative Director: Dov Zmood (McCann New York)
Senior Vice President/Executive Producer: Greg Lotus (McCann New York)
Chairman: Harris Diamond (McCann New York)
Chief Production Officer: Brian Dilorenzo (McCann New York)
Strategic Planning: Julianna Katrancha (McCann New York)
Account Leadership: Kinal Shah (McCann New York)
Director: Guillermo Arriaga (Independent Media)
President: Hank Summy (McCann New York)
Programmer: James Donovan (McCann New York)
Designers: Olga Vladova (McCann New York)
Producers: Jill Ann Toloza (McCann New York)
Senior Vice President Group Creative Director: Larry Platt (McCann New York)
Producers: Lauren Bauder (McCann New York)
Chief Creative Officer: Sean Bryan (McCann New York)
Senior Vice President Group Creative Director: Tom Sullivan (McCann New York)
Chief Creative Officer: Thomas Murphy (McCann New York)
Account Leadership: Dana Mccullough (McCann New York)
Creative Director: Kathy Grover (McCann New York)
Executive Vice President/Account Leadership: Kevin Scher (McCann New York)
Chief Operating Officer: Patrick Lafferty (McCann New York)
Executive Producer: Susanne Preissler (Independent Media)
Designers: Brad Blondes (McCann New York)
Account Leadership: Daniella Rey (McCann New York)

Nikon needed to grab Hollywood’s attention with the move-making capabilities of the D800. And quickly, given that rival Canon was fast becoming the industry-standard HDSLR. But cinematographers are notoriously skeptical of advertising and paid endorsements. So, we chose to speak to them in their own language, with the D800 itself doing the talking. To prove to the most discerning eyes in the world that the camera could make anything beautiful, we decided to make a beautiful horror movie. We knew the horror genre, in particular, would showcase many of the D800’s strengths (low light performance, a small form factor for unsettling angles) while simultaneously speaking to pain-points familiar to these professionals when working with traditional, bulkier gear. And we knew the tone of the resulting content would be wildly different from anything anyone would expect from a major camera manufacturer, thereby proving Nikon’s support for daring storytellers.

We deliberately played down the brand’s involvement, choosing instead to treat this as a real movie release. The filmmaking community was reached with a targeted media approach intended to drive traffic to the Broken Night Tumblr page, which, appropriately, was launched on Halloween and documented the entire production journey. Filmmakers got to see the camera being pushed to its limits in a non-ad-like environment. Some additional media support within Tumblr allowed us to engage a very active online community. Along with a targeted PR campaign and ever-growing word of mouth, buzz around Broken Night began to build steadily, culminating in the movies being selected for the Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered. All in all, a limited but well focused media plan paved the road to exposure that cannot be bought.

After placing media within major filmmaking sites, buzz around Broken Night began gaining momentum. Videos were shared, stories were published and filmmakers became intrigued with Nikon D800’s capabilities. Eventually, the movie became an Official Selection at Sundance and played in front of the hard-to-reach audience we needed to see it. With over 25 million PR impressions and almost 200,000 views of the movie online, Nikon had broken through. In fact, a handful of filmmakers have proactively reached out to Nikon in the hopes of solidifying a partnership that would make the D800 part of their upcoming projects.