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Ferrari logo adds US$10,000 to the price of Hasselblad H4D


November 29, 2010

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Just how much value does Ferrari's logo add to a product? Hasselblad's latest announcement seems to answer that and we're not sure if it reflects well on either brand. The EUR13,995 (US$18,531) Hasselblad H4D is the flagship product of the best known medium format imaging marque and has been purchased by tens of thousands of the world's elite photographers because it delivers digital SLR functionality with extraordinary imaging quality. Now the company has announced two identical cameras that don't come in silvery grey. For an extra EUR1000 (US$1324), you can have one of a limited run of 100 stainless steel H4Ds. There's also a Ferrari Limited Edition camera which is identical except for a carbon fiber display case, its Ferrari "rosso fuoco" color, and the unmistakable Yellow Prancing Horse Racing Shield. Hasselblad will make 499 units of the limited edition camera, selling them for EUR21,499 (US$28,473.61). That's US$9,938 more than an identical product – a premium of more than 50% extra for the display case … and the logo.

Ferrari is one of the best recognized upmarket brands in the world thanks to its legendary F1 racing exploits and exquisite, bleeding edge road cars. Such is its reputation and the prohibitive (at least to the average person) cost of its cars, it has developed a large following of well-heeled fans who proudly wear the Prancing Horse insignia as their personal badge of success – and Ferrari has found that those same people with extraordinary levels of disposable income, are more than prepared to pay a premium to display their bourgeois tastes (its badge) on other items such as laptops, surfboards, stereo speakers, clothes ... and a growing range of upmarket merchandise under its Official Ferrari Licensed Product regime. Ferrari's latest partner in this endeavor is Hasselblad, though at least in my humble opinion, Hasselblad's quality is no less than that of Ferrari.

So I can't really come to grips with Ferrari and Hasselblad teaming up to create what the press missive claims to be a “brand new model” – we first spied the H4D Ferrari Limited Edition at Photokina in Koln in September, though at that stage the unannounced price was rumored to be in the vicinity of what we considered a price-gouging EUR19,000 and we elected not to cover the product because it was identical to the standard H4D. Finding that the Ferrari version of the camera now has a price tag of EUR21,500 left me speechless. Are Ferrari aficionados so passionate about the Ferrari name that they'll pay ten large for the privilege of displaying it on an entriely unrelated product? Or are they sad creatures with more money than sense who derive self-worth from the brands they wear?

Yes, the H4D Ferrari Limited Edition comes in a beautiful carbon fiber display case with a glass top adorned with the same Ferrari Racing Shield, but I cannot understand why anyone would pay an extra US$10,000 for a limited edition that only sports cosmetic changes.

Does Hasselblad feel it can't sell enough cameras with just its own name?

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

The big question here is: how many amateurs actually do buy Hasselblad DSLRs? Clearly, a professional photographer will look for the performance, and won\'t be willing to pay a premium to have his camera in red - it might even look non-professional, IMHO.

But are there that many amateurs willing, first, to pay 15k%u20AC for a camera, and a 10k%u20AC premium to have it in red??

I\'d really be happy to see how this sells...

Gavrilo Bozovic

Yeah this is like Hardly Davidson Motor Sickels.

I used to like them... but then came the T shirts.... then came the lighters, then came the pens, then came the bandannas, then came the leathers, helmets, tie clips, air fresher, tooth brushes, toilet paper, matching slippers, chewing gum, beer glasses, strap on dildo\'s, pillow slips, etc., etc., etc...

And worst of all, they put the design on the soles of runners or sneakers, so that the brand name imprints in the dirt.

I mean that was fine when the first automobubbiles with SMOOTH balloon tyres came on the market and Harvey Firestone put his brand name on them, to leave his mark everywhere and came up with the idea of GRIP and then TREAD....

But that is when I said, \"Harley Schmarley\" - pound for pound, these are a shit way to get from A to B.

I mean you can buy 2 decent cars for the same price - brand new and you get 16 cylinders - instead of only 2...

And this marketing bullshit and the premium price - Bahhhh.

Seems that Ferrari and Hasselblad - and the people who are dumb enough to pay the extra, are as stupid as each other.

Mr Stiffy

...consider also the OTHER HALF: there are literally billions of people who live in abject poverty many of them on some one dollar a day. The cost of this status symbol is particularly obscene in this connection. Maybe it just points to the extreme poverty of those who are filthy rich: destitution of judgment and moral character

Those who are reading this article on gizmag may feel mildly annoyed. But those who do not have this opportunity and privilege would feel stultified: the price difference between logo/non logo Hasseldblad product is TWICE of the going rate of selling your kidney to the rich. And there ARE people who do sell their body parts just to make bare survival. They would barely scrape it to buy half of the logo difference...

Imagine Ferrari-Hasselblad afficados proudly gearing around fetid slums. No comment.

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