File this one in “weird and unexpected,” as today Nikon announced they have partnered with Mini Cooper to use the new KeyMission 360 camera to produce marketing materials in 360 degrees. Nikon says that the global partnership will offer “new virtual reality driving experience for new cars even before they become available.”

Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that its Imaging Business Unit has come together with MINI in a global marketing partnership to collaborate on a series of marketing initiatives and content creation for the new KeyMission series of action cameras and the recently announced new MINI Countryman. Through a collection of real-life experiences documented on the KeyMission 360 and enabled by the new MINI Countryman, the partnership aims to inspire and encourage the spirit of exploration and sharing of these experiences in complete 360° immersive detail.

So it looks like Mini is going to be using Nikon exclusively for making 360/VR content, and in return Nikon gets advertising at the Mini point of sale and whatnot:

This cooperation benefits both partners reciprocally. MINI integrates the KeyMission 360 in various stages of its marketing and press activities, reaching from exclusive footage and media drives to social media and point-of-sale campaigns. Using the KeyMission 360, MINI is able to bring new perspectives and immersive experiences to customers even before the cars are physically in the showrooms. On the other hand, KeyMission 360’s standout optical and imaging innovation is clearly demonstrated through the full 360° videos of the MINI Countryman.

Cool. I mean Nikon really needs to get people to buy the 360 camera, and if putting it in front of more people means more purchases, I get the decision. I suppose this was more cost-effective for Mini than just buying a bunch of cameras, which would have been more straightforward.