Leica Mini M “Leaks” May Have Been Part of a Clever Marketing Scheme


It wasn’t very long ago that Leica began teasing its Mini M camera on the homepage of their website. Purported leaks of Mini M began to surface, including photographs and specifications.

Slowly but surely, the black box labeled “Mini M” on the Leica website began to open up as the rumors continued to flow through the blogosphere. Some sources had confirmed that the rumors and images were, in actuality, the real deal. Others, on the other hand, were convinced the leaked images and specs were fakes.

This "leaked photo" of the Mini M (foreground) reportedly appeared in a French iPad publication

This “leaked photo” of the Mini M (foreground) reportedly appeared in a French iPad publication

This 'shopped image also "leaked" yesterday

This ‘shopped image also “leaked” yesterday

But a big question has come up: is this all just a clever marketing scheme put together by Leica? Did Leica release fake Mini M rumors with specs too unimpressive to be true to draw attention to the Mini M, and to make the real camera seem fantastic by comparison when it finally is announced? If so, this would be a spectacular method of marketing this new product, which is slated to be revealed on the 11th of June.

If you take a look at the Leica website at this time, the black box reads, “Heard the rumors? Get the truth: Leica Stores – June 11th.”

Leica Truth Teaser

A closer look at the mysterious box on Leica's front page

A closer look at the mysterious box on Leica’s front page

This does, essentially, imply that what we’ve been hearing on the grapevine is nothing more than, well, rumors — perhaps even fake rumors from the horse’s mouth.

Here’s what Mirrorless Rumors is saying about the previous leaks:

As I told you the day I posted the image, there is only one way the rumor could not be true. And that is that Leica made a marketing campaign by spreading false rumor deliberately around the world. If true this would be the first time a company does it. And in my opinion a very clever strategy!

It won’t be very long until the air is cleared and we have the truth about the Mini M come next week.

Update: It now appears that the leaked images and specs were NOT part of some strange marketing scheme.

  • mlieberman85

    If it turns out to be a marketing ploy they need to fire their marketing team. Trying to convince people your product is worse than it actually is makes no sense.

  • Selsk

    I really hate it how they watered down the “M” branding by including all these cameras. M stands for Messucher, which is German for Viewfinder. Which, only one of these cameras has. Mini? Nano? Micro? Give me a break! Did Apple buy Leica?

  • tttulio

    If the specs are true Leica might as well close up their R&D and Marketing departments. $2500 for a fixed f6.4 zoom?
    Fuji is more Leica than Leica now.

  • Nate Matos

    It’s not the first time a company has used a name that doesn’t mean what it originally did. The Olympus OM-D uses the “OM” designation which stood for “Olympus Mount”, a mount that it no longer uses.

    It should also be noted that Leica used the “Mini” monicker far before Apple did in the early 1990s.

  • Nate Matos

    Agreed, although I’d place my bets on the fact that the Mirrorless Rumors guy got bad information. Made the claim it was 100% true, and is now backpedaling.

  • Palmer Scott Mahalo

    Lame. Either way I don’t understand why anyone wants a camera like this. Fuji addresses all of your needs in this department. Leica is at best a vanity brand with outdated tech.

  • gochugogi

    These images look very similar to recent Panasonic M4/3 designs, e.g., GX1.

  • Florian

    it would be a brilliant idea to market a product like that! even the guys not liking it here, dont understand that they still talk about it :) best publicity campaign ever. viral marketing shaking up the leica community and boom, everyone is talking. if you read the latest marketing research the ‘negative’ image they create still creates an image and is beneficial to the ppls brand perception. the lowered threshold of expectations has to be outreached by the real thing though. and if they make you delighted than you suddenly might discover yourself wanting it really badly :D

  • Adam Cross

    nothing clever about it, I don’t know, I’m just “meh” with leica lately

  • Vlad Dusil

    Of course it makes sense.

    I’d rather have bad rumors and a good product than the other way around. What matters is the performance of the actual product and not some nonsense that the gear-obsessed masses conjure up in their minds.

  • Mike

    Haven’t Apple done this for past iPhone releases? A prototype left by an executive in a cafe “found” by a blogger?? Really!

  • nameless

    On the contrary, they’ll get a raise.

  • YS

    Leica probably has to do that because their tech isn’t on par with what the Japanese are doing? :P

  • Gord

    The greatest marketing ploy ever done by Leica was keeping their prices ridiculous and convincing people there was something special about using one.

  • Selsk

    There is something special about using a rangefinder with very good glass.

  • Gman

    That’s pretty much the opinion Zack Arias holds now.

  • Florian

    Nissan GTR is fast for sure, but somehow everyone likes Porsche…#hatersgonnahate

  • Freppelepp

    Spoken like someone who has never held and shot a Leica M

  • Gord

    Spoken like someone who makes incorrect assumptions because people don’t see the world their way.

  • Genkakuzai

    Would make a lot of sense if it was fake, cause those specs weren’t the least impressive. Not that I expect much in terms of equip-per-buck from Leica, but this was awful even for them.

  • dannybuoy

    Are you kidding. Have you ever actually seen the image quality from an M9, MM or M? If that kind of quality is vanity then I’m Mr Vane

  • Rabi Abonour

    If this was really a viral marketing strategy, it was a pretty sad one. Leica is a legend in the photography world. It should not have to be intentionally setting low expectations to make a new product look good.

  • Ken Elliott

    >> ” Trying to convince people your product is worse than it actually is makes no sense.”

    Actually, it does. It’s called “lowering the customer’s expectations”. Most marketing raises your expectations, and when reality falls short, that’s the amount of your disappointment. This new method is based on the concept that you should understand what level of satisfaction you can truly deliver, and promise a level just below that. The customer gets more than he expected and is thus delighted. Don’t you agree that it’s better this way than over hyping?

  • bmassao

    That’s pretty much the opinion everyone holds now.

  • mlieberman85

    Yeah but there’s a difference between when some random people come up with and what the marketing team comes up with. You’re not lower expectations but just outright confusing and misinforming potential customers.

  • mlieberman85

    It makes sense to under promise over deliver. It doesn’t make sense to essentially poison the well by spreading rumors that your product sucks. Apple is good at keeping expectations at a reasonable level and then exceeding them. Telling people your camera has a mediocre lens, 3 year old technology and will cost more than double similar cameras in the market it just seems bizarre.

  • Vlad Dusil

    Right, except that this too, is a rumor. ;)

  • bamboozleme

    I think whomever leaked this info got exactly what was intended here … we’re all talking about it (good, bad, or indifferent). No matter, Leica’s tech has always been behind the Asian mfgs., but they have always made up for that difference in the quality of their GLASS.