Ad of the Day: Canon

Ron Howard asks for your photos to inspire a short film

Film director Ron Howard supposedly hasn't appeared in a TV ad since he was 18 and has never associated himself strongly with any brand. He's not one of those big-name directors who shoot lucrative commercials on the sly. So, why is he now fronting for Canon? Turns out the Oscar winner is curious about how consumers can help create art, the idea at the center of Canon's new "Project Imagin8ion" initiative, which launched on May 22. The site invites people to submit their photos, of which a handful will be selected to suggest eight film elements—setting, time, character, mood, relationship, goal, obstacle, and the unknown. Using the eight images as inspiration, Howard will create a short film that will debut in New York next November, where Howard's photographic muses will meet the director. (In the first two days alone, Canon received more than 9,000 submissions. Consumers have until June 14 to provide images.) The campaign also has a strong social/photo-sharing component that includes YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. While the underlying message supports Canon's digital SLR cameras, the execution takes the focus off the marketer and shifts it to user creativity. Not a bad idea to engender that product goodwill in an era where most consumers already carry a phone camera in their pockets.


Client: Canon USA

Agency: Grey, New York

Spot: "Parade"

Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren

Executive Creative Directors: Ari Halper, Steve Krauss

Associate Creative Directors: Stu Mair, Eric King

Writer: Kent Koren

Art Director: Elinor Buchler

Logo Design: Craig Ward

Agency Producer: Lauren Tuttman

Agency Music Producer: Zachary Pollakoff

Agency Photo Producer: Jen Pugliese

Digital Producer: Kristin Finch, Jen Meeker,

Digital Team: Lando Ettrick, Ron Ceballos, Ornette Coleman, Josh Hearn, Liz Polkinghorne, Thomas Kropp

Account: Rick Cusato, Melinda Hecht, Melanie Rose, Lindsey Christensen, Matt Rakow

Planning: Ian Daly

Business Manager: Lynn Schieder

Talent Manager: Carla Defeo

Alliance: Amy Tunick, Eric Levin, Courtney Jacobs, Jennifer Gothelf