Canon on New Printer: You Can Take It With You

Leveraging the size of its new CP 300 digital-photo printer against larger competitors in the category, Canon touts the product as a digital-camera accessory that can make any venue a photo lab in a $5 million TV and print campaign that breaks next week from Dentsu’s DCA.

“People want that instant gratification,” said Rick Booth, director of marketing services for Canon’s consumer imaging group. “We liken it to what Polaroid cameras used to be—that very portable, instant capability. You can take it everywhere.”

TV spots for the printer, which weighs less than two pounds and hooks up directly to a digital camera (bypassing the PC that is standard for most digital-photo printing efforts), humorously depict a moment captured on film and then its aftermath—85 seconds later. In one spot, a young man snaps a shot of a rising sea creature like the Loch Ness monster, which prints immediately. After admiring his photo, he looks up at the water to see the monster has vanished.

Three print ads that break Oct. 27 in travel and lifestyle magazines show a neon sign that reads, “85 sec photo lab” glowing over events as a picture is printed. In one execution, a wedding party whirls on as the printer spits out a photo of the bride enjoying her toast. Another shows a soccer game in progress, with the printer by the goal.

“We were walking down the street, and as we were thinking about how to sell this product, we passed these one-hour-photo-lab signs, and we thought, ‘That’s a good icon,’ ” said Ron Rosen, executive creative director at DCA in New York. “Once we had that little mnemonic, we were able to lend it to print and TV.”

TV spots, which will break during the Thanksgiving weekend, also use the “85 sec photo lab” line. Print ads use Canon’s corporate tagline, “Canon know how.”

“We positioned the card photo printer as an accessory to the digital camera,” Terry said. “We didn’t want to position it as a printer, but as a part of the picture-taking experience.”

As of August, Canon had a 15 percent share of the $204 million digital-still camera market, second to Sony’s 18 percent, according to The NPD Group.

The digital-printer market remains small but is growing; prices are dropping with models from Hewlett-Packard and Kodak, said Michelle Slaughter, director of digital photography trends for the InfoTrends Research Group in Boston. “Canon is noticing that this market is growing, and they need to increase their awareness in this category,” Slaughter said.