Canon’s New Camera Ads Focus on People, Not Products

Digital campaign aims to recapture market share

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As smartphones continue to erode sales of cameras and equipment, traditional brands are building digital platforms that double as marketing assets. Today, Canon launched the multi-year "See Impossible" campaign, shifting the marketing focus away from products and onto customers' stories.

Canon's campaign centers around a new microsite, which houses a series of digital videos that highlight how customers use a range of products. One 45-second clip shows how an author used the technology to self-publish her book. Going forward, Canon will expand the site's content to include submissions from consumers and clients.

A 3-D visual of an expanding box on the page divvies up different pieces of content. For example, clicking on one section of the box triggers a "create" experience to show how the products work. Other tabs highlight customers' stories and additional information about the brand.

Grey New York is executing the brand strategy, integrated creative, event, promotional and public relations work behind the campaign.

"We're going to use it as a messaging vehicle, but we're also going to use it internally to organize and marshal our resources in a way that's much more customer-centric than just strictly approaching everything from a product viewpoint that we've done over the years," said Michael Duffett, vp, general manager of marketing at Canon. "Our current Web properties do a great job of talking about the specific product, but nowhere do we have a really good place to say a particular company or a particular photographer are using our solutions."

To support the campaign, Canon is partnering with Major League Baseball's digital properties, including the Bleacher Report, running video and display ads during this month's postseason. Canon also is one of four advertisers sponsoring CNN's new time-shifted platform CNNgo, and it plans to run pre-roll ads on YouTube today followed by masthead ads later this month. All of the ads feature creative content that drives back to the "Canon See Impossible" microsite.



@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.