Olympus America Returns to TV

The Martin Agency’s first television campaign for Olympus cameras focuses on the tagline, “Nothing’s impossible.”

The Richmond, Va., shop’s engaging, humorous work represents Melville, N.Y.-based Olympus America’s first TV advertising in six years.

“Olympus had great success building its brand through beautiful, top-quality products,” said Martin group creative director Hal Tench. “Now, as things get more competitive, they’ve decided to toot their own horn.”

Three 30-second TV spots begin airing on national cable outlets and selected broadcast “event” programming this week. A print component will run in professional photography and trade magazines.

Martin won the estimated $15 million account last spring [Adweek, May 28] after a three-month review.

Martin’s challenge is to extend the Olympus Stylus camera’s lead in the point-and-shoot category while ex-panding its share in the competitive digital arena. Like other brands, Olympus is facing a dramatic shift in retail sales from film to digital cameras.

The “Nothing’s impossible” theme is driven home in the commercials. In “Beach,” a surf-casting couple photographs a prize catch, only to have the fish’s digital image smell up their vehicle. The problem is solved when the woman photographs a sweet-smelling flower.

Music and voiceovers (“The most realistic digital images yet”) replace dialogue in all the spots.

“See-Saw” shows a beautiful woman sitting opposite a seemingly sentient digital camera on a teeterboard. Im-ages captured by the camera—a feather and 50- pound bags of potting soil—alternately raise or lower the woman. The ad closes with the mischievous camera focusing on a school bus.

Joe Alexander was the copywriter, Mark Braddock art directed and Steve Humble produced. Dominic Murphy of Partizan/London directed the spots, which were shot in San Francisco.