Canon invites consumers to 'Come and see' in major storytelling ad drive

Canon has rebuilt its European marketing strategy around storytelling with the launch of a three-year campaign called 'Come and see'.

The idea is to broaden Canon’s appeal in a rapidly changing world where users are constantly snapping images and video with their smartphones and sharing them online.

The idea was to show off unusual and fascinating real-world stories

Unveiled today (15 September) at the Photokina trade show, 'Come and see' marks Canon Europe’s biggest brand campaign to date. It centres around two TV ad spots created with filmmaker Jonathan Glazer, whose previous work includes Guinness’ acclaimed ‘Surfer’ ad, and Canon's ad agency JWT.

The ads showcase two unusual, real-life events. One follows a game of Calcio Storico – an ancient, gladiator-style version of football – taking place in Florence. Competitors dressed in medieval costume wrestle for the ball, with the eventual victors winning a cow. The second shows a herd of deer roaming the streets of a housing estate close to Epping Forest. They will air initially on Fox from today before rolling out to local channels across Europe.

The idea was to show off unusual and fascinating real-world stories, according to Nigel Taylor, Canon Europe’s marketing communications director for consumer imaging.

"We wanted to look at stories that were fascinating, intriguing and really revolved around authentic storytelling," he said. "Sport is a great way of sharing impactful imagery with regards to capturing Canon’s core technology. The fast action really appealed to us, and will appeal to consumers."

The new campaign will invite consumers to contribute their own images through social media, and to explore Canon’s technology through a dedicated 'Come and see' site. User-generated content will help Canon’s campaign evolve over three years, according to Taylor.

A lot of people are taking photography a bit more seriously and taking them on higher quality products

He added that the activity was a more "democratic" campaign designed to alert consumers to the possibilities of better camera technology.

"The key thing is that we recognise that a lot of people are taking photography a bit more seriously, with regards to taking them on higher quality products," he said. "But smartphones are playing a large role in entry-level sharing and snapping."

"We see that as a great opportunity – it is not just a demographic, but an attitudinal market," he added.

Earlier this year, Canon lowered its full-year sales forecast, as compact camera and high-end camera sales remained sluggish.

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