It might be the most commented post ever on DP Review, and even Canon gets its fair share of malice and rancor on it’s own marketing platform. Not undeserved, Canon. Go figure why the world’s leader in digital imaging allows comments on a See Impossible: Beyond Photography, Director promotion video. A marketing campaign out of control: it’s not only geeks that feel deceived.
See Impossible obviously is a cult-like ad created by ingenious advertisement geeks — who lost control over the whole process. The cryptic ad raised high expectations. All that was delivered was a kind of fuzzy Canon rebranding. Now the negative campaign goes viral. And Canon U.S.A. just watches in lockdown, seemingly unable to act. Hell blame the strictly hierarchical structure of a huge organization to not being able to act with quick and proactive damage control.
Right, the ad focuses on people, not products. This human touch is nice. The more customer-centric ad is about using Canon solutions. The new See Impossible campaign with its interactive microsite will also include efforts in print, digital and live events. In the end, however, the customer uses money to buy products, and not ideas.
The competition builds compact cameras than can practically see in the dark. Now that’s See Impossible, Canon. 4K, amazing dynamic range, state of the art EVFs. Isn’t that See Impossible, Canon? Innovation, thinking forward, daring to bend the rules. That’s See Impossible, Canon. People buy Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, even Samsung. People move on to Apple, GoPro, apps. But Canon makes a great ad. Creating hype for nothing.
Fire the marketing firm Grey New York for a starter. Then get your act together. Building good cameras and optics that are reliable performers and do the job aren’t enough anymore in this highly dynamic market. If you make ads like Apple and want to sell solutions like Apple, then better deliver.
It’s obvious, Canon is no longer focused on the digital imaging market. It’s a bit of everything. Office equipment, healthcare technologies, industrial, printing and, well, consumer products. The camera division still lives in the past and on its heritage. Great selection of lenses, solid cameras. Just how hard is it to get off one’s corporate butt and compete again? Survival of the fittest, right, doesn’t seem to apply to a Japanese conglomerate.
Or go the Leica way, more limited edition Stella McCartney bags and the likes please. Just don’t promise what you can’t deliver.