Canon 700

Our VP of Marketing, Scott Jones, just became a contributor for MediaPost’s Marketing:Entertainment newsletter. Here is his first article…

Smart Marketing: #BringIt

If we all had the same brand equity that Apple or Nike has then our marketing lives would be so much easier. Sadly, many of us aren’t so fortunate, but smart well-executed campaigns can still engage an audience and start a conversation. Like many brands, tapping into the entertainment zeitgeist is a way to break through the clutter, and used wisely, celebrity endorsements can add value as part of a broader campaign strategy.

Take for example Canon’s “Bring It” campaign. Earlier this summer, while watching the World Cup, I saw Canon’s 30-second “Bring It” commercial. As an aspiring (very amateur) photographer, I was hooked instantly. I can’t remember the last time I saw a commercial for Canon — or for that matter any camera manufacturer — but it inspired me to get out and shoot. A week later, while I was at the movies, I saw the same spot, and once again I was inspired.

But my story almost ended there. It wasn’t until I saw an article about how Canon had contracted with a series of celebrities to promote their “Bring It” campaign that I finally dug in. I then visited Canon’s Twitter feed and microsite and proceeded to explore the imagery and videos they had available. I bounced out to YouTube and Facebook to see what others were saying and contributing, and even checked out some ancillary content from one of their “movie” producers Dana Saint.

What really struck a chord with me, beyond the fact that the end content is just so amazing, is that in my opinion Canon had thoughtfully executed a great campaign. It was personally engaging, highly aspirational (at least for me), cross channel, and socially integrated. And when looking at some of the publicly available numbers (6.9M+ YouTube views and 8k+ Twitter Retweets) I have to believe that Canon is pleased with the results.

So what can we learn from Canon? Here are some of my key takeaways: 

  • Focus on your core…Canon is about pictures, and now video, and they put both front and center in their campaign. 
  • Connect emotionally with the audience…either through storytelling, your content subject, or both…Canon’s content is inherently emotional so that was easier for them, but they also succeeded on the storytelling side by allowing the audience to participate. 
  • Think holistic and integrated…Canon executed their campaign across traditional and digital channels…they didn’t simply crutch to a single channel or a single strategy. 

In the end, Canon didn’t settle, as they developed and executed a thoughtfully integrated campaign. And in a cacophony of noise, they used new media and celebrity endorsements that really stood out. As we start developing our next smart marketing campaigns I wonder if we can do the same? 

Now it’s time to go out and take some pictures!

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