Canon - A Shift in Focus

Canon

From a manufacturer of cameras to a patron of creativity.

The democratisation of photography meant that Canon needed to redefine its role in creativity, demonstrating its value beyond just kit. We helped them create a platform for emerging talent & hobbyist photographers, enabling them to realise passion projects they couldn’t alone.

Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Challenge & Insight

With smartphones putting a camera in everyone’s pocket, Canon needed to evolve their positioning to stay relevant in a shifting landscape.

We realised there was an opportunity to shift the narrative from the camera’s features, to what those features enable people to achieve; showing consumers how the products could make their lives richer.

Canon - A Shift in Focus
Opportunity

Positioning Canon as an enabler of creativity; a support network to help student & hobbyist photographers realise their passion projects.

We identified & brought together key people from our target audience & asked them what value was to them.

They said, “Share my work”, “Let me try kit”, “Teach me about the industry”. Not one person mentioned cash.



By understanding what “value” was to Canon’s target consumers, we were able to develop a new value exchange that looked beyond money. This enabled the creators & brand to work together, realise greater benefits & create a more impactful & sustainable approach.

Solution

An inspiring & educational platform to help photographers make & improve their work.

Canon’s role wasn’t simply to commission work, but to further empower those who were already doing interesting things – not just telling the stories of these people, but enabling them to create a new story & encouraging others to do the same.

Canon - A Shift in Focus
Challenge 01: 24Hrs

We gave three top emerging photographers the opportunity to realise their dream project. The catch was they only had 24 hours to capture it.

By removing the constraints of a traditional client brief we were able to watch as they applied their skills to the things they cared most about. We hooked them up with kit, collaborators, travel & helped them tell the story, but the rest was up to them.

Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus

Canon recognised me as a creative & an individual but also gave me the freedom to create something that I would be proud of. It was so inspiring.

Phoebe Cheong, Photographer
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Challenge 02: Focus

Shifting our focus away from people who see photography as a career & on to those who use photography to capture their everyday moments.

Each story was unique, yet the people shared the same passion for capturing their experience with others.We gave them a platform to tell their stories, & access to the creatives within our network to help them develop their skills.



Two of our creators got opportunity to go on a journey to meet each of the four subjects, sharing their own experiences along the way.

Watch all the films on Vimeo

Challenge 03: Unique City Perspectives

We challenged 12 of the best up & coming photographers to capture untold stories from their cities.

We used the constraint of working within their own city as a driver for their creativity, encouraging them to look at a place they know so well in a completely different way. From urban exploration & street art installations, to drones & punks, the challenge captured a new side to each of the cities.

Watch all the films on Vimeo

Distribution

With no budget for paid distribution we used an earned media approach to get the content out to the most appreciative audiences.

Each of the creators we collaborated with proudly shared the content they made on their own channels, resulting in organic reach within their existing audiences.

By harnessing the strength of Canon’s partner relationships, alongside our own, we helped spread the content even further. Through Canon’s retailers, both online & offline, we were able to distribute our content to a highly engaged community of photographers.

The majority of our distribution was focussed outside of photography communities, tapping into relevant surrounding cultures for each project – from high-profile skate magazines to tourism bodies & lifestyle blogs.

Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus

It gave us the ammunition to really challenge conventional thinking & approaches within the business & show there is a better way to resonate with our audience. We can’t wait to do more

Tracey Fielden, Head of Marketing, Canon UK
The Impact
1.5k

Pieces of premium quality, original & authentic content

£620k

Earned media value from a paid media budget of zero.

3x

Higher avg. engagement rate than brand-created content

I’ve been able to borrow Canon kit for shoots & produce results that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Above all, the best thing is the people; when networking turns into real friendships you know there’s a good thing going on.

Nicole Gomes, Photography Student, Falmouth University
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Canon - A Shift in Focus
Our Role
Studios
Strategy | Creative | Art Direction | Editorial & Content Production
CoLab
Cultural Curator Identification | Content Co-creation
Our Collaboration Partners

Lee Kirby | Chris Turner | Rick Nunn | Gavin Strange | Phoebe Cheong | Jeff Allen | Andrea Robertson | Callum Whiteley | Nicole Gomes | Adrian Morris | Nehemias Colindres | Amos Chapple | Ben Tucker | Robert Göetzfried | Ed Norton | Killian Schönberger | Amer Kapetanovic | Timm Schneider | Amy Morrall