Lacking emotional engagement - Canon's strategy shift: beyond technology to becoming a socially tuned in brand 









A commercial blockbuster success and winner of the 2010 Cannes Grand Prix for media and six other Cannes awards.


Canon: lacking in the emotional stakes

Canon had always been regarded as a brand of excellence for photographic equipment. However in Australia the brand was not one that was emotionally engaging to consumers  – and it’s dominant brand persona was largely technical. Canon had the reputation of being a safe and sensible brand.

The strategic task was to unlock the emotional side of Canon and in doing so build stronger, more meaningful creative and expressive connections with consumers. A more engaging brand platform and positioning was seen as benefiting Canon’s market performance and competitive standing.


Beyond technical excellence: the high ground opportunity to engage creatively 

The cornerstone insight for representing a new strategic brand platform for Canon, was in reflecting on the dramatic shift towards digital forms of visual expression in the world. An entire language shift had taken place as a result of digital technology. Rather than audio and written exchange, digital visual communication had rapidly become an important basis for people to communicate their ideas and moods - often more readily than words – manifest in the abundance of visual content on social media platforms. 

Visual communication was liberating how people were sharing ideas and feelings. 

The world was becoming more visually literate and developing new ways to be creative. It was pictures that had become a powerful new world language. 

A genuine and powerful insight that was found to resonate strongly with the creative classes – a means of connecting with them - those that Canon wished to appeal to and become more actively engaged with.


Canon EOS and Photochains

Based on the brand strategy to be a champion for visual exchange - Canon chose to bring its brand to life by inspiring customers with a new social platform was established known as EOS Photochains (EOS being Canon’s core digital camera range).

EOS Photochains provided a fun and engaging way to share and post digital pictures likened to a visual ‘chain mail’.  A genuine social media platform – that worked in such a way that sparked ideas in others – triggering a worldwide montage of connected creativity and all rooted in the brand insight that allowed Canon to engage authentically with photographers beyond the technical features of the product.

EOS Photochains became the hub of the Canon’s brand investment in a major integrated campaign across TV, online, cinema, outdoor and print advertising.



Commercially the new brand strategy and resulting activity has been an outstanding success.

“At Canon we judge our marketing effectiveness on commercial outcomes and Canon EOS has performed exceptionally well, achieving revenue growth of 44% to $138 million in 2009. Importantly our market share grew to 54% by value in 2009, meaning more than 1 in 2 consumers chose Canon.”

  Darren Ryan – General Manager, Marketing – Consumer, Canon Australia

In addition. at the prestigious Cannes creative awards for excellence, Photochains became one of the Australia's most awarded campaigns winning the Cannes media grand prix and nine other Cannes creative awards.

Canon recognised that a strong and engaging insight had be pivotal to their success. 

“In recent years, Canon Oceania has been working hard to shift from a product focus to a more consumer-centric marketing model by inspiring creativity based on deep understanding of consumers and their needs.”

“To win such prestigious awards is powerful affirmation for creating brand experiences and communications based firmly in deep consumer research and understanding.”

Darren Ryan – General Manager, Marketing – Consumer, Canon Australia



For more details about this case study or to discuss how to rejuvenate your brand or organisation contact Pegasus Strategic at: 

+61 (0)408 77 22 78  |  |  Skype: andrewmoss