Canon discovered that in a world teeming with advertisements and promotions, cutting out the noise and filtering customers towards your brand can seem nearly impossible.
So, how do you stand out? Canon wanted to move into selling software and services but were struggling to compete with long-established brands. We needed to do something memorable and yet spending millions of dollars on a nationwide TV branding campaign, showing customers why they were up there with the best, was out of the question.
The answer lay in a counter intuitive strategic approach.
This would completely flip the traditional marketer’s story on its head and re frame their own time-old narrative into something bold, disruptive and impossible to ignore. We came up with an innovative print campaign using the concept of ‘radical honesty’, the idea being:
Let’s just agree with the market’s perception of us and tackle it head on. This involved:
Being bold: In a noisy marketplace, we painted the Canon ads red.
Being different: Telling the same story doesn’t make you different. We embraced honesty, irreverence and humour to set Canon apart.
Using The Curiosity Gap Theory: We created headlines for Canon that were intriguing and open-ended to evoke curiosity and engagement.
Building trust: Our counter intuitive approach aimed to build trust by disarming cynicism.
Being disruptive: The campaign outright challenged the market’s perception of Canon.
Being brave: In a digital world, the payoff for bravery is higher so we did what others didn’t dare to do and told a louder, prouder story.
The power of surprise: Surprise gets people talking. Through our design, we utilised the proven ‘shock and awe’ trick to Canon’s advantage.
The results were extraordinary.
Not only were the big red disruptive ads noticed, they also got people talking about Canon in new ways. The campaign helped move the brand’s perception needle away from just being copiers and cameras, paving the way for new sales conversions and strong growth.
TESTIMONIAL: Craig Manson, former managing director, Canon Business. Current managing director Manson & Co, says:
“I have worked with Steve as a marketing advisor for over 15 years in leadership roles at Canon and most recently Change Hunters. He is one of the best marketers in the business and has always been a great strategic sounding board for me. Steve is an accomplished speaker and has a deep understanding of brand storytelling. I’m excited to see this play out in Story IQ and to continue working with Steve and the team.”