October 7, 2014

Canon's New Advertising Campaign: There's More to the Image Than Just the Gear

Canon See Impossible Logo
Canon USA recently launched a new microsite with a countdown clock that eventually introduced not a revolutionary product, but an advertising campaign.

The 'See Impossible' campaign is designed to highlight the stories of people who use Canon products, not necessarily the products themselves, and will eventually feature user-submitted videos from consumers and clients. The campaign is going to feature all of their products, not just cameras, but I think their message is actually strongest when it's focused on people using the cameras, rather than the Canon printers, as you'll see below. 

Here are their first two promo videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_LFmQ6eH1I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtS39XS513I

Here is the first teaser, courtesy of Canon Rumors:

Canon See Impossible Teaser

This all sounds like a breath of fresh air on the surface, but when your company is viewed by many as slow to innovate, it may not be the right time for a campaign like this. To be fair, this is Canon USA, not Canon Japan, and they don't actually create the products we see, they just sell them.

If they do follow through with stories of real people doing really cool things with their cameras (and other products), it's certainly an admirable idea, and it's something companies should do more of, especially since the camera itself is often a rather small part of the image-making equation. But if people think you're too conservative with your technological advancements as a company compared to some of the competition, the whole thing becomes a little bit harder to swallow.

There will eventually be more videos and more material over on the See Impossible microsite     

via AdWeek

Your Comment

39 Comments

I think they've missed the boat long time ago. Still resting on the laurels of the C100/C300, Canon have a lot of catching up to do and NAB is too far away. Sure we'll see a new Cinema EOS camera(s) then, but no clever marketing campaign is going to make up for them lagging seriously behind Sony and Panasonic in almost every segment of the camera business.

October 7, 2014 at 6:21PM

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Ogy Stoilov
Director
246

Utter dogshit.

October 7, 2014 at 6:21PM

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Gordon Robert
Blog Reader Posing as an Important Filmmaker
221

Canon sees that it's impossible while other companies made it a reality.

October 7, 2014 at 6:35PM

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This made me lol. They could be teetering on a marketing failure.

"Where Canon see impossible, others make it happen."

4K for under $4K. RAW/ProRes422 for under $1K. 60P (and more) in 1080p.

Impossible.

October 8, 2014 at 5:37AM

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Ben Howling
Writer / Director
565

I want to hate these videos but they're done pretty good. Wish Canon's Cameras were as good as their marketing campaign.

October 7, 2014 at 6:36PM

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Zachary Will
Cinematographer
819

What do you suggest from Canon to make their cameras better? Just curious.

October 8, 2014 at 9:50AM

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Dre Kahmeyer
Director
319

Better bit depth, better internal codecs, higher frame rates, the option for raw recording for under 20K (I personally don't care about RAW, but having it has an option would be nice. 4k (again, personally don't care but it'd be nice as an option).

October 8, 2014 at 11:49AM

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Alan Dembek
Camera Assistant
238

I agree with all except for RAW. A bit overkill for DSLR. ProRes codec would be awesome.

October 9, 2014 at 11:11AM, Edited October 9, 11:11AM

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Dre Kahmeyer
Director
319

1- Get rid of moire and reduce aliasing. Panasonic did this with the GH4, when will Canon follow suit ?

2- Better dynamic range for both still photos and video recording. Canon is one of the worst when it comes to DR.

3- Much higher video recording bit-rates. Again, follow where Panasonic has led.

4- 4K video recording. Is Canon going to be the last major brand that can shoot 4K ?

5- 10-bit 4:2:2 recording. Panasonic has this, when will Canon ?

...I expect the next round of Canon EOS cine cameras ( i.e. C200 and C400 ) to have 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, but can't you bring some of this to your DSLR cameras too ?

October 8, 2014 at 2:22PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30904

If they packaged all of what you mentioned in to a sub $5K DSLR they would jump right back in to the lead where they started. That would be an amazing camera, call it the 5D Mark FOUR THE WIN!

October 9, 2014 at 11:15AM

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Dre Kahmeyer
Director
319

The "director" ad infuriated me -- how dare they show 5D as the tool of choice in today's world?

Start doing your homework, Canon. Dismissed.

October 7, 2014 at 6:40PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3850

I missed where it was deemed the "tool of choice". How do you figure?

October 8, 2014 at 9:51AM

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Dre Kahmeyer
Director
319

What else would they show? It's the portion of the kid's life when he makes a viral video. His college years on a budget.

October 10, 2014 at 5:42PM

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Well, I was thinking more like t2i with an 18-135mm lens (that's what I use to shoot), not the 5D with some L glass (can't tell which lens he got).

October 12, 2014 at 8:42PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3850

"See imposible" meaning "we see our 7D MkII flying off the stores"... xD Sorry, had to make the joke. I thought they'll be announcing the new sensors with extreme low light capabilities "see imposible" (http://www.canon.com/news/2013/mar04e.html). I guess it's was too good to be truth.

October 7, 2014 at 8:41PM

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Rafa Ga
Digital Film-Video Editor / Colorist / Motion Graphics
246

What self-respecting author prints their manuscript on an inkjet printer? ;)

October 7, 2014 at 10:17PM, Edited October 7, 10:17PM

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Steve Yager
Filmmaker
386

Why the hate guys? It is a good commercial, maybe Canon is a little behind at video/cinematography at the moment, but before the 4K, GH4, and a lot of Good DSLR's nowadays, Canon's 5D MIII was top notch. Don't hate, aprecciate and learn from everything you see.

October 8, 2014 at 1:32AM

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Tommy Plesky
Director / D.P / Editor
1934

It's still top notch imo. Magic Lantern is the only reason. A7s is the only thing pulling me away from Canon at the moment (in terms of DSLR) that dynamic range and low-light is a beauty.

October 8, 2014 at 9:53AM

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Dre Kahmeyer
Director
319

I feel that is campaign works at giving us a red herring. While it is true that story is what matters and equipment just aids in that story. It is sad in my opinion to see them spending money on brand awareness when their brand is already one of the best recognized. It would be nice to see them adding simple features like focus peaking to their cameras. But I guess it is working we are all talking about it.

October 8, 2014 at 2:07AM

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Rex Warner
Digital Storyteller at The Arbinger Institute
259

That tripod for that camera, though.... in the first video (0.30). A bit overkill? And...is that a 5d? I'm confused...or are they confused? This is confusing!

October 8, 2014 at 3:29AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
991

Not overkill at all. Looks like the O'Connor 2575D - probably the most standard fluid head in the industry. (And that's not a tripod, its a mitchell head on what looks like a Fisher 10/11).

October 8, 2014 at 11:55AM

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Alan Dembek
Camera Assistant
238

A 15k head that can hold camera's up to 40lbs is not overkill for a dslr?

October 8, 2014 at 2:09PM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
991

kg that is...not lbs. Looks a lot bigger than the 2575D though.

October 8, 2014 at 2:14PM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
991

A C300 is not a DSLR. Also, if you've got your camera on a dolly, which has a mitchell base as the standard mount, then it makes sense to be using a mitchell head. Seeing as O'Connor is the most popular fluid head manufacturer on the market that makes Mitchell base fluid heads, it only makes sense that they're using an OConnor. Also it definitely does not look bigger than a 2575D.

October 8, 2014 at 5:04PM

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Alan Dembek
Camera Assistant
238

I guess you're right. Didn't think it was a C300, but after another look I guess it must be. My bad...

October 9, 2014 at 3:40AM, Edited October 9, 3:40AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
991

It was a C500, notice the protrusion on camera right? The heat sink I believe

October 9, 2014 at 9:54AM

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Peter Staubs
Camera Assistant
481

No it was a C300, my bad

October 9, 2014 at 9:57AM

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Peter Staubs
Camera Assistant
481

Canon, in video, I think that must get tree steps forward at the time... if not... bad thing.

October 8, 2014 at 4:27AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7686

ten bucks says it was filmed on something other than canon...

October 8, 2014 at 5:12AM

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Riaan Myburgh
DP / COLORIST
372

I didn't know bucks could talk, where'd you find ten of them? lolol

October 8, 2014 at 9:54AM

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Dre Kahmeyer
Director
319

I would bet it was shot on a c500, I don't think Canon would let That happen

October 9, 2014 at 9:56AM

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Peter Staubs
Camera Assistant
481

fair enough! Haha:)

October 12, 2014 at 12:43PM

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Riaan Myburgh
DP / COLORIST
372

I feel like this is Canon taking a little dig at all the (justified) "naysayers".

"Look at the great things we can create WITHOUT being at the forefront of camera innovation"

October 8, 2014 at 6:59AM, Edited October 8, 6:59AM

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Anthony Vescio
Director/Editor
361

Yeah, but how can Canon take credit for that? They're not doing the creating.

October 8, 2014 at 7:55AM

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True. The "we" was meant to be the user base.

October 8, 2014 at 8:55AM

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Anthony Vescio
Director/Editor
361

I feel like this is Canon taking a little dig at all the (justified) "naysayers".

"Look at the great things we can create WITHOUT being at the forefront of camera innovation"

October 8, 2014 at 7:00AM, Edited October 8, 7:00AM

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Anthony Vescio
Director/Editor
361

That's not the kind of ad campaign I would focus on if I was selling...gear. Canon has a fine line of cinema cameras (that were big sellers, BTW) that were a bit under-spec'd for the price when they came out and are now bit long in the tooth several years later, so this may be their fall-back since they are selling equipment that is lacking in features that their competition is starting to deliver. Shooters I talk to are now looking to buy gear with upgrade paths that go well beyond a three years cycle for many reasons, and I suspect that reticence may be what Canon is marketing against.

October 8, 2014 at 12:52PM

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Marc B
Shooter & Editor
517

This will go down as the most dreadful marketing campaign of the decade... Canon is in trouble.

October 8, 2014 at 1:17PM

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Tom Holton
UAS Specialist
267