Canon enlists celebs for 'Long Live Imagination'

LAKE SUCCESS, NY: Canon has kicked off the second edition of its "Long Live Imagination" campaign with a more diverse range of celebrities to appeal to a broader range of consumer demographics.

LAKE SUCCESS, NY: Canon has kicked off the second edition of its “Long Live Imagination” campaign with a more diverse range of celebrities to appeal to a broader range of consumer demographics.

In year two of the program, Canon teamed up with actress and director Eva Longoria; actor, comedian, and musician Jamie Foxx; Twitter co-founder Biz Stone; English fashion designer Georgina Chapman; and musician and co-founder of DFA Records James Murphy. 

The company's goal in picking the celebrities “was identifying compelling talent” who “are creative and known for being creative” to work on the campaign, said Rob Altman, camera video marketing manager for Canon USA.

“Part of the strategy was making sure we'd have coverage across a wide range [of media categories], and then we're also going to be producing various events with the talent that will further play off their personalities,” explained Altman. 

Grey New York is working on the advertising and digital elements of the initiative, and Alliance, Grey's entertainment and lifestyle marketing division, is handling PR, consumer promotions, and events. 

Last year, the initiative's “Project Imagin8ion" contest invited fans to submit photos online in eight different movie theme categories, including setting, mood, time, character, relationship, obstacle, goal, and “the unknown.” Winning submissions in each category were turned into a short film by director Ron Howard. 
 
Altman said Canon decided to “make it bigger and better” with “more consumer engagement” after the campaign received more than 96,000 photos last year.

This year's effort will have two additional categories, “backstory” and a yet-to-be-announced topic, to get more fans involved in the project. The five celebrity partners, and five more that will be announced at a later date, will each direct their own short film inspired by the 10 winning photos in each category. The directors will film the videos with Canon equipment to showcase its qualities, said Altman. Five of the 10 short films will be shown during the Canon “Project Imaginat10n” Film Festival in 2013.

Altman added that consumers can vote, comment on, and ask questions about the photos on the campaign's “fully optimized” online hub. The site will feature interactive chat sessions with Howard and other celebrity partners, as well as behind the scenes videos about the initiative.

Although Canon “does not have an active Twitter presence,” its celebrity partners are expected to tweet about the campaign.

In addition to using social media, the company will engage a wide range of media outlets, including fashion, music, entertainment, technology, and photo- and movie-making trade publications. Altman said Canon is also setting up various interviews for its celebrity partners. 

Aside from reaching more audiences and highlighting the company's product offerings, another main objective of the campaign is “to show Canon as a facilitator of creativity and imagination,” Altman explained. 

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