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Consumers today are content with the quality of smart phone cameras. Whilst Canon is respected as a premium quality brand, research shows that it is not resonating with the younger consumer. How could a camera brand stay relevant when the market has shrunk by 29% over the last 5 years across Southeast Asia?


Insight 1: Smartphone Cameras as Enabler

Whilst many competitors saw the smartphone boom as the end of the category, we viewed it differently. Research showed that ‘the more photos people take from their smartphones, the more they want to take interesting photos’. We found that the best way to capture interesting photos is through a Canon handheld camera as it offers the opportunity to craft a photograph rather than simply ‘point & shoot’ using the mobile phone.


Insight 2: Owning the ‘Like Economy’

We knew we couldn’t just tell youths that Canon will allow them to take better pictures. We had to dig deeper and figure out ‘why’ they want to take better pictures. Research showed that youths get a sense of gratification whenever their social posts garnered a lot of ‘Likes’. Unlike clicking a selfie, consumers can craft an interesting story when they use an advanced Canon camera, thus enabling their social posts to gain greater traction among their friends/followers.


Our core strategy: To champion a culture of photography in the region by enabling smartphone camera users to embrace the ‘art of photography’.

Creative Business Solution

Research showed us that the concept of reality shows resonated well among the youth across Southeast Asia. We decided to do away with the usual 360° campaign and created an innovative content strategy platform that would resonate with our target audience.


We stopped being a teacher of the art of photography and became the hipster camera brand that had the audacity to organise an innovative reality show, where members of our target audience challenged the most popular celebrity photographer in the region!

Canon Photo Face-off is a unique reality TV content strategy, produced in partnership with History Channel. Based on the highly popular Canon Photomarathon competition, Photo Face-off pits amateurs and a professional in demanding photography challenges under gruelling timeframe.


Photo Face-off is a multidisciplinary content campaign mapped across key regional markets. Central to our target audience engagement is the development of excusive social content that further engages the target audience along the entire journey. We also amplified the show with on-ground activations across the region.

The show in its 4th season has reached more than 260 millions of viewers across the region culminating into a Canon movement that is striving to champion the art of photography across the region.


Created high brand resonance among the youth audience (measured via brand health tracker)

Canon brand health tracker confirmed that the show resonated well the youth in the region – reversing a decline in ‘brand I would like to be associated with’ and ‘meant for young and friendly people’. (actual results confidential)


Increased intention to purchase (ITP) for Canon by 10%

ITP for Canon showed an increase of 17% between viewers and non-viewers. Additionally, Canon’s ITP and Net Promoter Scores were the highest amongst all competitors.

Canon Photo Face-off was a resounding success! Even with the overall market declining by 29%, the campaign contributed to a market share growth of 20.5% on average across Southeast Asia.

Campaign Video

Canon Photo Faceoff

Consumer Electronics