Canon India recently launched a regional ad campaign titled ‘Weddings by Canon’, in key markets of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the first phase. The campaign highlights the crucial role of wedding photographers in capturing their wedding moments. The brand has opted for a targeted approach for this campaign and specifically selected a platform based on affinity and in-market audience. Canon has launched new RF lenses to strengthen the EOS R System, and the RF14-35mm f/4L IS USM, RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF600mm f/4L IS USM. The RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM is the world’s first medium telephoto macro lens with a maximum shooting magnification of 1.4x. Additionally, they also announced the development of the much-awaited – EOS R3 Full-frame Mirrorless Camera, which is the first EOS series camera equipped with Canon’s newly developed 35mm full-frame backlit stacked CMOS sensor that makes possible high-speed readout and a DIGIC X image processor.
In conversation with Medianews4u, C Sukumaran, Director- Consumer Systems Products and Image Communication Business, Canon India, spoke about the Wedding by Canon Campaign, the wedding industry in South India, Marketing strategies, media mix, and more.
- You have recently launched the Weddings by Canon campaign. Can you elaborate on the concept and objectives behind the campaign?
The concept behind this campaign is the unique approach we have adopted where we are directly targeting the end consumer – the bride and the groom. No photography brand has ever initiated something like this in the past, but the customer takes center stage in ‘Weddings by Canon’.
Canon’s entire camera ecosystem is built so that it provides flexibility and a variety of features to couples that are ideal for capturing their milestone. As weddings today become a combination of modernity and traditions, today’s consumers are very clear of every detail they want for their big day – this includes choosing the equipment that goes behind capturing memories of that particular day.
Taking the narrative to the need for professional gear and photographer for their wedding day, we aim to highlight that our ecosystem of cameras and lenses are equipped to capture the finer details of such special occasions and become the trusted partner for the couples in their wedding planning.
- India’s wedding photography industry has seen a surge of creativity in recent years. Can you elaborate on the wedding industry in South India and what this means for Canon and wedding photographers?
There is an innate desire within customers to cherish their wedding memories, which has resulted in the emergence and growth of wedding photography as a mainstream career in photography. As an imaging brand, we have observed a constant upward trend in both the adoption and innovation of wedding photography in the Indian market. Given the diversity of the Indian market, each part of the country is driven by specific local insights into the market.
South India has been an up-and-coming market for our camera business, and as it continues to grow, we foresee even more potential in the region. South contributes 35 to 40 percent to our camera business, and we are delighted to have maintained the No.1 market share in the DILC category. One of the most critical business drivers in the market is the wedding photography segment. We have seen great potential in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.
Considering the importance of these regions for the business, we strategically introduced the first phase of the ‘Weddings by Canon’ campaign in the South to address the growing demand for wedding photography. While we want to reiterate the brand recall for our products among users, we also want to highlight the crucial role of the wedding photographers in capturing the special moments through the wedding.
- Due to the pandemic, people are opting for low vital weddings. How did it affect the wedding industry and wedding photography?
The ongoing pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the wedding industry significantly, mainly in terms of the scale of celebrations. However, it has not deterred people from celebrating one of the most critical milestones in their life. With all this gloom inflicted upon by the pandemic, weddings, whether big or small, bring much-needed smiles onto people’s faces. While weddings have become more intimate, photography remains a salient part of the celebrations.
When captured through photographs, Festivities later become one of the most cherished memories in everyone’s lifetime, which in itself guarantees a comeback for the photography industry. With the decline in the second wave of pandemic and active vaccination drives across the country, hope strikes back, leading to the sprouting of opportunities for wedding photographers.
- Mobile phone brands are launching phones with high-quality cameras. Have smartphones devastated the camera industry? What is the value proposition that Canon is offering the customers?
While it is true that smartphone penetration has amplified the photography culture in India, we have also seen an increased demand for a visual experience that can only be achieved through a camera. Moreover, emerging and established trends such as vlogging are pushing content creators to go mainstream with their shooting devices, thereby providing an impetus to the adoption of cameras both at the entry-level and professional levels. Understanding the shift in the user journey, our growing focus would be on catering to photography enthusiasts who want to graduate from smartphone photography.
- Online or Offline, which is the major sales channel for Canon?
We follow a balanced approach for the sales channel as both online and offline sales are equally important. For our channel partners in the camera segment, we have been looking at being accessible across all channels, including e-commerce, along with constantly reviewing the distribution and retail structure. While we ensure easy and quick access to Canon products and services for our consumers, we are also mindful of our channel partners’ profitability and long-term sustenance. We are actively exploring new business opportunities from complementing products and brands, which will help our channel partners expand their product portfolio.
- Can you talk about the marketing strategies and ad budgets of the brand?
Our overall marketing strategy for this campaign has been to target our regional audience of South India specifically. The TVC was unveiled by film superstar Mammootty via his Instagram and Facebook accounts, further amplifying the campaign amongst his huge follower bases.
As content remains the king, we rolled out the campaign films in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, customized as per the region for the audience to relate to it. We brought in acclaimed artists from the South Indian film industry for better cultural resonance, including its director, Jismon Joy, actor Govind Padmasoorya as the groom and actress, Mahima Nambiar as the bride. Additionally, music for the ad campaign has been composed by Filmfare award winner, Kailas Menon who works predominantly in Malayalam films and commercials. Within a day of the TVC launch from the Instagram and Facebook channels of Mammootty, Govind and Mahima, the video received over 2 million views with a positive response from the audience.
To further reach out to our target audience, we ensured that the media mix included popular regional GECs (General Entertainment channels) and news channels from these states.
- What is the preferred media mix opted by Canon?
We have opted for a targeted approach for this campaign and specifically selected a platform based on affinity and in-market audience. Our approach also included building a connection with our target audience; hence we release the movement in various regional languages like Tamil, Malayalam, and Telugu. In the first phase of the campaign, we first tapped prominent TV channels of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. We have incorporated a mix of popular regional GECs (General Entertainment channels) and news channels in line with our media planning. Understanding the significance of digital channels, we are extensively promoting the campaign on all our digital platforms, including social media, programmatic advertising & regional specific OTT platforms. We are announcing the campaign with 60% focus on television and 40% through Digital mediums in terms of media share.
Research plays an integral role in determining the success of a campaign, and as part of our media strategy, we have conducted pre-research and have planned post-campaign research to gauge the response to the campaign. Through these results, we will analyze how our audience responds to the first phase of the ‘Weddings by Canon’ campaign, and then, based on our research analytics, and we will be planning out its subsequent phases.
- Can you talk about Canon gear and its latest product launches that are best suited for Wedding Photography?
We own a diverse portfolio of cameras across categories that can be used specifically for wedding photography. We have Canon 80D and Canon 90D in the DSLR category for entry-level and amateur wedding photographers. Similarly, we have the Canon EOS R System comprising Canon EOS RP, Canon EOS R, Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 for advanced and professional wedding photographers. Coupled with RF lenses, Canon’s EOS R System is equipped to deliver a seamless and scintillating photography experience. Having said that, Canon’s entire line-up of cameras is aptly suited for wedding photography. However, the ones mentioned are the most used and highly recommended cameras, specifically for wedding photographers.
- What are your growth strategies for the coming years?
It is our constant endeavour to delight customers by introducing the best-in-class and ground-breaking technology consistently. We recently launched new RF lenses to strengthen the EOS R System, and the RF14-35mm f/4L IS USM, RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF400mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF600mm f/4L IS USM. The RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM is the world’s first medium telephoto macro lens with a maximum shooting magnification of 1.4x. Additionally, we also announced the development of the much-awaited – EOS R3 Full-frame Mirrorless Camera, which is the first EOS series camera equipped with Canon’s newly developed 35mm full-frame backlit stacked CMOS sensor that makes possible high-speed readout and a DIGIC X image processor.
India has always been a photography-loving country with its diversity and has limitless opportunities for the industry to explore. Our focus area would be to continue bringing in India specific solutions that cater to the evolved needs of consumers along with encouraging the passion for the art. Syncing with the focus areas, our marketing strategies will align with industry trends and new consumption patterns for the years to come.