“See Impossible” — It Can Be Done, Says Cryptic Canon:

+++ UPDATE: As I see it, the See Impossible campaign is a rebranding of Canon as a multi-tasking do-everything conglomerate…

“Mission impossible” by Canon — Mixing marketing with wit and philosophy, not something you see everyday in the photography industry. Now Canon, world’s digital imaging leader, does exactly this with a new countdown campaign. Whatever product they’re making us drool over, here’s the truly ingenious teaser:

This message goes out to fear, doubt, logic and reason.

To excuses, distractions, procrastination, inertia, critics, cynics, realists, pessimists, resistance, conventional wisdom.

To the peanut gallery, the so-called experts, the good enoughs, the urges to pass the buck, the easy way out, the snooze button, the panic button, and to that little voice in the back of your head that says,

“It can’t be done.”

To all of it, we apologize.

Because we don’t see what you see.

At Canon, we see impossible.

"See impossible" -- cryptic marketing that certainly catches my full attention.
“See impossible” — cryptic marketing that certainly catches my full attention.

Pretty bold and cryptic, hey? The same ad appeared in the New York Times. Better expect not much more than hot air?

Photokina is history, Canon clearly waited for the whole world’s attention.

Finally a pro grade compact full-frame mirrorless? Another Canon photography contest? New sensor technology? Electronic paper to display photos? Apochromatic lens design? Canon entering the smartphone market? A Rebel/Kiss special edition…

Interestingly, haven’t yet seen anywhere else that red cube on the left of the Canon logo with the luminous ball inside. Kind of a new logo? Product line?

For where I live, the countdown teaser ends Tuesday, October 7. Stay tuned!




  • Wade Marks

    Someone suggested it could be a 3d printer…hence the logo.

    However, the use of the word “see” hints at an imaging product.

    The text of the ad is clearly a derivative of the iconic Apple “Think Different” ad…of course, Steve Jobs delivered bigtime on his promise. We’ll see if Canon can live up to their promise.

  • Something 3D could actually make sense…

  • Wade Marks

    Now that I’ve thought about it, this cannot be any new astounding camera. No leaks whatsoever, and with the 7dii just announced…I don’t think this will be the holy grail of cameras that many hope for. Also, this seems to be targeted for the US market.

    My guess is now something more modest; maybe something like Project Imagination…a kind of contest / teaching series / traveling road show…more to promote photography than anything else. To help people get over the fear of taking photos, to get over the feeling that they can’t do it, or at least can’t do it as good as the pro’s…to inspire people to be artists with their cameras.

    Maybe employ another big name from Hollywood, maybe a big name photographer…maybe a teacher like Scott Kelby, as part of Canon’s investment in him.

    The other option would be, as we’ve alluded to some type of office product.

    No matter which way, it’s a fascinating ad campaign…it would be ashame to see it wasted on something too modest. The irony is that Canon seems to do a better job hyping up the more modest stuff rather than the really good stuff.

    Also, it seems to me that if Canon only comes out with something modest, incremental, boring, etc…then that’s a huge marketing fail. If you hype and disappoint enough times, it becomes like the boy who cried wolf. So I really hope Canon has something great up their sleeve.

  • Love it so far. Pure nihilism. The countdown timer is set to 00:00:00, since more than an hour, and nothing happens. C-a-n-o-n-w-a-k-e-u-p-t-h-e-g-u-y!

  • To recap, now that the genie is out of the bottle with considerable delay: Canon promotes itself as a can-do-everything company, offering a wide range of consumer and business solution to be creative, diagnose and solve issues. Hmm. Self-publishing. Smarter printing. That’s in essence See Impossible. Hmm.

    What I like about it? The “human,” emotional face of the campaign.

    http://youtu.be/FtS39XS513I

    http://youtu.be/5_LFmQ6eH1I