When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Ed Lee
Jun 6, 2014

With the digital camera market struggling this year, it could be very easy for camera vendors to pull back their marketing and sales efforts and try to weather out the storm by controlling their costs. However, this would be the worst thing that they could do. “Out of sight, out of mind,” as the saying goes. A better approach to the situation should be, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Canon and Samsung are showing that they are not going to roll over and let the market dictate to them what the outcome for the year will be. InfoTrends estimates that, on average, there will be over one million cameras sold a month this year. Although this number has been much higher in recent history, it is still an impressive quantity of product being sold. Some company is going to sell these cameras and it appears that Canon and Samsung are saying, “Why not us?”

Canon’s Bring It Campaign

During Memorial Day weekend, Canon launched its “Bring It” marketing campaign. According to the company, “Bring It” is a rallying cry meant to wake up consumers to the best-in-class technology that Canon products have to offer. It also serves as a call to action by challenging the world to step it up, to tell better stories, to achieve results like never before and to bring their best. When taken literally, it is a reminder to consumers to bring their Canon cameras and lenses with them. No matter the occasion, bring your Canon.

The campaign, produced by Grey NY, is supported by television, in-cinema, and digital advertising. In addition, there is a dedicated website, bringit.usa.canon.com, which serves as a gallery of consumer-submitted images and videos. To highlight the capabilities of the Canon cameras and lens, the campaign was produced with images and videos taken entirely by consumers. None of the content was taken by Canon. The Bring It campaign will run through the end of 2014, which means that it will be airing during the all-important fourth quarter holiday buying season.

Canon Bring It website

We believe that this campaign is an excellent move by Canon to raise the consumer awareness level for digital cameras. In recent times, much of the consumer hype has been about smartphones and their camera capabilities. It is time once again for cameras to step back into the spotlight. More importantly though, it is about getting consumers to remember to bring their digital cameras with them and to think about how they want to tell their stories through photos and video.

Samsung’s DITCHtheDSLR Event

When a market hits saturation or is in decline, it becomes a game of winners and losers. Now when one camera vendor wins a sale, it is likely at the expense of another vendor losing one.

On June 4, Samsung took direct aim at DSLR vendors in an effort to promote its NX series compact interchangeable lens cameras. The company held a “DITCHtheDSLR” event in New York City’s Times Square. A large tent was set up in which Samsung showed off the NX series cameras and allowed consumers some hands-on experiences with the cameras. According to Samsung, over 10,000 people experienced the event.

A Crowded Tent

Those consumers who wanted to “ditch” their DSLRs had an opportunity to trade them in for a brand new NX30 Smart camera ($999 value). Only the first 250 people with a working DSLR and all its accessories were guaranteed to be eligible for the trade in. Although, the company was apparently prepared to serve an unspecified larger number of people. Those who did not qualify or arrived after all the cameras were distributed were offered a $50 rebate coupon towards the purchase of an NX camera.

For six hours on that June afternoon, DSLRs and compact interchangeable lens cameras were the talk of the Square. NYC is probably one of the few places where a ‘pop up’ event like this could draw crowds of people, given its status as a photogenic tourist destination as well as the large number of people who live in and commute into the city each day. Samsung’s DITCHtheDSLR event likely helped to raise awareness levels for its cameras among the NYC natives and tourists in the Times Square area that day. In addition, it got consumers talking about cameras (DSLRs and CILCs) and it even took a few DSLRs off the streets.

Can you guess how many DSLR cameras are in the box?

InfoTrends’ Opinion

InfoTrends believes that more campaigns and events like these are needed to bring consumers back to the stores to buy a replacement or additional camera. Additionally, actions like these are an excellent way to introduce first-time buyers to the benefits and advantages of a standalone digital camera (over a smartphone). Getting people excited about photography, their photos, and the cameras used to capture them will pay healthy dividends in the long and short term.


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