I was touched and close to tears after I saw this microfilm. How about you?
Different from Pantene’s minimovies we discussed last week, “Canon” appeared at the very beginning. At about the 30th second, the director gave a close-up to a Canon DSLR. In the rest part of the film, the camera showed up again and again. But you did not get annoyed, did you? Instead, you may like to find this moving video on YouTube and share with your friends.
Here comes another problem. If you just search for “Leave Me”, you will get thousands of irrelevant results. So you want to type in “Canon” as well. There you go! Now the microfilm will quickly show up at the top of the list. Likewise, in most reviews, the minimovie is always tied with “Canon.” Viewers tend to title the microfilm as “Canon’s commercial.” But indeed, I failed to prove Canon’s sponsorship for the film. Most background materials I found were about the production team and awards the film won. I have to question: Is it really product placement advertising?
No matter what the answer is, it cannot be denied that this microfilm still somehow promoted “Canon.” Thus, I boldly guess that it is a branding microfilm tailored for Canon. Yet it is the moving plot, not the product that catches people’s eyes. The trick is that once people are impressed and touched by the story, they willingly become open to the message behind. They may even be curious about who made such a minimovie, why they made it and what is the relationship between the story and the brand. See, getting customers’ attention is not that difficult, right?
However, there is one thing you should never take for granted, the content. As Bill Gates said in 1996, “Content is King!” Marketing is not a battle of products any more; it is a battle of ideas, of perceptions. Story is the soul of a microfilm. If you do not have a good story or you place your product in the movie without thinking whether the brand and the story are combined well, you will probably lose this video marketing battle.
So, what does the director want to show through this minimovie? Some viewers comment that there is no commercial purpose in this video at all. I don’t think so. For example, Jack said that his wife usually took photos of trees, waters and sunrises. I consider it as saying that Canon cameras are good at taking pictures of landscape and can display nice color and texture. The director also chose a scene of a party with dim light. I guess his aim is to show that Canon cameras have high sensibility and flexibility. Different people may have different associations.
After all, the goal of producing such a microfilm is not to stimulate consumption, but to endow the brand with a personality. The key to distinguishing those two lies in how to present your product and to what extent is appropriate. In this film, all of the property details mentioned above turn pale under the main theme, memory.
We all wish time could stop at the most wonderful moment in our life. Unfortunately, most of the time, we are just so powerless especially when facing with separation, with death. Camera makes our dream come true. It freezes the most unforgettable instant and stores our memory. In this microfilm, the director amplified this feature and created a miracle for Jack. He finally met his wife and stayed with her in the camera world.
This is the charm of storytelling. It offers us a vision, according to Annette Simmons in The Story Factor. Life is full of struggles. We love to hear sad stories with happy endings because they lead us to believe that there will be an end to our suffering too.
If I were Jack, I would also say:
Leave me. Leave me in the camera. Leave me in the memory.