Leave Me in the Memory

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.

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10 thoughts on “Leave Me in the Memory

  1. Leave me, leave me in the camera world. Leave me, leave me in the world of love. It is such a moving short movie that leads me into a deep thinking, thinking about a few questions: what is love; how to memorize love and how to keep it in the memory forever? While, The real success of this short movie not only because its touching plots but also due to its way to express the importance of a camera. It can guide audience’s opinion in a soft and natural way.

    • Your last point hit the nail! The microfilm guides audience’s opinions in a soft and natural way, playing the exact power of storytelling. It helps the brand approach the audience in a comfortable way so that audience change their perceptions unconsciously and spontaneously. I’m glad you also have other reflections upon love and memory.

      • This microfilm is so moving. The man in the movie presents a kind of people, who want to keep their vivid memory into their photos. Every scenery and detail on the photos can make people recall the day they were laughing or crying. The man does not want to get out of the photos, because the memory is so real. Here is the one who can give you that feeling- Canon digital camera, taking picture and keeping your memory forever. So I treat this microfilm as a product placement, which natural placing the brand into the plot, nice work.

  2. The story is so moving. The most touching moment to me is the photo of that man at the end. I guess it is true that sad stories leave stronger impression.

  3. So touching a minimovie! I’m not taking it as an advertising at all, because it even brings more thoughts to me than many real films. Camera, love, and memory–Canon combine them so well. We cherish life, love, and happiness, so the loss of them will make us painful, but Canon can record them, and make them stay–I think it is what the minimovie wants to convey. Also, I think of another minimovie, or ad, of Canon camera in Japan. It is also about a man who is missing his dead wife when looking at her pictures taken by Canon. It was an old man, his mind went to his high school time when he fell in love with his wife. The strong contrast of the young and the old, life and death, memory and reality, and happiness and sadness impressed me a lot. I think nobody won’t be moved. But I’m also thinking, to keep the good memories is for moving forward in real life, but not to immerse in sadness, and to never get out. The last shot of this “Leave Me” movie that the father hanging the picture of his son’s on the wall makes me even sadder, because the son went back to the memory with his wife, and he would also only live in the memory of his dad. Is his choice to escape from the reality? Being touched by his deep love though, I would appreciate it more if he could be stronger and more responsible for himself and people who love him. Touching, and also positive, that would be better to my understanding. But anyway, I think Canon knows well how to make tear bombs that make people remember.

    • I appreciate your comment very much! The first time I watched this microfilm, I was just touched. After I watched it several times, I came up with the same concern like you. Not everybody can accept this ending, especially Chinese who highly value family, parents. As you said, if the man can face the reality more bravely and show more responsibility, the ending will be more perfect. More thoughts and ideas are required in this story. Or, maybe, there is another huge culture difference worth discussing here.

    • PS. in my opinion, every kind of business’s (or commerce…sth like that) ultimate goal is to make money no matter what they do. So when they use the trick of taking advantage of human’s weak point, it really makes me….

      • You point out a valuable point here! It is about ethics. Many people argue that what PR, marketing, or advertising practitioners are doing is after all to change people’s ideas and perceptions, which is not ethical. It is a really tough question that has been confusing us for a long time.
        In my view, with the development of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC), customers’ opinions are much more highly valued than ever. I consider it a promising trend that companies will care more about what their audience wants, tailor their products accordingly, and offer better service. In the past, companies make products without asking consumers’ opinions and somehow “push” the products to consumers through advertising. Now, they use such microfilms to establish brand images and enhance brand familiarity. What they are trying to say is “Hey, we are willing to listen to your ideas” rather than “come to buy our products.”
        Thank you for your comments very much!

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