Product / ServiceCANON CAMERA
CategoryA03. Online: Fiction & Non-Fiction
Production 3 HECKLER Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Grant McAloon Leo Burnett Executive Creative Director
Vince Lagana Leo Burnett Executive Creative Director
Chris Ireland The Pool Collective Director
Petrea Lambert The Pool Collective Producer
Cameron Gray The Pool Collective Producer
Kieran Ots Leo Burnett Creative Director
Dave Varney Leo Burnett Senior Art Director
Stuart Tobin Leo Burnett Art Director
Bjoern Ingenleuf Leo Burnett Copywriter
Adrian Jung Leo Burnett Agency Producer
Jonny Bucknall Leo Burnett Group Business Director
Laura Dowling Leo Burnett Senior Business Director
Laura Cervin Leo Burnett Business Manager
Lisa Burprich Leo Burnett Senior Brand & Communications Strategist
Emma de Teliga The Pool Collective Producer
Edward Copestick Freelance Editor
Jason McLean Canon Australia Director Consumer Imaging
Chris Macleod Canon Australia Manager Professional Marketing
Kate Guaran Canon Australia Senior Manager Consumer Marketing

The Campaign

We invited six photographers to a portrait session. Each guest was told a different backstory about the person whose image they were about to capture (a commercial fisherman, a self-made millionaire, a recovering alcoholic, a man who's saved a life, an ex-inmate, or a self-proclaimed psychic). The twist? None of those backstories were true. Nevertheless the images that were taken differ greatly in both style and context, eliciting a different emotion and characterization of the subject. This proved that how you approach your subject affects the story you tell and that a photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what is in front of it.

Creative Execution

Implementation We recruited six photographers from our enthusiast audience and invited them to a portrait photography session. Each photographer was introduced to the same subject, but was told a different backstory about the subject. The photographers each captured a different image of the subject. The true nature of the subject’s stories was not revealed until after all photographers had reviewed their work. Their experience was filmed and used as the basis for a content video, which was then shared with the wider public. Timeline The video was launched on YouTube on November 3, 2015. Placement Paid editorial support was provided on Lost at E Minor, an Australian creative and culture blog, between 5th November – 15th November 2015, garnering 6,560 views. The video was also supported on Canon Australia’s YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account.

DECOY became Canon Australia’s most successful online video to date, reaching in excess of 7.8 million views, with 21,200+ online mentions, and 17,000+ comments and engagements on social channels. Average view time was 2:29 (video length: 3:17). 92% of views were embedded on external domains, a clear indication of its appeal to a broader creative audience as it was embedded on 3,000+ editorial sites and blogs. DECOY appeared on news sites including the Daily Mail, Buzzfeed and Mashable; articles on photography sites including Shutterbug, PetaPixel, and MyModernMet; and in publications from Japan, France, Russia, Italy, and Brazil, showing that the content has universal appeal and reached a global audience – all achieved with minimal spend, with only 4% of views being the result of paid media. DECOY shifted Canon’s role from a product manufacturer to a creative instigator, sparking debate and ultimately championing a more thought-provoking approach to photography.

One of the most common forms of content created by photography brands is online tutorials. Despite the fact that photography is undeniably a creative pursuit, these tutorials typically consist of technical demonstrations; telling people how to shoot rather than encouraging them to think for themselves. Canon saw an opportunity to create a completely different kind of tutorial video; one that avoids talking down to the photographer and aims to develop thinking and creativity more than technical ability.

Target Audience(consumer demographic/individuals/organisations) Our target audience was enthusiast photographers; those who have moved beyond point and shoot images and are engaged with photography as a personal passion. Relevance to platform There are countless online tutorials that focus on how to shoot and how gear works, but these rarely explore the creative side of photography. As a result most tutorials are in fact encouraging photographers to capture the same images, rather than developing their own originality. Approach We aimed to create a unique experience that photographers would talk about and share amongst themselves. Instead of telling them what to shoot or how to think, we created content that would get them thinking, talking about and debating the wider implications of their own photographic practices.


Video URL