CHALLENGE As the smart phone market has expanded, consumers are using the cameras on those devices to take more and more photographs. Canon wanted to inspire people to aspire to more with their pictures.
CAMPAIGN IDEA Freestyle teamed with Ron Howard, Canon, and Grey Advertising to launch Project Imagin8ion in 2011. Consumers were invited to submit photographs within eight story-related themes (e.g., mood, setting). A user-generated vote narrowed down almost 100,000 submissions by photographers of all skill levels before Oscar-winning director Ron Howard chose winners for each category. Bryce Dallas Howard, his daughter and accomplished writer/director/actor, would utilize the winning photographs as inspiration to create a short film.
RESULTS The principals of Freestyle worked with Bryce and her writing partner to develop a short film screenplay. Freestyle then produced the twenty-minute short film and oversaw the creation of associated social media and PR elements.
The film “When You Find Me” was presented at a New York City premiere, played at the Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca film festivals, and was included in the ten films shortlisted for the Academy Awards. Project Imagin8ion reached $8.4 million in earned media value, over a half a billion earned media impressions and total impressions nearing 3.5 billion. Canon’s market share spiked to an unprecedented 71.7%, and their industry-revolutionizing DSLR HD video secured a leadership position among the Hollywood A-list.