Sharapova Shot Out Of Canon

New York Times: The United States Open tennis tournament, which got under way this week, appears to be aptly named – the blue-chip sponsors for 2005 are more open than ever to trying nontraditional methods to reach consumers.
For example, Canon hired tall blonde women dressed to resemble the tennis star Maria Sharapova to mingle with passers-by at busy sites like Rockefeller Center and Times Square, handing out Sharapova fans – the paper kind – and subway maps bearing ads for the Canon PowerShot line of digital cameras.
At Canon, “We’ve got our TV to hit everyone,” said Rick Booth, marketing services director for the consumer imaging group at Canon USA in Lake Success, N.Y. He was referring to commercials for PowerShot featuring Ms. Sharapova, created by DCA Advertising in New York, owned by Dentsu.
At the same time, Mr. Booth said, “we want to go beyond that and utilize Maria from a total marketing standpoint.” So DCA worked with agencies like PSP Sports in New York; Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, part of Daniel J. Edelman Inc.; and the Canon USA internal marketing and public relations teams on TV alternatives.
In addition to the look-alike models, there are online ads and so-called wild postings of signs bearing a slogan from the commercials (“Maria was here”). Mobile billboards – trucks decorated with ads – are being driven around Manhattan.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.