2021 Brand Experience & Activation


Short List
Product/ServiceCANON R5 & R6
Category D07. Branded Tech
Entrant UNCLE GREY Copenhagen, DENMARK
Idea Creation UNCLE GREY Copenhagen, DENMARK
Media Placement UNCLE GREY Copenhagen, DENMARK
Production UNCLE GREY Copenhagen, DENMARK
Name Company Position
Newsha Dalman Uncle Grey Account Manager
Valdemar Mühlhausen Uncle Grey Digital Strategist
Mads Alexander Nielsen Uncle Grey Art Director
Patrick Poulsen Uncle Grey Strategic Director
Clara Prior-Knock Uncle Grey Associate Creative Director
Thomas Rynkeby Knudsen Uncle Grey Motion Designer
Lars Samuelsen Uncle Grey Chief Strategy Officer
Johan Thrane Uncle Grey Digital Strategist
Pernille Tramp Uncle Grey Account Manager
Josephine Winther-Poupinel Uncle Grey Client Service Director
Kasper Andkjær Uncle Grey Digital Director

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Truthmark is a global database created to stop misuse of images to fuel fake news. Digital fingerprint technology allowed professional photographers and photojournalists to attach their true stories to every image they upload, making sure that whenever their images travel, their stories follow. The database also provides journalists and the public with a tool to verify images before using them in a narrative. The initiative was created to engage and activate professional photographers which was Canon's main focus in 2020. So far professional photographers from all over the world (including USA, Israel and Russia) have added images to the database.


Canon has a long tradition of high-quality photography equipment. However, as the professional camera market became increasingly saturated, competitive and fast-paced, Canon struggled to keep up. The brand had lost its momentum. It started to feel outdated and was missing the edge of today’s zeitgeist. Canon wanted a more modern and bold brand strategy for the Nordics. This was our chance to awaken the giant and appeal to professional photographers in a way that would truly speak to them. The following objectives were set: --Reconnect with professional photographers --Leverage them to entice a broader audience (semi-professionals) --Infuse Canon with a new sense of purpose --Spark a cultural conversation The Truthmark project became a new way for Canon to engage with some of the most awarded photographers in the world. Making them a catalyst for our brand and establishing a broader conversation about the influence of photography in culture.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

We created Truthmark – a platform functioning like an “image bank of truth”, where professional photographers upload their images, attach the story behind the image and thereby reduce the misuse of photos worldwide. How it works: 1. Apply for a verified account (only for professional photographers). 2. Select and upload images or photo-series. 3. Write the story behind the image, which is attached to the photo with an invisible watermark. From here on, the image cannot be used without permission, or shared with third-party accounts. It is stored with one purpose only: to protect the truth behind the image. And for truth-hunters we created a separate universe, where anyone can drag and drop an image onto the website to verify and learn about the truth behind it. Creating Truthmark, we could not only speak to photographers, we could create impact in leading the fight against fake news.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

In order to keep expanding its marketshare within the mirrorless category Canon needed to reaffirm its commitment to professional photographers. They are the aspirational rolemodels for the broader target audience that provides the biggest volume in the category. Our strategy was to prove our commitment to professional photographers by taking on one of the biggest issues in the industry. The misuse of their images. The UN has declared an infodemic. And research shows that fake news travels 6 timers faster then real news (MIT). We needed a brand statement that would not only communicate our belief but prove our commitment through the development of utility that could make us relevant to this highly discerning audience, and show that we understood the struggles of professional photographers and photojournalists. Professional photographers are losing credibility because their images are being misused to fuel fake stories. Truthmarks gives them the opportunity to fight back.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We soft-launched a beta version of the site aimed at selected Canon ambassadors. The initiative was activated by three world-renowned and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers, who had their images misused, encouraging other photographers to join the fight. The website/digital tool ran alongside campaign visuals and a video for social starring the three hero-photographers, who all had their images misused. The campaign assets and website were launched on 23.07.20. The campaign assets are still live, and the database will continue to exist and grow as an ongoing initiative against fake news. What started as a regional initiative in the Nordics quickly turned into worldwide action as the international press picked up the tool – making Canon relevant within the pro community. The database continues to grow, and new possible extensions and collaborations unfold.

List the results (30% of vote)

Truthmark was first targeted towards Canon photographers but opened up, and the initiative has received an immediate response from the photographic community. The database now features images from photographers in countries all over the world including Israel, Russia, and The United States. The initiative also caught the eye of photographers and international media and is endorsed and recommended by the Press Photographers Association. The newly launched R5 and R6 cameras from Canon's pro range received immediate attention upon launch, and Canon became relevant to a target group they had neglected. Key results: 50+ million reached 15+ million views 100+ international media pick-ups Marketshare increased from 26% to 33,5% Sales index: 172 (Year-on-Year) In 2018 Canon introduced their first mirrorless camera. By the end of 2020 Canon was number one in the mirrorless category for the first time.