Short List
Category G03. Single-market Campaign
Production OBJECT CARE Dendermonde, BELGIUM
Name Company Position
Karen Corrigan Happiness / An FCB alliance Executive Creative Management
Geoffrey Hantson Happiness / An FCB alliance Chief Creative Officer
Katrien Bottez Happiness / An FCB alliance Creative Director
Mattias Vermeire Happiness / An FCB alliance Account Director
Coline Hercot Happiness / An FCB alliance Account Manager
Morgane Juget Happiness / An FCB alliance Account Manager
Thibaut Castaing Happiness / An FCB alliance Concept Provider
Gil Gauniaux Happiness / An FCB alliance Concept Provider
Dries Lauwers Happiness / An FCB alliance Head of Design
Emilie Wauthelet Happiness / An FCB alliance Designer
Bart Vande Maele Happiness / An FCB allaince Head of Production
Dominique Turnbull Happiness / An FCB alliance Producer
Pascal Delfosse Happiness / An FCB alliance Print Producer
Simon Schuurman Simon Schuurman Director / Editor
Stephane Opdenbosch Happiness / An FCB alliance Photographer
Lotte Smets Lotte Smets Psychologist
Antoine Melis Antoine Melis Photo-Editor
Tom Vandewiele Tom Vandewiele Photo-Editor
Jaan Hantson Jaan Hantson Music

Why is this work relevant for PR?

To make the country aware of the ReStory project and to call victims to send in their flood damaged pictures, we relied heavily on PR. There was some local outdoor in the most seriously affected area, but it’s the power of PR that allowed us to massively share the first stories of victims whose photos we were able to restore, as a mean to make a touching documentary. ReStory was talked about in literally all Belgian national and regional press. Strengthening Canon’s purpose from its core business, photgraphs, and making it a huge – still ongoing - PR


July 2021, Belgium experienced the most destructive floods in its history. The damage caused by the deluge was enormous: over 220.000 houses were destroyed (on a population of 11 million), countless cars… but also tens of thousands of photos. Although these do not represent a lot of financial value, their emotional value and the memories linked to these photos, are priceless. Especially after such a trauma. Because, when you lost everything, you hang on to memories. And memories are kept alive by photos. Briefing: how could Canon us the power of PR to deliver a relevant and valuable contribution in the emotional recovery of the flood-affected area, in sync with its purpose – the commitment to support worthy causes towards local communities as a vital part to bring the world closer to Kyosei.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Thousands of flood damaged photos, a tragedy of a priceless emotional value, at the heart of what is Canon’s core business: photographs. So, in sync with its purpose and to help the disaster area in its emotional recovery, Canon decided to introduce a truly heartwarming initiative, ReStory. A project designed to restore all flood damaged photos. Free of charge. Because photos are memories. And memories are too precious to lose when you already lost everything in the devastating floods. How does the cleaning of photos work? The first step is an extensive and thorough drying and cleaning process, with the aim to minimize the loss of imagery in the process. Afterwards, the dried and cleaned photos are scanned, digitally retouched and printed. Canon – together with their partner ‘Object Care’ - provided the funding and the technology to restore as much flood damaged photos as possible.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

In order to give the press something to share and talk about, we started our local search for the first victims with flood damaged photos. From that search we found the first 10 people whom photos we restored, asked them to pick the one with the highest emotional value and share the story that goes with it. From that we created a touching documentary of which we knew it would be newsworthy. Then we pitched it to Belgian national and regional press, allowing them to interview the victims featured in the documentary and all the technical people involved in the restauration of the photos. It worked. Massively.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

Half of September ‘21 we went out searching for 10 victims whom photos we restored and whom accompanying stories we filmed. From that we made a touching documentary. October 15th we pitched the documentary to the entire press. At the same time the stories were to be discovered at a Photo exposition in Brussels and a call was launched to all victims to enter their damaged photos via regional outdoor campaign. But we were mainly dependent on the power of PR and the appearance in all national and regional media outlets to make the call big enough. As to why this initiative is so important, let’s quote Lotte Smets, trauma psychologist, “In the brain, photos are literally the most important trigger to bring memories back to life. When then, suddenly, you literally lose everything, memories become the only thing to hold on to. And as said, photos

List the results (30% of vote)

ReStory was quickly picked by literally the entire national and regional Belgian press. Calling the campaign “Heartwarming” and “incredibly worthy”, calling victims out to send in their damaged pictures and spreading a great deal of praise towards such a heartwarming and generous initiative to help Belgium recover from the toll taken by the devastating floods that took place in mid-July. Since end of October, tens of thousands of photos have been entered. So far, over 500 photos have been restored. And returned. For the next few months, the restauration will continue to go strong. Until all entered flood damaged photos that can be restored, are restored. It’s fair to say that, supported by PR outreach, the Canon ReStory project truly touched the entire Belgian nation.

Please tell us how the work was designed / adapted for a single country / region / market.

The ReStory project was initiated by Canon Belgium for all Belgian victims of the devestating floods in July 2021. So, it was a very local project directed specifically to the southern part of Belgium, the flood affected area. Canon provided the funding and the technology to restore as many flood damaged photos as possible. Because photos are memories. And memories are too precious to lose when you already lost everything in the devastating floods.