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  • 11.18.15

Why Canon Went Skijoring For Its Epic New Winter Ad

Skiiing behind a horse? Sure, why not.

Why Canon Went Skijoring For Its Epic New Winter Ad

At first it seems like one of those made up XTREME!!! sports born out the mid-’90s, especially for the X-Games. Like skysurfing or street luge. But skijoring has quite a long tradition. The name comes from the Norwegian term for ski driving, and the sport itself was a demonstration sport in the 1928 Winter Olympics. Here, Canon and director Marcus Söderlund give it the epic journey treatment for the band’s ongoing “Come and See” series.

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The film, from agency JWT London, follows director Jonathan Glazer’s portraits of a historic football game in Florence called Calcio Fiorentino, and deer running wild in a small English village. The new installment follows 55-year old skijoring world champion Franco Moro as he glides behind his horse at 50 kilometers per hour in the driving snow of Patagonia, Argentina.

JWT London creative director Adam Scholes says the brief from Canon was simply to inspire people to share imagery with Canon this winter. The agency’s goal was to find an inspirational photographic story to act as a catalyst to encourage people to get their cameras out and capture amazing imagery.

“We wanted to show winter in all its rawness and spikiness,” says Scholes. “Not only because it provides a stunning backdrop, but also to stand out in stark contrast to the soft, fluffy Christmas content showing people sitting around in Christmas jumpers eating mince pies by the fire.”

The extreme conditions and eclectic sport are, of course, awesome, but the pensive, considered nature and tone of the film are also meant to reflect a changing attitude in how people are considering their relationship with their photos.

Since the boom of digital photography began, consumers have been desperate to put themselves into a moment and share it through their social media method of choice. “The images shared are not considered, often frivolous and disposable, but for a while it was enough and missing out gave people the fear–FOMO,” says Scholes. “Now though, things are beginning to change. There is a growing consumer trend towards JOMO–the joy of missing out. Consumers are actively looking for ways to take stock in things that matter, live in the moment and take notice of everything going on around them, not on the screen in front of them. And with that, doing our important or exciting moments justice.”

Scholes says that Canon aims to encourage this behavior and outlook on life by excitedly beckoning people over to, as the campaign is called, “come and see.”

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“It’s a brand for people who are looking to explore what’s around them no matter how every day,” says Scholes. “Films like Gladiator, Deer or Skijoring are some of the surprising things which are uncovered as a result.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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