Minor rant about Canon's slogan

I consider myself a photography enthusiast, and I am grateful to Canon for creating products which allow me to share what I've seen. I'm quite attached to my SLR, and I like the fact that the Canon EOS (Electro-Optical System) shares the same name as the Greek Titan goddess of the dawn.

In addition to this, I am quite fond of the company's name. It's a homophone of "cannon", a instrument which also involves shooting ("I'm a Canon shooter", and all the innuendo one can also pull out of similarly worded puns). Intentionally or not, the word "canon"  in the English language also has a number of meanings, many of which could be thought of as very fitting for tools of any art.

However, no amount of brand loyalty will sway me from saying this:

Their current slogan is pathetic.

Yes, I know that a picture is worth a thousand words, and Canon has no doubt been a leader in the field of imaging, but that doesn't change the fact that their slogan "Delighting you always" is a poor choice of words for 3 specific reasons.

1. It's ambiguous.
The slogan's literal wording gives us no idea about their actual products or services. Are we talking about cameras, ice cream, amusement parks, or clowns for hire?

A few might think that the presence of the word "light" in "delighting" is a subtle brag about the company's expertise in optics. That is, of course, until you realize the the prefix "de-" could imply negation (as in "degenerate" and "degrade"). Not a very bright idea, Canon.

2. It lacks impact.
"Delight" is a word that I cannot take seriously. In terms of blandness, it's only a notch below generic words such as "good", "pretty", and "happy".

3. It's assuming too much.
Pay attention to the verb tense. It is asserting that the company is already delighting you regardless of whether or not you have actually paid attention to any image made by their products. If I were a potential customer who has yet to buy any of their products, I would have found this downright arrogant. It's not even a promise; it's just a statement.

Compare this to Nikon's "At the heart of the image", Sony's "make.believe", or Olympus's "Your Vision, Our Future". Although not as bad as Pentax's "Be interesting", "Delighting you always" is still hardly professional-sounding. In a few spare hours (at home, not at work), I've thought of a few more palatable alternatives.

Generic imaging:
  • Seeing beyond
  • Imag(in)e everything
  • Sharing your vision
  • Envision the future
  • The world is your canvas
  • Let the image speak for itself
  • Perfection worth a thousand words
Print and display-specific:
  • Bringing colors to life
  • Witness life. Shoot to immortalize.
  • Canon. Go shoot yourselves.

Seriously, Canon, I know that imaging is your forte, but words are important too. There's nothing to lose in exercising both precision engineering and precision of language.

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