Canon ‘copies’ Microsoft slogan

Canon is set to unveil a more consumer-friendly slogan in a move that could bring it into conflict with software giant Microsoft.

“You Can” is to replace the two-year-old strapline “Imaging across networks”, according to sources at Canon. The new slogan will be officially unveiled in February as part of a European ad campaign.

It marks a return to the more catchy style of “If anyone can, Canon can”, which still enjoys strong consumer recall.

According to Canon sources, “Imaging across networks”, which was introduced in March 2000, is “not user-friendly enough” for a mainstream audience. The slogan was created to capitalise on a new generation of Internet-linked products. But it was felt to be “too businessy” for the kind of high street market Canon is now targeting.

The company ran a high-profile ad campaign in the autumn, using the strapline “Canon patent five ideas a day to help you have hundreds.” This was followed in the run up to Christmas by a campaign for digital cameras and portable digital printers.

The new slogan is similar to Microsoft’s “Yes, you can!”, introduced in November as part of the marketing campaign for Windows XP. A Microsoft spokeswoman says she doesn’t believe Microsoft has trademarked its Windows XP slogan, but was unable to confirm this as Marketing Week went to press.

“You Can” fits into a trend towards shorter slogans. Nike’s “Just do it!”, Hewlett-Packard’s “Invent”, Sony’s “Go Create” and Microsoft’s “Yes, you can!” are all attempts to humanise brands and technology, and grab consumer attention more quickly.

Canon confirmed the new slogan to Marketing Week but refused to comment further.

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