Sachin Tendulkar is Canon India's brand ambassador

BANGALORE: In an attempt to Indianise its brand appeal, Canon India (CI) has signed on Sachin Tendulkar as its corporate brand ambassador.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary year in India, Canon will use Tendulkar in retail, press and outdoor campaigns. He will also be a part of the special CI Anniversary Calendar that will be shot by ace photographer Atul Kasbekar to be launched later this year.

Says CI VP Alok Bharadwaj, "It is a proud moment for all of us at CI as we close our first decade in India. The company started operations in 1997 and has grown tremendously since then touching revenues of Rs 4 billion in 2006. It was a momentous occasion to have acquired over 1 million customers in December 2006 and to have received 151 awards in 9 years. The digital imaging industry in India has a positive outlook and we are confident that the next decade will be as successful as the first. We are very excited about this year as we are entering in Phase II of our growth in India.".

Starting January 2007, the company will be embarking on an aggressive communication program which will feature editorial and advertising campaigns across different media. As the company continues to increase its penetration in smaller cities and reach out more socio-economic segments, enhancing the brand connect will be an important direction. CI will be spending over Rs.300 million towards brand building initiatives to make the CI brand more appealing to the target audience through visibility at various customer touch points, and the tie up with Sachin Tendulkar will integrate with this program.

As a part of these celebrations, CI will be embarking on a 100 city customer contact program through a Mobile Mini Expo across different Tier 2 and 3 cities. This Expo will aim at increasing customer awareness, introducing channel partners to the CI Gyan Yatra and will culminate in a Grand Expo to be held in October 2007.

The official release also claims that CI will be announcing the inauguration of its first Digital Media Lab located at School of Convergence in New Delhi. The lab will be equipped with all the latest CI products needed for students to learn didgital still photography. CI is looking at opening more such centers across the country through the anniversary year.

CI will be strengthening its retail presence across the country. CI has engaged with 237 retail outlets currently including 140 IT Imaging zones, 54 Digiclick Zones, 2 Digic Video Zones, 4 CI Xperience Zones and 32 CI Care Centers. The company plans to take these to 500 stores by the end of 2007. On the retail front, CI will tie up with 20 national retail chains and 50 city based retail chains.

In addition, CI announced that it will be opening a Level 3 CI master service center for the service of its camera, camcorder and professional camera range of products in Mumbai.

The company also announced the CI 'Excellence Awards' which will aim at identifying and recognizing performers in different categories to celebrate CI's 10th anniversary and India's 60th year of Independence.

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