Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Olympus PEN Story Ad Campaign

Olympus is celebrating 50 years of their PEN cameras with a new product launch, the digital PEN EP-1 camera. It is being launched with a global marketing and ad campaign that makes one marvel at their creativity. The PEN Story 3 minute ad video is going viral on the Internet, their sequence of four short ads is getting more and more views on YouTube, and their microsite is becoming increasingly interactive as users upload content to share with others. The PEN Story microsite is truly amazing in its use of technology to bring the PEN EP-1 camera alive for viewers.

The PEN Story marketing campaign has a global website at and a number of country microsites. The European microsite is a super example of how the Internet is used to bring the whole campaign together with interactive tools, user generated content, downloads, and viral videos. A simple splash page arouses curiosity with its scrap book design that places the viral ad video front and centre and gives viewers access to free music downloads and a ringtone of the PEN Story video. A camera link takes us further afield into the world of Olympus PEN cameras,

Within the site, the section titled LIVE EXPERIENCE enables people to apply for a one week trial of the camera and then share experiences with others on the website. In addition, a viewer can immediately experience the PEN camera by using the mouse to digitally point the image of the camera at a scene on the website. By selecting different camera settings, the viewer can then alter the photos and see the result of six built-in filters such as such pop art, soft focus, pale & light colour, light tone, and grainy photo,

The website creatively showcases the PEN camera’s simplicity, technological features, photographic capabilities, as well as audio, and video functions – all in an interactive and creative fashion that gives viewers an immediate, creative, and enjoyable experience with the product. This microsite also leads to an area designed specifically for user generated content. Here users are invited to upload links, photos, and specs to share with others. To date, (July 18, 2009), 101 links, 1825 photos, 30 specs, and 74 friends have been added to the site which also has a link to a Facebook page where people can join discussions, ask questions, and join the community.

The viral element of the PEN Story campaign includes 4 short ads placed on the Olympus PEN Story YouTube channel,, and a 3 minute ad video uploaded to the Pen Story YouTube site, and posted on the PEN Story microsite. The short ads use a simple animated graphic-illustration format to reveal the history of the PEN camera, showing its evolution from 1959 to 1963. The viral ad video uses a different format, Stop Motion animated photography and a flowing melody titled, "Down Below," (music by Johannes Stankowski, produced and arranged by Michael Kadelbach), to draw us into the PEN Story. The PEN Story ad video is a visual narration of a young boy, first seen in a snap shot outside his elementary school house. The ad video shows the lad walking off the snap shot as a young boy and into his life as narrated by a continuous spilling of photographs. Fifty years later, as a middle aged man, we see him retrace his original footsteps, down the school house road, to pose for a class reunion photo outside the original school house we saw at the start of the ad video.

Olympus tell us that the PEN Story viral ad video was created by shooting 60,000 pictures, developing 9,600 prints, and reshooting over 1,800 photos to get just the right images. Since the YouTube ad video-upload on July 2, 2009, the PEN Story ad video has enjoyed 708,099 views. Olympus credits another YouTube viral video as the inspiration for their PEN Story video and you can read this credit on their YouTube description of their ad video as linked below. Taijin Takeuchi’s viral video, “A Wolf Loves Pork,” (Stop Motion with Wolf and Pig), uses the same Stop Motion format as seen in the Olympus PEN Story spot. Three months after its upload, “A Wolf Loves Pork,” (Stop Motion with Wolf and Pig), has enjoyed 2,071,368 views on YouTube.

Below you can link to the PEN Story website, view the sequence of short ads, watch the viral PEN Story ad video, and see the Takeuchi inspiration.

PEN Story European Website

Ad #1 posted on Olympus YouTube channel, “The Legendary Olympus PEN” (1959 PEN camera)

Ad #2 posted on Olympus YouTube channel, “The Legendary Olympus PEN EE” (1961 PEN camera)

Ad #3 posted on Olympus YouTube channel, “The Legendary Olympus PEN D” (1962 PEN camera)

Ad #4 posted on Olympus YouTube channel, “The Legendary Olympus PEN F” (1963 PEN camera)

Viral Ad Video, “The PEN Story”

Takeuchi Inspiration, “オオカミとブタ。Stop Motion with Wolf and Pig”

Bookmark and Share


Sebastian said...

After looking at all the advertisements that Olympus created for the 50th anniversary of the PEN camera I would have to say they did an excellent job keeping me entertained with every advertisement. The advertisement that I particularly liked the most was The PEN Story which showed an evolution of a man and his life. They were showing a evolution of a man, and coincidentally they are advertising the evolution of a camera. Also, by advertising this camera they are portraying the message that by purchasing this camera you are able to capture all of the important moments in your life.

All of the advertisements were in stop motion which can sometimes be annoying but I felt that it worked for Olympus. By using the stop motion they were trying to show consumers the quality of pictures that the PEN camera takes and that as 50 years have passed they are still making great quality cameras with great quality pictures.

Anonymous said...

Here is new unofficial ad of areOlympus Pen :) yellow and red - e colours of Nikon and Canon