Canon’s new age marketers guess that the way to sneak into the bedrooms of the bored souls is through home cinema entertainment. With a fresh focus on projector business, the Indian subsidiary is printing a proposal that promises to transform one’s spartan bedroom walls into larger than life screens. In a strategy closer to that of audio major Bose, the printer and camera company is readying to launch a demo network of Canon Home Cinemas in key cities by September-end.
Says Alok Bharadwaj, director and general manager, Canon India: "We have made home cinema as a priority area. We have finalised plans to set up a network of demonstration centres--‘Canon Home Cinema Centre’--in eight key cities including Ahmedabad, Pune, and Hyderabad between September 30 and December 31, 2004."
Mr Bharadwaj said that the new franchised operation will be supported by its existing dealers.
Though Canon has similar demo projects operating in Kualalampur, Bangkok and Singapore, the Indian demo centres will create an ambience of a typical Indian home.
Canon India will come out with a major campaign beginning October--this time to promote not its cameras and printers but projectors.
The brief to Canon’s marketing team is clear: to pitch projectors as a healthier-viewing alternative to flat televisions, and even expensive plasma TVs.
"Projectors let the picture fall on the wall which is like watching a 100" painting. Anything projected is a healthier viewing than anything thrown onto your eyes -- which is why TV is strenuous to eyes," said Mr Bharadwaj.
Canon points out that prices have already crashed from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 85,000 (inclusive of 40 per cent import duty) for its recent five-in-one projector. The new model allows a user to connect to tele-channels via TV-tuner, besides accessing DVD, digital camera and even laptop.
"The trigger point, I think, will come when the product hits a retail price of Rs 50,000. That should take another three years -- product price seems to be coming down 15 per cent every year," said Mr Bharadwaj.
Canon India has chalked out a turnover target of Rs 700 crore by the year 2007 up from Rs 230 crore in 2003.
Consumer imaging and information division, which manages product categories like cameras, multi-functional printers and projectors, is expected to be a major driver of company sales.