Canon Australia launches new Kyoyu camera-sharing community via Leo Burnett’s The Diner


Canon Australia has today launched Kyōyū – Canon’s first-ever camera-sharing community – an innovative new way for Canon owners to make money from their gear and for people to access better equipment when they need it.


Canon Australia worked with Leo Burnett’s business design consultancy, The Diner, to develop the disruptive business model, including the concept, design and user experience. The user-centred design means the platform enables updates and enhancements to be made quickly in response to user feedback.

Says Melinda Geertz, CEO, Leo Burnett Australia: “We’ve worked with Canon for many years, and they’ve always had an appetite for innovation. It’s in their DNA. Working with Jason and his team to create and bring a break-through idea like Kyōyū to market has been very exciting. It’s a new and disruptive way for people to experience the Canon brand, and a great example of how the brand thinks and acts differently.”

Japanese for ‘share’, Kyōyū is a camera-sharing community created by Canon Australia to help owners get more value from their Canon products and to provide an affordable and simple way for everyone to access better photography gear. The first of its kind for a camera manufacturer, Kyōyū has a built-in ID verification process and Canon has arranged insurance protection for owners who are renting out their Canon gear on the platform. Designed for the ideal user experience, the platform employs the latest Progressive Web App technology to minimise barriers to access and maximise utility. User-centred design means the platform enables updates and enhancements to be made quickly in response to user feedback.

Says Jason McLean, director – consumer imaging, Canon Australia: “At Canon we believe in constantly innovating to create the ultimate user experience. Outstanding products are our foundation and at Canon Australia we build on this with new programs and services like Kyōyū to help everyone do more with them. With Kyōyū we’re creating a community that is driven by the overwhelming need to share. Be it knowledge, experiences or cherished kit, sharing in a community allows everyone to do so much more together.”

For renters, Kyōyū lets people hire cameras and lenses in their area affordably as they need them. Via the Kyōyū website, renters simply sign up, locate a community member in their area, send a booking request, collect and shoot. For providers, Kyōyū offers a simple listing process and the freedom to set their own pricing. Pricing ballpark suggestions make setting the right price easy and insurance is arranged by Canon at no cost to the provider, underwritten by IAG Limited trading as ShareCover.

National expansion

Having just completed the pilot phase, Kyōyū has 190 members primarily across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. From launch today, Canon will be actively promoting the platform through online advertising, community channels and retail partners with a view to achieving 1,500 registered users by the end of 2019.

Though a peer-to-peer platform, Kyōyū is also open to businesses such as retail camera stores looking to list demonstration or rental products either as one off-rentals or try-before-you-buy opportunities for potential purchasers.

Says McLean: “Kyōyū is an ideal platform to achieve a one-off creative project or to test and try new gear in the real world before diving in to make a purchase. We’ve had a great reaction from our retail partners who see this as a great way to make the most of their store locations and demonstration units to create experiences and deeper relationships with their customers.”

Ease of use at its heart

1. Create your listing:
Sign up at and follow the listing process to get your gear online in minutes. You can set your own price and let us know where to send the money.

2. Approve bookings:
Other Kyōyū members can then send you a booking request to accept. All our users are ID-verified, so you can list with confidence.

3. Share your gear:
Once you accept a booking, you’ll be able to message the renter to arrange pick up, everything is handled through Kyōyū. Once the rental is over, you’ll be paid straight to your account.

The launch of Kyōyū is the latest in a series of Australian home-grown initiatives by Canon to enhance the user experience and deepen involvement in the imaging category. Ground-breaking achievements from Canon’s Australian arm include the launch in 2018 of the Canon Experience Store and SUNSTUDIOS complex in South Melbourne – spanning from consumer to the working professional, the complex is a world’s first for Canon.

Additionally, the Canon Collective experience team hosts 50 events per week around the country, including consumer experiences, festivals, overseas tours and how-to workshops. Canon Australia also hosts world-renowned social media channels with a combined following of more than 800,000 people, and rich content channels focussed on celebrating the achievements of Canon users. A standout among these is the Tales By Light series with all three seasons now streaming globally on Netflix.

Says McLean: “At Canon we enjoy a freedom globally to approach each market based on the local needs and opportunities and that’s something we don’t take for granted. There is so much potential to grow the imaging industry in Australia based on the experience. We test and learn extensively and feel we have a good grasp on what people want from us and look forward to seeing Kyōyū thrive this year.”

Client: Canon Australia
Director, Canon Consumer Imaging: Jason McLean
Manager – Consumer Marketing & Insights: Leigh Bigelow
Manager – Kyoyu: Jensen Baptista
Product Manager – Kyoyu: Anthony Cortis
Creative Agency: Leo Burnett Sydney
Executive Creative Director: Grant McAloon
Creative Director: Dave Varney
Senior Copywriter: Karen Ferry
General Manager: James Walker-Smith
Head of Innovation: Dan Pankraz
Account Director: Charlotte Kent
Account Manager: Laura Egan
Producer: Justine Dooner
Production Company: Prodigious