Canon's campaign about 'first hugs' after lockdown has inspired a TV program

Photographer Lieve Blancquaert documented emotional reunions for Happiness Brussels

Published On
Jun 17, 2020

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Belgium is coming out of lockdown and people are allowed to hug their loved ones, as well as meeting in groups of up to 10 people. That inspired Canon to capture some of these hugs in photographic portraits for its latest campaign.

Agency Happiness FCB in Brussels commissioned portrait photographer and Canon ambassador Lieve Blancquaert to document the first hugs between loved ones of all kind, including lovers, friends, grandmothers and grandchildren and siblings.

The emotive, black and white photographs will appear in social posts by the brand, but they have also spawned a TV documentary in Belgium, elaborating on the stories and background of the people in the campaign. The program is not advertiser-funded, but came about after Blancquaert approached TV channel VRT with the idea.

"Lieve Blancquart really managed to capture the first emotion of that first hug after lockdown," said Geoffrey Hantson, chief creative officer at Happiness in a statement. "We heard so many beautiful stories and we’ve all cried during this shooting. It’s interesting how something as simple as a hug can suddenly become something with such a big meaning.”