Cisco tries to make video surveillance cute

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02/08/2010
I'm sure people have seen the Cisco commercials with Ellen Page, the adorable girl from Juno (I've not actually seen the movie, but that's how she's been described to me by my mom: "the adorable girl from Juno"), who apparently moves in a circle of very network-savvy people, including her doctor, who's got a full telepresence set-up in his office. I guess the Canadian medical system does okay by him! But I was a little blown away to see this commercial from Cisco whilst watching the Celtics choke away a 12-point lead to the Magic yesterday: Oh, look how cute Ellen is getting a tour of town hall and its super-advanced video surveillance solution! But I can't for the life of me get the message Cisco is trying to convey. Is it, "Hey, don't be afraid of video surveillance - it's networked, so it can't be big brother!"? Or is it, "Hey, cute little Ellen Page likes video surveillance, so you should ask your town if they've got video surveillance!"? I mean, they don't actually convey what value this system could possibly have. There's an officer staring intently at screens, but even the least-initiated must intuit that there's no way one woman looking at all those screens and nonsense could possibly pay any sort of attention or catch any crime happening. And it comes off looking like a toy - who's going to take video surveillance seriously as an important security operation if it's being presented with colorful "we're all part of the human network" bubbles and what not? It basically just comes off as surreal, like video surveillance for Oz or something. It's not something that would actually be in MY town, that's for sure.

Comments

Just good old fashioned brand advertising, Sam.  Remember the old saying, "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM?"  Cisco enjoys that position today.  So if you're a CXO who's confronted with buying yet another IT system you don't fully understand--might as well go with your gut.  And something tells you this Cisco stuff is capable and also "cute and friendly." :)