Cisco Asks Consumers to ‘Flip’ for Its Cameras

Cisco is rolling out the largest ad campaign to date for its recently acquired Flip Video camcorder.
The eight-week “Do you flip?” holiday push features videos consumers shot using Flip Video cameras. TV spots feature clips shot by consumers of everyday and unique moments caught on tape.
“Our objective is to start a conversation around a movement we want to begin,” said Jodi Lipe, director of marketing of Cisco’s consumer products for video unit. “We want everyone to join the Flip world and be part of this video movement as we move to democratize video.”
In a way, Cisco hopes the campaign will nudge people into using the brand’s name as a verb synonymous with the activity, in much the same way as “googling” is used as shorthand for search.
“It’s simple in its message,” said Lipe. “We believe it’s provocative.”
Cisco would not reveal spending on the initiative, except to say it’s a “multimillion dollar” effort. In addition to TV spots running on national cable and local broadcast, Flip has an outdoor campaign in major U.S. cities. A digital push includes video ads in banners and a microsite ( that invites users to submit their own Flip moments.
Lipe said the campaign hopes to appeal to both young males 18-34 and a broader 25-54 group as high-quality portable video becomes more mainstream.
“We want this to be the everyday camcorder for the everyday person,” she
In that vein, the brand recruited contributions for its commercials from fans of its Facebook page. Production firm Urgent Content also recruited contributors. Cisco is supplementing user-created videos with celebrity-shot videos from the likes of Usher. Also expected to participate: Stevie Wonder and skier Bode Miller.
Boutique shop Bird Design handled creative. Media Storm handled planning and buying. Cisco bypassed using AKQA, which was named its lead agency. Lipe said AKQA would still work on the brand, but it went with different partners for the needs of this campaign.
For now, Flip dominates the mobile video category, yet it faces competition on that front. The newest version of the iPhone now includes video capability, as do other advanced smartphones, although they do not yet offer the same picture quality as a camera like the FlipHD. Kodak is making a push into the arena with its Zi8.
Cisco paid $590 million for Flip’s parent company, Pure Digital, in March 2009.

Nielsen Business Media