On Friday, Cisco CEO John Chambers met with financial analysts to outline the company's ambitions to become the world's leading IT player by expanding its services and software offerings. Today, Cisco takes that Wall Street message global in a new repositioning campaign, themed "Tomorrow starts here," from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
Even as Cisco signals a corporate makeover, the pitch brings the company back to its roots after recent confusing attempts to make itself more of a consumer brand in spots featuring Juno actress Ellen Page. Gone now is "The human network," Cisco's tagline of the past six years and reference to its position as the largest manufacturer of computer networking equipment. The new campaign takes a larger view of Internet possibilities made real by all those routers and switches.
Financial observers liken Cisco's current shift to IBM's transformation from a mainframe manufacturer to a provider of software, services and hardware, and this spot has the aesthetic feel and tone of Big Blue's "Smarter Planet" commercials from Ogilvy. Cisco's research indicates that 37 billion new things will be connected to the Internet in the next eight years, and 2.5 billion people will log on for the first time. Goodby's TV commercial underscores that connectivity. The young narrator predicts that in the future, "Trees will talk to networks that will talk to scientists about climate change. Cars will talk to road sensors that will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency." The print work features outtakes from the spot, and in an inspired detail for business-to-business advertising, an augmented reality app allows smartphone users to learn more specifics about the Internet connections behind the images.
Cisco CMO Blair Christie says the strategy speaks not only to the changes under way at Cisco but to a larger evolution. "We're seeing one of the biggest market transitions in our business," she says. "We're calling it 'The Internet of everything.' It's the intelligent connection of people, process, data and things to the Internet."
Client: Cisco Systems
Spot "Tomorrow Starts Here"
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
Partner: Rich Silverstein
Executive Creative Directors: Rick Condos and Hunter Hindman
Art Director: Tyler Magnusson
Copywriter: Matt Rivitz
Executive Producer: Hilary Coate
Production Company: Directors Bureau
Director: Mike Mills
Director of Photography: Jakob Ihre
Executive Producer: Lisa Margulis
Chief Marketing Officer: Blair Christie
Vice President, Global Marketing and Branding: Michele Bogdan
Senior Director of Global Advertising, Media and Sponsorships: Julia Mee
Senior Managers, Global Advertising: Chris Nordstrom, Kathleen Watson