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Ogilvy Takes Cisco on a Power Trip

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LOS ANGELES Cisco Systems today breaks a $150 million global campaign aimed at showing the power of the network.

This is the first work from Ogilvy & Mather since the Culver City, Calif., shop began working with the networking giant in September. MindShare in New York handled media buying.

The campaign, which includes TV and print, as well as a microsite, introduces the theme, "This is the power of the network. Now."

The effort focuses on converged IP communications, mobile networking, storage networking and security—four new growth markets for Cisco, said Marilyn Mersereau, vice president of corporate marketing for the San Jose, Calif., client.

"We're moving beyond switches and routers to transform Cisco," Mersereau said. "People are no longer interested in buying technology for technology's sake or for benefits years out, but to enhance productivity or return on investment within the fiscal year."

The campaign kicks off with an eight-page insert. One page on security combines the image of a teddy bear with the headline, "It's the power of a good night's sleep for you. (And incessant insomnia in the hackers' camp.)" There are also two-page spreads that link everyday objects like a seashell to a network.

"We needed to help people redefine the network in their mind and see the hidden potential in the network," said Ogilvy chief creative officer Dan Burrier, adding that the shop wanted to simplify Cisco's complex technology by talking about human and business benefits.

Print ads are running in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as in business publications and technology trades.

A 60-second TV spot that breaks tonight on Fox's 24 presents "seemingly random events" around the globe, like 256 kids in Marrakesh using a computer to communicate with new friends and two love-struck accountants in Paris and Shanghai seeing each other for the first time via their handheld devices, which are all connected by Cisco's systems. The ad will also air during prime-time shows like The West Wing and 60 Minutes.

A 30-second commercial shows the CFO of an olive import company who discovers that if he eliminates one olive from each jar the company sells, it will save $200,000. If the company switches to Internet phones, he learns the company can save $1 million. There will be seven spots in all, Mersereau said.

After launching in the U.S., the campaign will roll out this spring in Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Japan and China, Mersereau said.

Cisco has advertised minimally in the last two years, said Mersereau. The company hired darkGrey in June 2002, but work from the New York shop never aired and the client shifted the business to Ogilvy.