Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Cisco & Transco

A few weeks ago I was in a post-asleep, pre-awake purgatory where all I could think about was the Cisco commercial starring Ellen Page and two group of schoolchildren shouting "hello" in Chinese to each other. An endless cycle of NI HAO!!!!! It was unpleasant.

I guess Cisco advertises because no one knows what they do. Routers? What does that even mean? I always think of the Simpsons episode that shows an email transmission -- it travels through Patty and Selma's fiber optic cable, makes a brief stop at a Cisco router, and continues on to Artie Ziff's computer.

Anyway, no one knows what Cisco does, so it only makes sense that they recruit the world's most famous actress, Hard Candy star Ellen Page, to portray herself. She visits various settings in a small Canadian town, and is wowed by how Cisco connects them to the world. She visits this classroom, and sees a video conference set up between the Canadian kids and a school in China.

The Canadian kids are super excited to see their Chinese counterparts. Being the polite maple leafers they are, they greet the Chinese with a hearty "NI HAO!!!!!"

The kids in China respond by shouting "NI HAO!!!!!".

Uh, China? Pretty fucking rude, guys. According to the zero fact checking I've done, you don't own Canada like you own the U.S., and you haven't defeated Canada in a great war. Show some respect and greet them in English! Or even better, in Canadian: "Howdy, eh?".

And now, even though I've explained it all in perfect detail, I will embed the commercial in question below. Ellen and Cisco went through all that work to get this out to the people, and I'm honored to be the first website ever to social media the shit out of it:


Lindsey said...

Every time I see these I think, these are so weird. Then I remember that Adrienne (Cardon) used to work on Cisco's advertisements and I realize, it's not so weird.

Corinne said...

Nobody in Canada uses 'Howdy' as a greeting...

Anonymous said...

yeah, i think they just greet each other by singing alanis morissette...

as for miss page, i was in full-on crush mode after catching Whip It via netflix. however, after last week's viewing of Hard Candy i will forever associate her with home castration. youch.


Adrienne said...

Yes, I worked on Cisco digital, but I can't claim this. I wish Ellen Page would suffocate on her sweatband.

The weird thing is that Cisco is doing so much consumer advertising. I never understood that. Their bread and butter is B2B. You shouldn't know what they do, but your CIO should. They are wasting their money talking to you.

Especially because you, DN, only probably spend dollars on like baseball cards or Rushmore collectibles or something.