Posted by Abe Sauer on November 6, 2009 10:19 AM
Cisco is not yet in the top of the Brandcameo product placement leaderboard. But with recent efforts, it might be soon.
Cisco has appeared in 2009 blockbusters He's Just not That Into You, G.I. Joe and Transformers. The latter showing, product placement analytics firm Front Row estimated to be worth near $10 million. (Though accurate product placement valuation has long been questionable.) And earlier this year, Cisco's Webex technology could be seen in Marvel Comics titles.
But last night was Cisco's largest, most prominent, and maybe most successful Hollywood tie-in yet.
During the November 5 episode of the Emmy-winning show, audiences were hit with a commercial featuring Juno actress Ellen Page using Cisco technology to conference with her vacationing doctor. Back on the show, 30 Rock's GE executive character Jack makes prominent use of Cisco video-conferencing technology.
This is where it gets interesting... and maybe a little genius. To throw off criticisms of product placement, the show overblew the placement, making it an absurdist statement about product placement itself and thus disarming criticisms that it was an overblown placement, which 30 Rock has done before. (Watch it above.)
As a result, Cisco's brand was unforgettably tied to the episode and, because it gets a chuckle, the show inoculating itself against criticism -- a win for Cisco in the notoriously fickle, moving-target arena of product placement.