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Video Review: Cisco's How To Get A "Girl"


We laughed. We cried. We wondered how a multibillion dollar company can produce advertising like this. (It's almost as bad as this one from HP's Halo.)

If you're an Indian parent fretting over your daughter's prospects for marriage, have no fear, Cisco telepresence is here. Here are Cisco's easy steps to connubial bliss in their video: Step 1: Enroll in a telepresence matchmaking service. Step 2: Have the prospective mates only look at each other, not saying one word, and make instant lifetime judgments. Step 3: Upon mutual nods, close the deal, transfer the dowry.

Cisco is no doubt trying to convey the real-life intimacy capabilities of its videoconferencing system in the most of human of "transactions" - marriage. We find this advertising to be a bit dicey in terms of the way the video reduces and trivializes Indian marital culture, right down to "looks-only" non-verbal judgement and the cutesiness in the video of the symbolic dowry exchange via telepresence. (First Cisco had Mr. Magoo extending his hand to shake hands; now they've got gift giving. What next? French kissing?)

Even more lame is the script and the acting, from the two buddy actors who we'd guess are Cisco employees. Says the blue-shirted friend of the groom about the matchmaking session, "So how many more girls are there?" and then "This is actually better than the bar scene." Encouraging his friend, he states, "You'll find a girl." ...Everday chat among some men? Sure. Good choice of words for advertising? Nope.

Note to Cisco: Women make purchasing decisions on and use your products. You might want to lose the dated themes of patriarchy.

UPDATE: FEB. 28 -- Sorry kids, it appears Cisco took the above video down, validating what we wrote about. You missed the cringing.


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