Cisco Consumer Electronics Show (John Chambers) 2014

Cisco CES 2014 - John Chambers

For this high-profile electronics and technology trade show, Cisco needed to create a compelling presentation for CEO John Chambers that made Cisco stand out as a non-consumer electronics company. Cisco needed a team that understood its culture in order to excite a different audience than usual. The presentation also needed to deliver a relevant and engaging message to a large collection of these consumer electronics professionals.

Know Your Audience
Cisco, as a non-traditional consumer electronics company, needed to make a major splash. CES was their opportunity to get in front of a highly discerning audience: major companies, industry professionals and the press. We knew that both the message and the delivery method were critical, and went straight to work.

Set Objectives
After many years of working with Cisco, we feel like an extension of their team. Cisco and IVC, as well as IVC’s sister company CXG (Collective Experience Group), came together to devise a highly effective approach.

We collaborated with Cisco at every stage: presentation strategy, messaging, creative development, content development and creative direction. The result: an outstanding and highly informative and entertaining presentation that was the talk of CES.

Design with Purpose
We devised a robust communications strategy in order to make the idea of “The Internet of Everything” (IOE) understandable and relevant to the common man. We created a visual presentation that used humor, storytelling and walk-ons to tell the story of how “The Internet of Everything Changes Everything for Everyone.”

Live walk-ons included actress and comedienne Sarah Silverman, author/photographer Rick Smolan, Vice Mayor of Barcelona Antoni Vives and ATT Mobility President Ralph de la Vega to convey and reinforce the message.

We also developed an opening video that showed off “IOE” and how it will affect the average person in the future. The video starred Sarah Silverman as her future and current selves.

The stakes were high and the messages were big. The presentation addressed Cisco’s leadership and innovation, capitalizing on future growth, strengthening partnerships and more.

Measuring for Success
From an external standpoint, the presentation was clearly the hit of CES, garnering tremendous positive press for both Chambers and Cisco. Internally the halo effect of success was equally strong. The Cisco Communications and Strategy team won the John Chamber’s Chairman’s Award for what we collectively contributed to CES.

“Among the 2014 keynote speakers, one stood out as offering valuable lessons for anyone who wants to improve their very next presentation or to become a better public speakers: Cisco CEO John Chambers.”  −

If This, Then That – Say What?


Have you heard of IFTTT? No, we didn’t fall asleep on our keyboard… it’s an app that connects two apps or services into a personalized recipe of delight.

For example, let’s say you want to remind yourself to take out the trash on Thursday night. An average Joe would just put a reminder in his phone with a two-chime alert. But extraordinary Joe takes his app and programs it so that if it’s Thursday at 7PM, the lightbulbs in his house will start flashing red in every room to remind him that it’s time to take the garbage out. Now granted, extraordinary Joe has WiFi programmable lightbulbs, but this example goes to show just how extensive the app can get with what you want it to do.

And if you need help coming up with your own recipes, IFTTT has a list for you to use and become inspired by its capabilities


The “Selfie” Phenomena Exposed

Photo by Lisa RosePhoto by Lisa Rose (courtesy of Biz Bash site)

I’m the first to admit that I did not understand the “selfie” craze. I found it narcissistic, attention-seeking and silly… but then I realized, hey! This is PERFECT for brand marketing. Why? Because it’s all connected… socially, of course.

Go through your Facebook and find a selfie of a friend. Don’t worry, I know you’ll find one – I found 6 in the first 10 seconds of going through my feed. Now imagine if that person used hashtags for the reasons why they’re taking a selfie – i.e. maybe they’re standing in line at Starbucks, or maybe they just got a new hairdo at the hippest place in town, Hip Hair. For our sake, let’s use the latter – #justgotmyhairdone #HipHair. This same person has posted it on Instagram too, using the same hashtags. This innocent selfie has reached out to everyone on her Facebook and Instagram feed. Additionally, people (even those who aren’t following her) are likely re-pinning her photo on Instagram. Those inspired by her haircut may even decide to go to Hip Hair next time they need a haircut. Your friend has just unknowingly promoted Hip Hair to hundreds of people without Hip Hair lifting a single finger.

So how does this relate to your programs?

Let’s face it, people are likely going to take selfies at your event since that is the “in” thing to do, so let’s take control of the situation by providing selfie stations for them. Set up heavily branded booths throughout the venue or in the registration area that encourage attendees to take selfies with your brand and post them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with appropriate hashtags so that you can track and measure its success.

Make It a Game or Competition
Games and competition are always a great way to motivate people to participate. Infuse competitive elements like seeing whose selfie can get the most comments or likes.

Make It Part of the Décor
All posted selfie shots are gathered and displayed as digital eye candy for a walk-in loop, candids video or awards evening. People like to see their 15 seconds of fame on a large screen.

Get People to Interact With Your Product
Have fun props and/or actual products attendees can hold and pose with for their selfie.

Give them something in return and perhaps reward the first 100 people who take a selfie with your brand.

Are you a self-iever? Was that too far? Hey, it can catch on… Belieber did.

Amanda Retter, Marketing, InVision Communications