Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Paging Ellen

So, how did our little Homeskillet become a pitchwoman while no one was looking? The more I’ve seen of Ellen Page shilling for Cisco Systems, the more I’m perplexed. Who knew deadpan irony sold information technology specialization expertise?

Now, when I first saw Ellen pop up in a Cisco ad back in early November, I thought it was perhaps a one-off thing. The ad coincided with a rather clever product placement in “30 Rock” as Jack videoconferences on – what else – a Cisco system. But more ads keep popping up and there Ellen is on the Cisco homepage looking relaxed with a dog and the supreme confidence in “the human network.” Whatever that means.

Her series of ads (three so far) are actually sort of funny in WTF-is-that-Ellen-Page kind of way. I’ll post them chronologically, because I think they get better (or possibly Ellen just gets cuter) as they go along.



Also, did you know Lunenburg, Nova Scotia is a real place? I wonder if the whole town got networked flat screens courtesy of Cisco. Now that, that would be something to sell out for.

Look, actors and actresses lending their names, faces and talents to sell products is nothing new. But I’m slightly befuddled at some of the recent moves. Like, how is Luke Wilson looking a little paunchy and possibly lost for AT&T a good career move? The thing is, these endorsements have usually been limited to a certain sort of celebrity – the mega stars or zeitgeist sirens. Think Catherine Zeta Jones, Ashton Kutcher and Kim Kardashian-Paris Hilton-thenextbigwhatchmacalllitgirl.But now the indie and – I say this with as little snobbery as possible – credible actors are entering the fray. It’s disorienting.

Not that I’m necessarily complaining. Anything that brings a cutie like Ellen into my living room more is welcome, I suppose. I just never guessed that one day she would be the cheese to my teleconferencing macaroni.

19 comments:

jhypark said...

Ah, Ellen Page. Such a beauty.

Anonymous said...

eeek! you're showing your age. there's no such thing as selling out anymore. selling out? really?

this is no big deal.

Anonymous said...

its a paycheck.

Beth said...

If only I could get her on my tv screen trying to make me buy something... damn you, UK advertisers!
I'll have to continue watching movies with her in to get my fix of cuteness...

JadedRogue said...

Now, Ellen if from NS - and, if memory serves - Cisco based out of California, but I swear I've seen Cisco ads in Canada for some time. Perhaps they are originally out of Canada. It would be something to look into....

Robin said...

Whether or not it's a good career move for Ms. Page - and I don't see how it would really hurt for her to get more mainstream exposure - it's certainly a clever move by whoever does Cisco's advertising. She's been in a lot of geek-friendly movies, so she's pretty recognizable among the tech crowd who are likely to implement the next big gadget trends. And she's cute and non-threatening to "normal" people, which then lends a similar vibe to potentially daunting new technology for them.



...I may have been watching too much Mad Men.

Megan said...

The one that really gets me is Megan Mullally singing in a butter commercial...the M&M thing was one issue, but butter is just a whole different story altogether!

Nan said...

Can't see how it'd hurt Ellen and her presence sure helps ad that little something to my TV commercial breaks, so no comlaints here (and no puns intended).

Also, this is probably a big boost for visibility in Lunenberg, a tourist destination via historical town (its where the bluenose was built; for you Americans the Blue Nose is a schooner important enough to be on the Canadian dime). The town's primary economy is the tourist trade and its not exactly a skip and a jump from Halifax. Good promotion for her home province.

Norma Desmond said...

Yeah, I was kinda thrown when she appeared on my TV in this format, too.

Sarah said...

She's not just Juno. I don't really care, provided she's on my television.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Megan the butter commenter. It depends on the product. It can actually help define the actor's image, if they're careful. Both Ellen and Cisco made good choices here. This will definitely help rather than hurt.

scrubs said...

Strange...in the second commercial, why are the chinese kids still in class (in the middle of the night)? Isn't there a 12 hour time difference?

Ellen just looks befuddled in that one at the end. (but still cute)

Anonymous said...

I was in Lunenberg during a vaction to Nova Scotia a few years ago. It's quite a beautiful place and worth a vist. They have a small but great maritime museum.

La said...

Dude, is it me, or is the video surveillance cop totally BJ Fletcher, Private Eye?

kiwi-poette said...

I just saw the classroom commercial last night and was shocked to see Ellen Page, but who can complain? I mean it's Ellen Page!

dc said...

Well, she's lending her indie brand to Cisco. And I have to say: I like the ads :)

And I hope they paid her well, cos her brand has panache. I'd never really heard of Cisco before. Now I think its warm, cuddly and a tad left field :)

dc said...

ps. to answer JadedRogue's question: yes, they are showing in Canada too. So far I've only seen the classroom ad.

perfectflaw75 said...

A friend of mine auditioned for a part, but didn't get it.

Anyhoo, whatever Ms. Page motivations are for starring in those ads, but she sure helps putting Lunenburg, NS on the map :)

leeoz said...

Who is the voice in these commercials? It sounds like Shirley Mason, who was in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles?