Ad of the Day: Ewan McGregor Waxes Poetic on Human Achievement for Cisco

The pyramids, the mocachino and the internet

Most readers probably won't know that Cisco is responsible for all of human evolution, past, present and future. But the argument almost seems convincing when delivered by Ewan McGregor.

The actor stars in a new 60-second commercial from Goodby Silverstein and Partners, recapping the past few billion years of life on Planet Earth, focusing on the achievements of homo sapiens. "Congratulations, fellow human beings," he says in the spot's opening salvo. "We made it. We sprouted limbs. We crawled out of the slime. I'm really proud of us."

"We built pyramids, invented the mochachino, we created a network that became the internet," he continues, capturing all the relevant points of history. "And then? Boom! We're downloading medicine, growing lettuce in space," he says, before nearly falling out the end of the particle accelerator he's been strutting through while he raps.

Other notable advancements to cross McGregor's path include a 3D-printed human ear, a robot that looks—but doesn't quite act—like a dog, and the use of technology to bring clean drinking water, and phone-bought goats, to parts of the world where such things are valuable commodities.

It's a slick, zippily written piece of marketing from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, ending with an upbeat McGregor declaring the proverbial glass half full—as Cisco promises a world where anything is possible, thanks, naturally, to the secure IT connections the company will provide. 

McGregor's delivery is plenty entertaining, if quite a bit more earnest than his work for BT last year. Dante Ariola directs, to good effect. And the message is clear, and true enough in spirit—Cisco did contribute significantly to the growth of the internet, at least, and for the more privileged segments of the world's population, now is a better time than ever—even if the overall picture the marketer paints is perhaps a bit over-eager, or just too rosy.

There are always plenty of awful developments around the globe to go with the swell ones. But that's for the news to cover—not the advertisers.


Client: Cisco

Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Director: Dante Ariola

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.