Can You Destroy It?

August 26, 2011 - 13 Comments

What’s the best way to demonstrate the physical durability of a new router? How about a spec sheet detailing stress test results? Not at Cisco; video of the router being used as a basketball and dog food plate gets the point across much more clearly. I was pleasantly shocked when I saw the abuses endured by Cisco’s new ISR 819 Router. It survived not only immersion in hot coffee but also a baking in a toaster oven.


And all the abuses are accompanied by a heavy metal audio track, not a dry engineer’s explanation. More importantly, the abuses are relatable. Most customers have not put their electronics in the toaster oven, but I have accidentally sent my smartphone crashing down the stairs many times — and sent it to its watery grave in an outdoor fountain. These commonplace depictions are a welcome change from the sterile laboratory environments where stress tests are generally demonstrated.

Go Guerrilla

What I enjoy most about this video is its simplicity and humor. The creators clearly had a blast making the video, and this reflects Cisco employees’ passion for their products (or, at least their passion for abusing them). It is a good example of a large company employing Guerrilla Marketing, which tends to be the domain of small businesses. All that was required for this video was a handheld camera and the router — creativity took care of the rest.

Social Media: the right platform

And this is the power of social media: people have the freedom to demonstrate their passion, creativity and humor on a global scale without the support of hefty budgets or mainstream media outlets. Only a few years ago, creating and disseminating a video such as this would not be possible.

I’m looking forward to more creations such as this. Contrary to the disclaimer, I encourage you to “try this at home.”

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  1. It is in reality a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Bit of a laugh, granted. Got my attention too. But would I use this video as a reason to move my small business clients away from their current routers? No.
    Now, if there’s a “no quibble” 10 year warranty, now that’s a different matter.
    If the video is to be believed, this is not a big ask.

    • Hi – you may be interested to know that this video stirred a similar strong debate here at Cisco; some felt it was brilliant and entertaining, others that it may have missed the mark as far as business relevance is concerned. However, given the viral nature (and intent) of the video and using YouTube as a channel, the “got my attention” aspect was definitely a success! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Suspension of disbelief? Amusing? Yes. Believable? No. But that’s not the point. The message: Cisco builds tough routers. The proof? Not in this video. Fun to watch, but no brand credibility or reputation building happening here.

  4. Fantastic demonstrations of how tough a router can be. Well done.

  5. That’s a great video! Reminds me of some of Cisco’s partners videos on how resilient their products are. Cisco has lots of hardened industrial grade products for customers (Wireless mesh, 7925g-EX Handset etc.), but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any videos quite like this one. More please!

  6. I think someone hijacked the Cisco website. There’s no way that a high-profile, reputable company with millions of dollars would let a community college do their “Video Data Sheets”.

    • Well, we got your attention didn’t we! Stay tuned for more of this – whether it’s students, or actors and Cisco employees, we just wanted to make a point. Did we succeed? Final Question for you – where do you think this was filmed?

  7. Thanks for highlighting this great video- certainly brings the meaning of ‘ruggedized’ hardware to a whole new level! The ISR 819 product marketing folks must have had FUN filming this!

  8. Outstanding blog Andrew! Thanks for the video, I agree humorous and smart!

  9. Well i am surprised with this video. I can not expect a router to resist even some common abuses like throwing the router on the stairs or dropping coffee into it. ISR 819 Router must be very expensive if in reality it is this much reliable?. I will be more excited to know if ISR 819 router is within the monetary reach of middle class people.

    • Hi, Usman. That’s a great point — the extreme durability of the router is factored into its cost. The starting price of the router is USD $1600.