Cisco Shanghai Pavilion

Smart+Connected Life Pavilion
Agency: George P Johnson

Introductory Video

This being China, people cue (that’s British for stand in line) for absolutely everything. This very simple video was the first thing they saw as they waited to come in to the Pavilion. It sets the stage and introduces the themes that are explored inside. The stormy ending foreshadows a film the guests see later.


  • A 10,000 square foot Pavilion at The Shanghai 2010 World Expo.

  • Government officials, private developers, various service providers, CXOs and Cisco employees.

  • 70 million people came to explore the Expo theme Better City, Better Life. Cisco’s China team used the opportunity to conduct an integrated marketing campaign showcasing the company’s vision for sustainable cities.

  • I was the creative director and writer for the Pavilion content. With no formal program or messaging in place, I conducted 45 interviews with Cisco employees and partners around the world in order to develop a cohesive narrative. It’s worth noting that the GPJ team included the build team on location in Shanghai, the account team in Singapore, the media team in Australia and the print team in Northern California.

  • The first thing I wrote was internal version of The Smart+Connected Life Guide. I then leveraged the research and the Guide to write: Video scripts. Interpretive signage. Invitations targeted to multiple audience segments. 10, 20 and 60 minute  presentations. The PR “Bible” used by multiple agencies. Copy for the Pavilion website. After the event, Cisco developed pages on their website using many of the same materials.

  • Cisco Chairman’s Choice Award


Urbanization and Technology

The population of Planet Earth is fast approaching 7 billion people.


  • 400 cities have populations over 1 million.
  • 19 cities in the world have populations of 20 million or more.
  • 500 million people will be urbanized in the next 5 years.

Somewhere between 100 and 500 new cities — each with a population of at least 1 million — will be built and inhabited by 2030.

Trillions of dollars will be spent. Tens of millions of people will be employed.

By 2050 more people will live in cities than live on all of Planet Earth today.

It is an enormously complex undertaking.

The numbers are so vast, the timetable so abrupt, that our traditional models and practices can no longer scale to solve the problem.

Technology is an essential part of the solution. It can provide tools to manage the challenge, and it can deliver services on a vast scale with unprecedented efficiency.

As it happens, we are entering the third web age, The Internet of Everything, supported by the Internet Protocol for Smart Objects (IPSO).

This evolution has two defining characteristics.

Any “thing” can be connected to an IP network. Every “thing” that is connected will speak to each other.

The convergence of all kinds of data across a unified IP network will make it possible to develop a wide range of new services.

And to deliver these services to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

It is this combination of services and delivery that defines a Smart+Connected Community.