Video Insight Marketing Stunt or $250K Surveillance Donation?

By John Honovich, Published Jan 08, 2014, 12:00am EST (Info+)

A quarter million dollar donation of video surveillance systems will be made this year, by a single manufacturer, says Video Insight. That's quite an offer, much higher than anything we have ever seen. But is there a catch? Is this just a stunt? In this note, we examine the details of Video Insight's campaign.

Overview

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Comments (9)

The term you're looking for, John, is "win-win scenario".

And this is not the first time they have come up with an attractive promotion, see: Most Aggressive Pilot Program Ever?

I appreciate that Video Insight is doing this.

However, who the heck is going to install these systems?

Are impoverished, underfunded Public Schools going to rub together 'volunteer' students from the varsity sports teams, the computer science club, and 'the breakfast club' to get boxes of random components functioning as a surveillance system?

They can sub it out to the students, as this case shows :)

In all seriousness, presumably, a local Video Insight integrator might see this as an opportunity to get an in to major account.

Not to rain on anyone's party here, but your comment concerning Avigilon seems unfair. This site alone lists 80,000 Canadian charities which it accepts online donations for. At one system per quarter, on even 12 systems per year for the Video Insight initiative, it would take thousands of years to award systems to all of them. And keep in mind that's only Canada and doesn't include other community organizations which aren't officially recognized as charities by the Canadian government, meaning that they can't issue official receipts for tax deductions. There are many more of those.

Even Video Insight requires charities schools to fill out an application, which obviously means they can't repond to all demands. How do they chose which is more worthy and which isn't?

A contest might not be the best way to go but it has the merit of being transparent. And Avigilon isn't the only company around these days making a big deal about its "community involvement". I would go as far as saying those that don't are the exception rather than the rule.

Alain, others, if you want to debate the merits of the Avigilon charity contest, do so here. We have already discussed the pros and cons there, in detail.

btw, it was planned to be quarterly but there was no contest for Q4 2013 after the original one in Q3.

Hi John,

I did read through part of that thread, but my main point is that its impossible to make everyone happy even if you wanted to and that its very easy to find fault with anyone who tries, wether it be Avigilon with its contest or Video Insight with its schools initiative.

As of 2005, there were over 120,000 schools in the U.S. and I'm sure that number is going up constantly. At a rate of one per month, it would take more than 10,000 years to supply each of them with a system.<edit> It makes you wonder how much it will cost Video Insight to process all of the applications it will receive and how long they will be able to afford to keep this program going. <edit>

And I'm not disagreeing with you that most of these initiatives are rather self-serving.

Update the first award has been announced: Public school district of Monroe Michigan.

6,700 kids, nine elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, one alternative high school, and two specialized education centers (Monroe Public Schools website via Wikipedia). Looks like they've got a conscientious and active security department, too. Three grants approved (four, now) in ten years means someone knows what they're doing.

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