In a new ad that breaks today, an octopus storm threatens to disrupt the nation's power grid, airplanes, hospitals and other crucial systems.
The message is, "Whatever the world is going to throw at us, GE is prepared and can handle it," said Andy Goldberg, chief creative officer at GE.
The 60-second spot, called "Raining Octopuses," was created by BBDO New York and is running online, with a paid placement on social news site NowThis News, and on GE's social channels including Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat.
As GE continues to target younger, tech-savvy, digital audiences, it was looking for a new way to tell its story, Mr. Goldberg said.
"BBDO had this idea that was really fun and different," he said. "We wanted to treat this a little differently from our 'Ideas Are Scary' campaign, which was more philosophical in nature, and touch on more of the technical aspects of what GE does, with the power grid, etc."
"The idea was that it would be raining something so unique and different, but it had to rain something really bizarre, and it had to disrupt."
The spot opens with a storm brewing, then octopuses start falling out of the sky and splat on a wedding, a playground, a fishing boat, a plane attempting to land, a hospital and city traffic.
As a weather announcer says, "I've heard of it raining cats and dogs, but this is ridiculous," GE engineers work to reroute power and get systems back up and running. The spot ends with a voiceover saying, "We're ready for whatever you've got, world," as an alligator comes crashing through a glass window.
"This idea is that tomorrow, if you wake up and it's raining octopuses, the power grid will operate, planes will land on time and hospitals will operate because GE has the right software and has built these systems to operate and make the world work better," Mr. Goldberg said.
GE is also experimenting with some new social channels with this campaign, including video site Hyper, which it has not used before.
"As the media landscape keeps changing, we have to keep changing sites," Mr. Goldberg said. "We are looking at new distribution sites and new channels that might have the right content and might attract younger audiences that might not be aware of GE, are learning about GE and are understanding what GE is about."