GE is using the voice of a child in its latest ad to help explain what the $140 billion conglomerate actually does.
The debuts tonight on NBC to align with the network's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It highlights the company's role in building underwater power sources fueled by moonlight; connecting health-care institutions through mobile devices; and helping create environmentally friendly trains. To add an emotional element, a young girl explains how her mom works at the company and is involved in all of these efforts.
The ad is part of a larger effort to show off GE's many operations and products.
"What we challenged BBDO with is to kick off the year with a single story and unite what it is we do," said Linda Boff, GE's executive director of global brand marketing, in an interview. "Doing all of that through a child was more captivating. It signals a way for us to tell our whole story in an innocent way as the company increasingly focused on big things."
BBDO, which created the spot, has worked with GE for 80-plus years but still struggled to clearly communicate everything the company does in one ad.
"The real task for us was to crystalize everything that GE does and that was power of imagination. We took all of these different 'verticals' that GE is in and told a simple story," said BBDO Senior Creative Director Michael Aimette. "We had been trying to crack this one for a while and wanted a single piece of content to explain the complexity of what GE does. We got it together and fast tracked it to get it on air for the Olympics."
The spot will air globally in a variety of languages in Asia, Brazil, Europe, and Australia.
Expect to see additional ad spots from GE throughout the year that highlight other areas of its business, including industrial Internet, affordable healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.