GE Launches Campaign Featuring 'Unimpossible Missions'
In its latest move to showcase the science behind its industrial products, GE today is rolling out a video campaign called "Unimpossible Missions."
The campaign, created with BBDO New York, features three videos that aim to debunk popular idioms, such as "a snowball's chance in hell" and "catching lightning in a bottle" -- using technology created in GE's research labs.
"We are always looking for ways to talk about the great work that goes on at GE and marry it with the wonder and awe of science," said Linda Boff, CMO at GE.
"As a brand, we are constantly thinking about what's new and next for the world with our technology, and to mirror that it in our marketing and the way we tell our story," she said. "It is representative of how we think as a company -- it's in our DNA."
The videos, which range from two to three minutes in length, are designed as short, James Bond-style films in which GE scientists conduct experiments to debunk popular expressions that refer to things that are impossible.
"We, working with BBDO, came up with this idea of how can we break this notion of 'impossible.' It is kind of a mission everyone who works at GE -- particularly our scientists and engineers -- wakes up and thinks about," Ms. Boff said. "We came up with this idea of 'What could we do to turn popular idioms on their head?'"
In the first video, "A Snowball's Chance in Hell," GE scientists and engineers embark on a mission to create a container that will allow a snowball to survive the closest thing to "hell" -- molten metal that has a temperature over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The scientists create a 3D printed holder for the snowball, then place it in a vessel made out of a super alloy that is used in jet engines and other equipment in power and aviation. The vessel is then lowered into a vat of molten metal slag, and when it is removed, the snowball is still intact. Copy reading "Imagine the other impossible things we can do" flashes at the end of the video.
In another video, "Catching Lightning in a Bottle," GE scientists create a "bottle" out of a super capacitor, typically used to harness power from sudden bursts of electricity, such as in MRI machines. To create the "lightning," GE scientists generate a charge of roughly 2 million volts with a power generator, then capture the charge in the bottle. To prove that it worked, the bottle is used as a power source to start up a car.
The third video, "Like Talking to a Wall," debunks the myth that walls can't listen. Using remaining portions of the Berlin Wall at the Berlin Wall Memorial, GE engineers attach sensors called accelerometers to one side of the wall and speakers to another side of the wall, with "no man's land in between."
The sensors, which are used to detect potential problems in jet engines and other equipment, pick up the vibrations of a man's voice reading a story and transmit them to speakers on the other side of the wall, where school children listen to the story.
The "Unimpossible Missions" videos are presented by GE Theater, which was created in the 1950s to host science programs on broadcast TV with hosts including former President Ronald Reagan.
GE is doing a global takeover of Mic to debut the videos, and will launch a live mission on Periscope at 2 p.m. ET Thursday to debunk the myth of "flying a pie in the sky," complete with drones.
The videos are also running on YouTube, Vimeo, GE's owned and social channels, and in paid channels including CNN's Great Big Story, a video content platform that launched in October.