Judy Hu

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Judy Hu, global executive director of advertising and branding at General Electric Co., led GE's advertising efforts this year for a new initiative called "Ecomagination."

The overall marketing strategy of "Ecomagination" is to develop cleaner products and technologies that will help GE's customers and the environment.

"With `Ecomagination,' GE put its stake in the ground to help the world and help the environment," Hu said. "The ad campaign is designed to communicate that promise."

With "Ecomagination," GE has committed to investing $1.5 billion a year in cleaner technologies through 2010.

It has also committed to introducing more environmentally friendly products each year, doubling its revenue from cleaner products from $10 billion to $20 billion by 2010.

Finally, GE has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 1% by 2012, and the intensity of those emissions by 30% by 2008.

To communicate this promise, GE in May launched an integrated ad campaign, developed by BBDO New York. Hu worked closely with the agency to make sure the campaign delivered on GE's strategy.

The campaign included TV, print and online in the U.S., and print, online and outdoor in Europe and Japan.

One spot showed an elephant dancing through the jungle to the tune of "Singing in the Rain," touting technology that is "in step with the environment."

The ads promote GE's commitment to developing cleaner products in businesses, including coal, jet engines, solar energy and hybrid locomotives.

Hu said an important part of the campaign was strategic media placement, handled by media agency OMD, a sibling shop to BBDO within the Omnicom Group.

"We did media buys to own airports in Paris, Munich, Shanghai and Beijing," she said. GE bought billboards on roads leading up to airports, signage in airports and even ads on airplane trays.

In another unique product placement, a GE fan blade was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for display in the architecture and design collection. The blade is designed from a lightweight metal to produce efficient engine performance.

The "Ecomagination" campaign was awarded the Grand CEBA by American Business Media in September. The same month, it was also awarded favorite ad slogan during Advertising Week in New York.

Also this year, Hu was named to lead GE's center of expertise in market research, an effort to develop best practices for targeting, positioning and audience segmentation.

Prior to joining GE in 2002, Hu was executive director-diversity and growth markets at General Motors Corp. She also worked at ad agency DMB&B as senior VP, developing brand strategies for Cadillac, Pontiac and GM Parts. Hu started her advertising career in 1983 in account management at DMB&B.

-Kate Maddox

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