GE Launches Comedic Campaign on Late Night to Recruit College Grads

Clueless Friends and Parents Help to Reinforce Company's Digital Industrial Power

Published On
Sep 08, 2015

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GE is launching a TV campaign tonight on late-night comedy shows, designed to recruit young professionals and position itself as a digital industrial company.

The campaign was created out of BBDO New York and is called "What's the Matter with Owen?" It includes three TV spots, as well as social media, featuring a college grad named Owen who has just been hired as an industrial internet developer at GE. Problem is, no matter what he tells his friends or family, they just don't get it. Tim Godsall directed via Anonymous Content.

In a spot called "Big News," Owen tells his friends, who are holding a celebratory cake and balloons, that he'll be writing a new language for machines so planes, trains and hospitals can work better.

"So you're going to work on a train?" one friend asks. "You're not going to develop stuff anymore?"

In another spot, called "The Hammer," Owen tells his family that he's been hired by GE, and his dad gives him a hammer that was his grandfather's -- thinking he'll be working on building industrial equipment.

Owen tells them that while GE does build machines, he'll be writing code that lets machines talk to each other.

In a third spot, called "Zazzies," Owen tells his friends about his new job as a programmer at GE, and they are not impressed. One friend has just landed a job at "Zazzies," an app that lets you put fruit hats on animals.

"I can do dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs -- you name it," the friend says. "I'm going to transform the way the world works," Owen replies.

Within each spot, copy reads, "GE. The digital company. That's also an industrial company."

"The goal is to set up the promise of GE being a digital industrial company," said Andy Goldberg, global creative director at GE. "It brings this idea of big iron and big data together under one roof."

In 2012, GE introduced the Industrial Internet, a business that brings hardware, software and big data together.

"One of the things we're really pushing as we drive into being a digital industrial company is what GE is becoming," Mr. Goldberg said. "One of the ideas, with the creative strategy, is that you wouldn't expect us to be in this space, but we are very powerful in this space."

The spots will break on CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

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Sep 08, 2015
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
BBDO-New York
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer :
David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer :
Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director :
Michael Aimette
Creative Director/ Copywriter :
Judd Counsell
Creative Director, Art Director :
Anne Lac
Executive Producer :
George Sholley
Producer :
Theresa Reyes
Global Creative Director :
Brandon Fowler
Account Director :
Lindsey Cash
Account Executive :
Will Langenberg
Associate Director, Interactive Production :
Joe Croson
Interactive Producer :
Mo Twine
Designer :
Jason Merenda
Designer :
Jessica Andrew
Designer :
Jorge Brake
Production Company :
Anonymous Content
Executive Producer :
Rick Jarjoura
Line Producer :
Betsy Oliver
Director :
Tim Godsall
Editor :
Greg Scruton
Assistant Editor :
Laurel Smoliar
Executive Producer :
Sila Soyer
Producer :
Joanna Hall
Sound Mix :
Sonic Union
Editorial Company :
Arcade Edit

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