GE workers get pretty emotional about building their jet engines

Posted on Tue Sep 22 2009

While I was preparing dinner last night, a tune playing on TV caught my attention. The song was "Don't Know Much," but it sounded nothing like the famous duet performed by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville. I figured it must have been a commercial for a dating site or some kind of family-oriented product, given the song's love theme, so I decided to check it out. What I didn't expect to see was two adult men singing in front of huge jet engines, shedding a tear to the words: "I don't know much, but I know I love you." The ad gets even more over the top as a drummer joins in, wearing goggles in the middle of a factory, and an orchestra dressed in uniform hits the high note on a runway. You wouldn't know this was a commercial for GE until the end, when a voiceover proclaims: "Customers love GE aircraft engines almost as much as we love making them." The spot actually ran a few years ago in select markets. But GE tells us it found the response to be so good, it decided to update the piece and air it nationally again. Humor seems to be the tactic GE is employing in other ads for its transportation products, like this one, in which locomotives emerge from a steamy shower to the tune of "Take My Breath Away." Gotta hand it to GE for making engines and locomotives look sexy, and spicing up what could have been really boring ads.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

GE pioneers the kitchen workout in 'Strong as Steel' infomercial

Posted on Wed Jun 10 2009

Is that Snuggie getting a little too snug? This won't help.
  "Hold on to your pots and pans and get ready for the newest and coolest fitness routine that is sweeping the nation!" So begins this "Strong as Steel" video, which has all the trappings—cheesy New Age Lite music, nitrous oxide-induced testimonials, pep talk from Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney—of your typical workout-equipment informercial. But "Strong as Steel" is a parody that promotes ... GE kitchen appliances. Created by marketing agency Interference and social-media shop Youcast, it shows telegenic trainers feeling the burn of oven crunches and fridge pushups—probably not the best setting for a workout if you really want to lose weight.
  "Four weeks into the campaign, we've got a lot of hits and great comments, people asking, 'Is this real?' " says Interference CEO Sam Ewen. "It's a big departure for GE." "Everyone tries to reach appliance consumers in the same way, but this was a way to smile about appliances," adds Paul Klein, GM of branding and advertising for GE's consumer and industrial business.
  Everything links to a GE microsite, which has info about a three-month offer for a free upgrade to stainless steel on certain GE refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers or microwaves. And GE is actually selling a 22-minute "Strong as Steel" mock-workout DVD for $9.95 at the Yahoo! Store.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp


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