GE Introduces Molly, The Kid Who Never Stops Inventing

Most of us dislike household chores, like taking out the trash. Most of us will complain, and then do them begrudgingly. Most of us won’t invent things to make these tasks easier. But that’s just what Molly, the young protagonist of GE’s new ad, does. In fact, Molly never stops inventing, and builds different contraptions around home and school to help her be more efficient. Then at the end, we see adult Molly, who’s apparently now an engineer at GE. Cool spot encouraging females to get more into science.

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Sarah Works At GE, Awkwardness Ensues

Remember Owen, the guy who had to awkwardly explain his job at GE to friends and family? They just couldn’t understand that Owen was working as a developer, and wouldn’t actually be manufacturing things. Well, now GE has a new campaign starring Sarah that shows the flip side…that GE is still an industrial company, which is also an digital company. I was going to say that I hope her and Owen meet each other and get together, but apparently Sarah is married. Sarah is played by Elizabeth Alderfer.

Owen Just Got A Job At GE, Awkwardness Ensues

If someone mentions GE, it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll think of manufacturing. I associate GE with light bulbs, since Thomas Edison was one of the founders. GE Aviation is headquartered a few miles away from where I grew up, so that comes to mind too. But ol’ General Electric wants you to know that it’s a digital company as well as an industrial company. To demonstrate this point, its new campaign introduces Owen, a charmingly befuddled recent college grad who just got hired by GE as a programmer. But since everyone has preconceived notions about the company, awkwardness ensues. It’s nice work by BBDO New York that will especially resonate with anyone who has been in the uncomfortable situation of having to explain a job to peers and parents. By the way, Owen is played by Gianmarco Soresi.

Tuesday Throwback: GE’s Misguided “Sixteen Tons” Coal Commercial

This General Electric ad is from 2005, and it’s a mess. First, let’s ignore the political implications and the fact that “clean coal” is a very controversial topic. We’re just focusing on the commercial. It features sweaty, muscular, attractive young men and women shoveling coal while scantily clad. That’s one problem…while very nice to look at, it’s not quite representative of a real coal mine. And then there’s the music used. The song is “Sixteen Tons”, Tennessee Ernie Ford’s classic miner’s lament (originally written and recorded by Merle Travis). The lyrics refer to the truck system, where coal miners were not paid in cash, but in scrip that was only accepted for goods at a “company store.”  Coal mine companies also typically owned the town’s houses in which miners lived. As a consequence, workers couldn’t save cash, and so it was nearly impossible to leave the towns. Thus, “I owe my soul to the company store.” Which makes this a very dubious musical pick for GE. It seems like whoever made the commercial scoured for minutes to come up with a mining song and picked “Sixteen Tons.” Of course, a song about being too indebted to make it to heaven doesn’t seem like a savvy choice (as Cracked notes). This spot was widely panned and for good reason. 19 likes vs. 96 dislikes on YouTube? Ouch.

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