GE Promo, Case study GE SHOW by The Barbarian Group

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Industry Raw Materials & Minerals
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency The Barbarian Group
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Technology and Manufacturing
Advertiser: GE
Agency: The Barbarian Group
Media placement: Consumer PR - Gizmodo - January 4, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Fast Company - January 7, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Fast Co. Design - January 7, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Daily Finance - March 15, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Agency Spy - July 21, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Mashable - August 5, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Fast Co. Design - October 3, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - The Next Web - October 19, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Ad Age - October 27, 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Media Bistro - November 29, 2011

Summary of the Campaign
GE is one of the world’s biggest companies. And every day they’re hard at work using technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems—in energy, healthcare, transportation, and more. However, after years of seeing only fantastical advertising, the public knew little about what GE actually did. Our strategy to change that perception was to focus on expressing the good work GE is doing, but in a way that the Internet would embrace and spread. Our solution: The GE Show, an ongoing Web series featuring artistic videos, games, infographics and more, all designed to be shared online.

The Situation
Most of the public do not know that GE is hard at work solving some of the world’s biggest problems. The company had spent too long running metaphorical advertising and needed to talk about what they do in a way that people would find interesting and that the press would help spread. GE also wanted to assess the value of sharable content distributed through earned media versus the performance of its traditional, paid placements.

The Goal
Our goal was to create a series of “social objects”, videos, games, etc., that were designed to be shareable online, and would give the press something interesting to embed. The aim of the campaign was to generate as much earned media and shares as possible.

The Strategy
The strategy was simple. Talk about what GE actually does in a way that the Internet could get excited about. Create niche specific content relevant to “information omnivores”, and strike a balance between placements on larger, high traffic blogs and concentrated niche interest areas relevant to their various business areas.

The GE Show spanned multiple episodes, covering topics from manufacturing and solar power to healthcare and the future of aviation. We created various pieces of sharable content ranging from videos to games to data visualizations. Then we meticulously mapped out GE’s universe of interest in the blogosphere niche by niche. The PR campaign then methodically shared each piece of content, authentically one to one.

Documented Results
Our approach resulted in 55 online media publications with a total of 17,046,735 unique visitors.

To measure the perception lift from social sharing and word-of-mouth, measurement firm Vizu distributed "The GE Show" videos through paid display placements and sharing, then tested how attitudes changed among people exposed each way.

According to the resulting story in AdAge, “people exposed via sharing had a significantly bigger lift in positive attitudes toward GE -- associating the brand with...creativity and innovation -- than people exposed via paid placements.

“Overall, the 'brand lift', which measured the extent to which consumers said they saw GE as 'creative', was 138% higher for consumers exposed via sharing through than those who didn't see it at all. Specifically, 17% of people found GE creative after viewing the content via sharing vs. only 7% of people who made that connection without having seen the advertising at all.”