General Electric launched a print advertisement this week, along with new Web video installments, focusing on its message of innovation and how environmental solutions will be part of the company’s growth.
The print portion, created by GE’s ad agency BBDO, New York, will run in the top 25 U.S. media markets, and in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Detroit News & Free Press, St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Washington Post, amNewYork, Arizona Republic, San Jose Mercury News and Dallas Morning News.
Dubbed “Now,” the text-only ad presents a number of positive steps GE is taking today—a word that is repeated in large type at the top of each line. Copy reads: “Today, GE Evolution locomotives will save so much fuel, it’s like taking 43,000 cars off U.S. roads.” At the bottom, the ad asks the reader to “just imagine what we’ll do tomorrow.”
“It’s kind of a teaser for a campaign we’ll introduce in 2009,” said Jen Walsh, digital media director at GE, who wouldn’t go into details. “It’s all about an innovation you don’t have to wait for.”
Three videos, which were shot in-house at GE, will run on popular Web sites including MSNBC, CNBC, CNN and AOL. In one video, “Natural resources. Super Natural Innovation,” an executive talks about GE’s efforts in biomass, renewables, natural gas, nuclear, cleaner coal, solar, sub-sea exploration and cleaning up water. “We want to be a great company, but we want to be a good company too,” he explains, expanding on the idea that the only way to solve the energy challenge is through technology and diversification. Another video explores how the company is looking at battery technology that better uses sources of energy, such as the lithium ion. Tagline: “Imagination at work.”
The effort builds on a program launched by GE in May 2005, called “Ecomagination.” It was created roughly three years after GE was instructed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up 1.3 million pounds of chemicals known as PCBs that GE had dumped into New York’s Hudson River. The program spun GE’s story a different way and touted the company’s “innovative solutions” for solving environmental challenges.
“Ecoimagination has certainly been a key message for GE in TV, print and onine advertising since 2005,” Walsh said. “And the videos are a great way for us to tell stories.”