Beeping Boy Talks to Machines and Will Steal Your Heart in Charming GE Ad

BBDO spot isn't lost in translation

Headshot of Alfred Maskeroni

We've seen plenty of ads that use kids to illustrate the power—and limits—of technology. But rarely does it translate in a way that doesn't seem hokey or freakishly dystopian.

GE and BBDO are on a roll lately, making some of advertising's more conceptually profound spots. But their latest collaboration is one of the year's most poignant. In "The Boy Who Beeps," we follow the life of a child who has an unusual birth defect—instead of normal human speech, he emits a robot-like language and communicates more effectively with machines than people.

GE argues that this is perhaps more of an advantage than a handicap, as emphasized by the on-screen line at the end.

Perhaps advertising's sequel to "Her," the spot subtly creates a reality that could go down a subversive path. Instead it weaves today's languages, human and machine, into a charming scenario to which many in our industrial society can relate, despite the bizarre premise.

You have to wonder why Mom was fooling around with the modem, though.


Client: GE

Spot: "The Boy Who Beeps"

Agency: BBDO, New York

Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars

Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn

Executive Creative Director: Michael Aimette 

Creative Director, Copywriter: Tim Roan

Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Lance Vining

Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe

Executive Producer: Diane Hill

Producer: George Sholley

Junior Producer: Sasha White

Head of Music Production: Rani Vaz

Executive Music Producer: John Melillo

Production Company: Park Pictures

Executive Producers: Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Mary Ann Marino

Executive Producer and Line Producer: Caroline Kousidonis

Director: Lance Acord

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@maskeroni Alfred Maskeroni is director of video for Adweek.