Meet Molly, the Inventive Star of GE’s Latest Inspirational Ad

More maker magic from BBDO

Headshot of Angela Natividad

Meet Molly, the girl who never stops inventing and the star of BBDO’s latest piece of work for General Electric.

Molly starts out as a kid like any other, sent to take the garbage out by her dad, when she’s struck by an idea that sends her drawing up a storm.

Some kids would stop there. But Molly? She whips out an electric drill set. Thus, a flash of inspiration under cover of rain becomes a problem-solving odyssey, one where she doesn’t just figure out how to never take garbage out again; she can deliver Girl Scout cookies, make her bed and mow the lawn without leaving her comfortable perch.

Who needs a GoldieBlox set? Don’t make Molly laugh.

The ad follows a previous GE piece from February, where the company imagined a world in which female scientists are treated like celebrities. That work was more heavily inspirational, and also served as a vehicle for an ambitious goal—to put 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020.

This push, following the equally invention-focused “Unimpossible Missions” campaign, also echoes an ad in which Microsoft highlighted female inventors for International Women’s Day last year. These efforts are heartening; they not only focus on normalizing the notion of women in tech but on encouraging those same women to drop their muzzles of modesty.

Because can you even name five female inventors or scientists? Apart from your Ada Lovelaces and Marie Curies, it’s a hard sell. And that isn’t to say we’ve been sitting on our hands (or using them to knit); women are responsible for many of the things we take for granted today, including liquid paper, windshield wipers, solar homes and computers.

At the end of Molly’s story, we discover that the flicker that first animated her desire to invent never goes away. She grows up, where we find her optimizing movement sequences at GE. That sparkle in her eye, that satisfied grin that follows a job well done, still plays on her face.

“That’s amazing, Molly,” a colleague marvels.

“Thank you,” she answers. And the sense we get is that she isn’t just saying it for the compliment. She’s saying it because she got to become the Molly she was always going to be, unimpeded and unquestioned.

(Though we’d still like to find out how she managed to collect the cash for the Girl Scout cookies she pulleyed out her window.)

Client: GE
Title: Shortcuts

Agency: BBDO New York
Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Michael Aimette
Senior Creative Director, Art Director: Eric Goldstein
Creative Director, Copywriter: Fred Kovey

Head of Production: David Rolfe
Executive Producer: George Sholley
Content Producer: Jack Patrick

Head of Music Production: Rani Vaz

Group Account Director: Peter McCallum
Account Director: Lindsey Cash
Account Manager: Will Langenberg
Account Executive: Joslyn Dunn

Production Company: Park Pictures
Executive Producer: Scott Howard
Executive Producer: Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Director & Director of Photography: Lance Accord
Line Producer: Caroline Kousidonis

Editorial: WAX/The Quarry
Executive Producer: Tor Adams
Producer: Annabelle Cuthbert
Editor: Paul Watts
Assistant Editor: Drew Balke

Visual Effects: a52
Producer: Kim Christensen
Lead CG Artist: Andy Wilkoff
Conform Artist: Pat Murphy

Graphic Design: elastic
Producer: Kim Christensen

Telecine: Company3
Telecine Artist: Tim Masick
Producer: Rochelle Brown

Sound Design: One Thousand Birds

Sound Mix: Sonic Union
Engineer: Michael Marinelli
Producer: Justine Cortale

@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.