GE’s New YouTube Program Gives Science a Pop Culture Twist

Oxford vlogger will help brand continue reaching new audiences

Over the past couple years, GE has become a somewhat surprising role model for brands looking to embrace social media and emerging tech. In addition to its use of Vine and Tumblr to help make science more mainstream, the energy giant has also used virtual reality and has partnered with popular influencers like Jerome Jarre.

This week at South by Southwest, GE and multi-channel network Fullscreen are announcing a new three-month program called Creator-in-Residence to make YouTube videos that merge science with creativity. The program taps Sally Le Page, a popular British YouTube personality who is also currently earning a Ph.D. at Oxford, to create content.

"We saw this as a great chance to bring in a new voice and perspective," said Katrina Craigwell, director of global content and programming at GE.

The idea to work with Le Page is based off of the goal of finding someone who not only makes science fun, but also has a strong science background and research chops, explained Maureen Polo, Fullscreen's gm. "We really wanted to make sure that we were focusing on that authenticity."

Here is an example of a video that Le Page uploaded to explain how chocolate impacts altruistic behavior.

One of the first GE projects Le Page is working on is based off of Sony Pictures' new film Chappie. The movie tells the story of a robot who can think and feel for himself, and Le Page will create a video based around the theme of robotics and emotion.

She will also be working with GE and the scientists at its SXSW R&D lab over the coming days to examine the science behind cooking.

The YouTube deal coincides with work being made to bring women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics—or STEM—industries. "I'm just being me, and if that appeals to younger audiences, I think it's great to get more diversity," LePage explained.

GE has worked with a number of YouTube influencers the past few years with Fullscreen. For example, the brand worked with The Slo Mo Guys—a duo that films videos showing things filmed in slow motion last year. The guys created a physics video showing off GE's superhydrophobic surface work.

"It's pretty heavy stuff but having someone in the voice of The Slo Mo Guys helps us tell our story better," GE's Craigwell said.

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