This Is What A 6-Year-Old Kid Thinks General Electric Does

New ad campaign uses a child’s imagination to highlight the wide scope of the company’s work.

Over the past couple of years, General Electric has used a lot of its work that everyday shoppers don’t see–turbines, jet engines–to illustrate the innovative backbone of the company. Whether it was advanced manufacturing in GE Works, the wonders of the industrial Internet with Brilliant Machines, or just a cool shot of a train on Instagram, the company has been pushing its creativity to impressive heights to get that word out.


For its new 2014 campaign, GE decided to pull the focus back a bit to not focus on a single business or initiative but instead personify everything the company is about. The new spot by agency BBDO New York and director Dante Ariola shows what GE looks like through the eyes of a little girl whose mom works at the company.

To the daughter, her mom makes underwater fans powered by the moon, airplanes that talk, hospitals you hold in your hand, and trains that are friends with trees. “It’s about innovation, advanced manufacturing, health care, transportation, all through this girl’s imagination,” says GE global creative director Andrew Goldberg. “This is how we’re trying to take in all of what GE does.”

Another aspect of the campaign is a partnership with collaborative publishing startup Medium to host a collection of writing from employee and entrepreneur contributors, including founders of Makerbot and Codecademy, detailing how they’ve used imagination to overcome innovation challenges.

“The Medium thing is all about finding people who have these goals and imagination for things that can be made into reality,” says Goldberg. “It’s about the big challenges and solutions. It allows us to reach out to entrepreneurs and other leaders about their challenges and problems they had to solve that will inspire others.”

Goldberg also says the new spot and Medium collaboration don’t have a best before date. “This isn’t a few weeks campaign and then it disappears,” he says. “We’ll roll out the spot randomly through the year, translating into other languages and airing it in other countries, as well as continue to bring in more people to contribute to Medium over the whole year.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.