GE Presents The Life Of A Creative Idea, As Portrayed By A Weird Hairy Monster

GE looks to attract innovators with a message that illustrates the challenges of innovative thinking.

What do your ideas look like? In its newest ad, designed to attract new and inspire existing talent, General Electric posits that innovation isn’t easy. Ideas come into the world ugly and messy, and frightening for being the natural-born enemy for the status quo.


Created by agency BBDO New York and directed by Noam Murro, the new ad follows one such idea as it is born and goes through much of its life like some big hobo muppet. Until, that is, it finds the right home. BBDO New York’s chief creative officer Greg Hahn says the concept for the film was to cement GE’s belief in the importance of ideas and innovation. “We wanted to illustrate that GE has a real understanding of the process,” says Hahn. “This is an appealing message for a big part of who this film was meant to speak to: future, as well as current employees. I liked the thought that GE is a safe haven for ideas. They foster and nurture ideas.”

The narrative arc is like the plot of She’s All That starring a Sesame Street resident with a bad case of mange. Understandably, the design of the Idea was one of the trickiest things to nail down. “We went through many rounds of concept designs for the creature,” says Hahn. “We didn’t want it to be too specific to any actual animal. It is somewhat shapeless, without many fully formed features, like rough ideas are. But, there’s enough there to convey feeling and emotion. The main thing we were looking to achieve was empathy. You had to feel for this creature. But at the same time, it couldn’t be too cute because then you wouldn’t understand why the world wouldn’t just immediately embrace it. And finally, for the payoff at the end it was important that the creature could bloom into something beautiful.”

The brand will be sharing the spot across all of its social and digital channels, with a particular focus on young people. “We think it will have particular resonance with recent graduates thinking about their careers,” says GE’s executive director of global brand marketing Linda Boff.

Hey, who doesn’t want their ideas to grow a fantastically technicolor tail?

About the author

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