If you’re a regular visitor to these parts, you’ll know that General Electric has been a consistent creative force in the branded content game for a while. Whether it’s Instagram shots of jet engines, making music from freight trains or subsea compressors, BBQ brain science, Jeff Goldblum, or a tiny donkey that grants invention wishes, this is a corporation bent on tapping its hidden stories in order to engage an audience.
Now the brand is taking its content strategy to a new level, teaming with producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to create a science and technology documentary series for the National Geographic Channel. Produced with Imagine Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment, Breakthrough will be six, hour-long episodes set to air in November, with episodes directed by Howard, Brett Ratner, Peter Berg, Paul Giamatti, Angela Bassett and Akiva Goldsman. According to the New York Times, the show will run in 171 countries and 45 languages.
GE CMO Beth Comstock told the Times that despite being a producer of the show, the company’s products wouldn’t be included “unless it makes sense,” that other companies will be able to buy commercial time during the episodes. “It’s not just slapping our logo on and paying the production fee,” said Comstock.