Elli the Elephant Takes GE Online With a Thump

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General Electric is known for products that range from light bulbs to NBC programming. But, who knew GE loved animals so much? This is only apparent in the company’s latest cross-promotional online and TV campaign One Second Theater. According to Digital Media Director for GE, Jennifer Walsh, the campaign “takes its cue from GE Theater, which aired on the Sunday evening spot on CBS from February 1, 1953 to May 27, 1962 … Each of its 200 episodes was an adaptation of a short story, novel, play, film, or other work of fiction.” Ad agency BBDO created the concept for the campaign, and GE also worked with Blitz, in Beverly Hills, CA to develop the website creative.

One Second Theater is an experimental part of GE’s larger ecomagination campaign, which launched last year in the U.S. via print, TV, and online ads. The campaign targets GE’s market of consumers ages 18 to 49 to sell GE technology and products. The current extension of last year’s campaign was launched May 8 on the Today Show, and TV ads will run on primetime TV through June 3.

The microsite supports the TV ads and will stay up for a brief period after the TV spots end. Although GE is running ads on Gawker.com, HollywoodReporter.com, and Variety.com to draw attention to microsite and TV ads, the microsite appears to just be a promotional tool for the TV campaign. The TV spots, which show one second of hidden stories embedded within the ecomagination TV commercials, are accessible on the site along with a few other downloads and media components.

But, Walsh believes, “that the TV and online components of this campaign are highly complimentary — the website has a programming guide outlining the broadcast schedule of the commercials, as well as a guide to DVR basics, which instructs people how to see the hidden content.” To bring viewers closer to the ecomagination campaign, the commercial and the site feature Elli Font, the elephant, who also has a profile on MySpace with 103 MySpace friends.

GE is airing several TV spots during May, and these commercials within a commercial will be available on onesecondtheater.com with some additional relevant content including podcasts, audio and animations. Also, the recent New York Times article about the campaign produced a huge spike in traffic to the site with 15,000 page views for onesecondtheater.com and 2,600 profile views of Elli on MySpace.

Walsh also emphasizes, “GE is Imagination at Work; we are always striving for innovative, creative ways to tell our story. New media creates many exciting ways to interact with consumers, and One Second Theater is a new use of technology that ties back to our heritage.” Although One Second Theater may take GE on a trip down memory lane, Elli the Elephant appears to take today’s online users into the twenty-first century with a thump.

Want to see the elephant in the room? Visit www.onesecondtheater.com

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