Storytelling plays key role for GE

5 August 2014
NEW YORK: General Electric, the industrial conglomerate, is exploring how it might use platforms like Oculus Rift and connected TV, a move reflecting its status as a consistent early adopter of new media channels.

Linda Boff, GE's executive director/global brand marketing, discussed this subject at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn, New York – and she suggested that Oculus Rift might prove to be an attractive offering for brands.

"Talk about great storytelling: you are literally in an experience that is captivating from a 360[-degree] point of view,” she said. (For more, including details of General Electric's approach to content marketing, read Warc's exclusive report: Why storytelling plays a key role for GE.)

One of the opportunities for GE could draw on the fact it does "extreme things in extreme places", from the floor of the ocean to the top of wind turbines, to provide immersive storytelling experiences.

"It feels as though we have an opportunity to tell a great story in the lens of Oculus. So we are looking at a couple of things right now," said Boff.

Connected TV is another platform that her team is "obsessing over right now" in a bid to work out the role brands can play on this channel.

A particular issue to be addressed is that many consumers are likely to utilise this medium for "binge viewing" on sites which do not run commercials, meaning brands are at risk of being "boxed out" of the experience.

"I think it really brings up: what is the role of the marketer and the advertiser if content disintermediates ads?" said Boff.

"While we're not near an answer yet, the question we're asking is: How do you serve content? How do you get people to experience your brand?"

As the first brand to use Vine, the short-form video-sharing service, and an early mover on many other social properties, GE is increasingly an expert on answering such difficult questions in the media space.

"This idea of being first, being early is in our blood … from a business point of view," Boff said. "So translating that on the marketing side, for us, has been incredibly important."

Data sourced from Warc
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