GE and Big Data: Connecting the Dots Around Super Bowl Spots


During this year’s Super Bowl game GE aired two ads — Building Something Big and Power and Beer — as part of the company’s ongoing “GE Works” campaign. But the company’s Game Day strategy wasn’t just about what it ran on-air.

GE integrated data visualization, a.k.a. Big Data, to augment the social and digital elements of its Super Bowl campaign, turning to an emerging engagement tool to augment content marketing and messaging with the brand’s vast stores of data.[more]

GE’s Power and Beer ad used a prompt for and a hashtag — #WhatWorks — to promote and foster conversation about how GE’s energy businesses are helping power the country and boost jobs. The microsite and a Facebook tab are also inviting users to submit stories about what’s working in their communities, and the hashtag aimed to encourage Super Bowl viewers to continue the conversation.


While the commercials focused on the employees working in two GE facilities, these two visualizations use raw data from GE’s own technology to demonstrate the impact that GE has on medical care and energy production.  By visualizing real data, viewers gain immediate access to information about 125,000+ medical scans and 713 gas turbines — stories that would otherwise be buried in a spreadsheet (or a TV commercial).

By using its own data, GE had two goals: “corporate transparency and demonstrating the positive impact GE employees and products make every day on the world around us.”


“The more people know about GE, our technologies, their impact, and the people behind them, the more they want to partner with us, do business with us, and invest in us,” says Linda Boff, GE’s global head of digital marketing. “That’s where we connect the dots.”

Brandchannel asked Camille Kubie, GE Global Brand & Design Manager, how GE sees it integrating with the company’s marketing efforts.

“We think of data visualization as a key component of a 360-degree communications strategy to tell a story about GE technologies and the impact they have on the world,” she commented. “Ultimately, the goal of data visualization is to demonstrate the impact of our technologies. Data visualization seems to resonate with our audiences because it is not only visually compelling, but a concrete and memorable means of storytelling.”

While hashtags were de rigueur this Super Bowl, from Coca-Cola’s #GameDayPolarBears push to every automaker, seemingly, including hashtags as a call to action in their spots, GE is running with the ball by visualizing user responses to engage and enlighten. It’s also not a one-off test around the Super Bowl, Kubie added.

“We’ve created a number of visualizations intended to incite consumer action. One of our favorites focused on the amount of energy used by different types of appliances. These two most recent projects are focused on deepening the understanding of GE’s technologies and their impact – how GE is at work in the world.”

That’s a theme that GE has been taking to some unusual venues in the past year, including debuting at Maker Faire. Where it takes this in the year to come will be exciting to watch.