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BBDO fuses folk art with technology in new GE campaign

The campaign, GE Works, brings to life how GE’s commitment to innovation is helping improve the quality of life of every Indian Ananya Saha | Delhi | May 10, 2012

GE has launched a new campaign in India with the overarching theme of ‘GE Works’. Created by BBDO India, the campaign brings to life GE’s technologies and their commitment to innovation that improves the quality of life of every Indian. What’s different about this campaign is that it has been conceived by BBDO but delivered by people whose lives GE impacts every day.

Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Executive Creative Director, BBDO India, said, “If GE's technology could inspire folk art, it would be the greatest proof of GE's commitment to grassroot India. So we approached village artists with our idea, to help craft the advertising campaign. The brief to them was simple – ‘Show us how GE is changing life in your community’.”

With this objective, GE approached traditional artists across India to help craft in print the different ways in which GE has impacted their lives. The campaign depicts some of the most local creative art forms such as Patchwork art, Soura art, Madhubani art and Kalamkari art. Each of these art forms is aligned to the four pillars of GE – Curing, Moving, Powering and Building – by which it contributes to improving the quality of life.

The artists were given the choice and freedom to use their own art form to present their creative renditions. What followed next over a period of four months was a deep dive into the art forms, as the artists painstakingly created the intricate artworks under the supervision of BBDO.

Vishal Wanchoo, Growth Initiatives Leader, GE India, explained, "In terms of the brief, while ideating with BBDO for the campaign, it was felt that a standard looking ad campaign would not do justice to the scale of GE’s commitment to India. After all, these are innovations that are changing in an unprecedented way the lives of millions of Indians living on the margins of progress. What if the campaign came from the very people, from someone amongst us, whose lives GE impacts in some way or another? Thus, we decided to do away with oft-repeated digitalised imagery, look and feel, for our campaign, and instead, create something unique. With this thought we approached traditional artists, who are experts on some of the varied Indian regional art forms, to help craft the ad campaign.”

Encouraged to use their own art forms to express themselves, these artisans literally ‘brought to life’ the ad campaign; giving the term crowd sourcing an entirely new meaning. The resultant art works are nothing short of stunning whilst effectively showcasing the essence of how GE is helping India build, cure, power and move every day.

The first phase of the campaign will focus on print and digital medium followed by a healthcare documentary TVC featuring GE employees and customers. The TVC will play across select channels and captive live-media junctions across hospitals and premium cinema halls. Tribal art will also go live on innovative outdoor vehicles including airport media in the coming months.

Wanchoo added, “We are also using new-age mediums like LiveMedia, in-app advertising for the first-time as we launch GE Works in India. For our healthcare documentary showcase we are also exploring cinema advertising to garner a captive audience. TV and print form the bulk of our exposure platforms taking up about 60 per cent of our budget, 20 per cent goes to OOH and the remaining 20 per cent is divided amongst cinema and new-age media like digital, in-apps and LiveMedia, etc.”

The second phase of this campaign will be launched by end of the current quarter through a television commercial. The next round of print, digital and OOH will also be part of the phase to ensure a complete 360 degree media communication pan-India.

Josy Paul, Chairman and NCD, BBDO India, said, “The idea achieves two things. It showcases GE's involvement with the remotest parts of India across various areas of operation. Secondly, it shines the torch and revives arts that are marginalised. We are using communication to also bring back traditional Indian art and dying crafts into the mainstream. It is part of our mission to create acts, not ads.”

India is the first country outside of the US where GE has rolled out the GE Works campaign.


Client: GE

Creative Agency: BBDO India Pvt Ltd

Creative team: Josy Paul (Chairman, NCD), Sandipan Bhattacharyya (ECD), Bharat Khare (Creative Team Leader)

Account Management: Rajesh Sikroria (VP, Head of Operations - North), Aditya Gupta (Account Director)


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