GE Aviation Buzzes BuzzFeed

Longtime BuzzFeed sponsor GE is running a new application on the rich-content site that lets users "fly" an animated jetliner over posts -- including sponsored posts -- that become rearranged in thematic tiles through an application called "Flight Mode." Users control the jet using keyboard arrows. 

In addition to trumpeting GE Aviation's involvement in the Paris Air Show that will have ended June 23, the campaign spotlights its new GE 90 turbofan, which for the moment is the largest jet engine on Earth. And per Paul Marcum, director of global digital marketing and programming at GE, the campaign -- among other goals -- is  intended to inform people that GE makes more than your blender and light bulbs. 

Marcum tells Marketing Daily that the program, which kicked off earlier this week and will run beyond the air show, demonstrates that for GE, aviation is an ongoing business well beyond the initial manufacture of engines. "The Paris Air Show was a great opportunity to kick this off," he says. The campaign, he adds, is really part of GE's umbrella campaign around imagination, for which there is a TV spot in rotation now focused on GE health-care technology, which features Agent Smith from The Matrix. That, too, is as much for the general public as it is for decision makers. 



"People are generally interested in aviation, and many don’t realize how impressive the technology is," he says. "Also, part of the concept is that everyday folks think of GE as a maker of appliances and lighting, but a big part of our business and revenue comes from the fact that we are an industrial [rather than just consumer] technology company. While you and I may not stop and wonder what's under the hood, it's a lot of very complex technology that all of us benefit from. And what we've learned is that when people start to understand that they also develop an appetite to learn more, and they gain an appreciation of just how sophisticated this technology really is." 

BuzzFeed President and COO Jon Steinberg tells Marketing Daily that the channel created the content for GE. And as is often the case, that includes video by BuzzFeed's EVP of Video and online performance guy Ze Frank. 

"So far the custom video has gotten some 100,000 views," says Steinberg, adding that it's also reaching decision makers. "It's really a mixed audience -- consumer enthusiasts and a BtoB audience involved in purchasing. A lot of people in science and technology, including people in aviation purchasing, come to BuzzFeed."

Marcum adds that the company is furthering the message on social platforms like YouTube and Instagram that go deeper into how GE does things like stress test engines, while developing new materials and efficiencies both in engine fuel consumption and maintenance.

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