Next Big Design: #BrilliantMachines - GE and Brilliant Use of Social Media

Monday, May 6, 2013

#BrilliantMachines - GE and Brilliant Use of Social Media

A few weeks back we were watching Saturday Night Live (SNL) and then the following came on:


At first it looked like it was part of SNL.  Then it became clear - it wasn't.  It was a GE commercial.    It was a thoroughly entertaining and clever use of Agent Smith and The Matrix.  So much so, that both my wife and I commented on how the commercial was more entertaining than the previous SNL skit. 
I went to Twitter and posted my thoughts:



 I was pleasantly surprised when I received the following response:
And in my Direct Message box was the following:

Now this is getting interesting...

So, I sent in my info and the other day I received a package in the mail with the GE logo on back.
 
 
I opened it up....
 
A picture of me, a blend of my avatar and pixelated images of the commercial.  Cool!  I flipped it over.


Hello Michael,
Thanks for connecting with us on Twitter! Just like you, we believe in the power of technology to connect people and improve our lives.
Intrigued? Agent Smith was too.
Based on our conversation, we can tell you are indeed an agent of good, so we've enclosed a few items as our way of saying thanks.
(A list of what's enclosed...)
Enjoy & remember that just like #BrilliantMachines, we work better when we work together.

 I then went through the box:
Red and Blue lollipops- just like the commercial, (and a non-pharmaceutical homage to the red and blue pills of The Matrix.)

A handful of refrigerator magnets  that depict some of GE's #BrilliantMachines.

And a Fandango gift card.

Instantly my mind went back to the closing presentation at FUSE2013 by Steve Peters.  He emphasized how social media should be used in engaging and compelling ways so as to make people feel like they're in a movie.  In other words,  multiple types of media should be used in ways that makes people feel like they're rockstars. 

This also reminded me of KLM and their use of social media to create customized experiences for travelers that, yes, made them feel like popstars.

In the bigger scheme of things, what happened here with GE, or at FUSE, or with KLM, are not necessarily 'big' things.  But as people in relationships will say, it's the little things that matter. 

Creating a coherent, fun, and memorable experience in a 'little' way, (lollipops, magnets, Matrix motif paraphernalia) is a brilliant way to build brand - to build a relationship.

And isn't that what it's all about:
 
Relationships?



About the Author

Michael Plishka is the President of ZenStorming, a design and innovation consultancy. He can be followed on Twitter @Plish and through LinkedIn.

Read more at his  ZenStorming Blog.

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