GE Envisions Healthy World with Picture-Sharing Site

GE Healthcare set out to project a picture of health for its new “Healthcare Re-Imagined” campaign. To do so, the company launched a Web site, “Picture a Healthy World” that employs user-generated content to carry the message.

The campaign focuses on what the company calls “early health,” or early diagnosis of health problems. GE Healthcare manufactures a variety of diagnostic equipment, including magnetic resonance imaging machines, mammography tools and ultrasound devices.

“[The campaign is] focused on a new idea for GE called ‘Healthcare Re-Imagined’,” said Judy Hu, GE’s global executive director of advertising and branding, speaking in a corporate podcast. “What we mean by that is really an emphasis on early health, which moves people from late diagnosis to a focus on early prevention.”

The Web site takes its inspiration from the campaign’s “Beat” TV commercial, which focuses on a cardiologist. “This notion of these moments in time, slice of life if you will, we thought we could tap into this and really ask people how they might picture a healthy world,” said Jen Walsh, digital media director at GE, in the same corporate podcast.

The site greets visitors with images of active people and the text “How do you picture a healthy world?” Photos are tagged, or categorized, to illustrate people with healthy, active habits like “people who avoid saturated fat,” “people who bike,” and “people who do cardio.” The photos are submitted by users, who list their nicknames, locations and tell the stories behind the photos.

“Our digital component is inviting people to do just that. It’s to contribute images, photographs of themselves and loved ones doing healthy things, or just expressing healthy messages,” Walsh continued.

There’s also a viral component that allows visitors to send a “tell-a-friend” message to friends. Visitors to the site can also mark photos as “favorites.”

“Everything we do online we want to be participatory,” said Walsh. “We don’t want to just broadcast GE’s messages. We want to involve the consumers in our advertising, particularly the online advertising.”

The campaign began this week with an online ad buy that included Yahoo homepage takeovers in the U.S., Germany, France, the U.K., China, Japan and Hong Kong. Additional placements will run on AOL, Webshots, WebMD and Discovery.com. The campaign will run for a couple of months, and will then become global and appear in local languages.

The company hopes the branding effort will help raise awareness about the breadth of products GE offers.

“[GE is seen as] a company that makes appliances and light bulbs,” said Hu. “We need to broaden that message so that people begin to see us as we truly are; a company that makes a wide range of products and services, many of which are high tech. And a company that’s contemporary, modern, dynamic, approachable and also global.”

To develop the campaign GE worked with a number of agencies including creative consultancy firm Frog Design and BBDO.

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