Perfect Bodied Coal Miners Strike A Pose In New GE Campaign

ge_mine_hottie_3.jpg

Today, GE will launch a new corporate campaign, called "ecomagination," touting its eco-friendly approach. A multimedia effort will kick-off with eight-page newspaper inserts in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Financial Times. Thereafter, print, television and online ads will appear.

For print, there are two pools of work: one modeled after the look of the famous Audubon prints; and another that uses reflection and shadows. Both are intended to show how GE products co-exist in harmony with nature. Television commercials speak to GE's technology that claims to do the job with greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions and less noise. But, the really fun (and controversial) element of this campaign is the spot called Model Miners in which perfect bodied male and females toil, to the tune of Merle Travis' Sixteen Tons, in the depths of a coal mine while glancing seductively into the camera.

A teaser spot with a dancing elephant called "Singing in the Rain" broke last week. Additional commercials will break this week. There is also an interactive online component that was created by Atmosphere BBDO.

by Steve Hall    May- 9-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials   

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Comments



Comments

Model Miners is fun to watch, although it takes a while to make its point. I wonder, though, whether the creatives had seen this before doing the boards.

Posted by: ronbo on May 10, 2005 3:40 PM

did GE check the lyrics? Merle Travis' Sixteen Tons is about the opression and hoplessness of the american mine workers of the early west to use it in celebration of the achevements of the very kind of profetiring company that did that to us in the past is insulting.

Posted by: darren on May 11, 2005 2:14 AM

BushCo and their fossil fuel funder-friends are going all out to sell the public on the myth of 'clean coal.' Truth is coal's dirty when you mine it, dirty when you clean it for market, dirty when you burn it (it's great that utilities are attempting to use tax-payer money to clean up some of the emissions, but that in no way makes coal 'clean'), it's dirty when you dispose of the ash left over from burning, and it sure dirties up politics. See www.ohvec.org, www.sludgesafety.org and www.hecweb.org/. Please also see: www.mountainjusticesummer.org, www.energyjustice.net/, www.tristatecitizens.org/ and www.apolloalliance.org/.

And remember:
Corp Watch says: General Electric makes household appliances, plastics, water treatment systems, lighting, medical equipment, and commercial financial services. It also makes aircraft engines and nuclear reactors, and keeps criticism at bay with its ownership of media giants NBC, CNBC, Telemundo, Bravo, and, in partnership with Microsoft, msnbc.com. GE’s recent partnership with Vivendi added Universal Studios, USA, Trio and Sci-fi cable channels to its $43 billion media empire.

Posted by: viv on May 11, 2005 9:42 AM

I come from a coalmining family and I find this highly insulting. Obviously you've never been in a coal mines. You are promoting lies. One of those lies is NO ONE can work in a coal mines without a shirt. Its against the law. You should listen to the song, it says 16 tons and what you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. I owe my soul to the company store. What exactly do you think that means. My husband is an injured coalminer and the company he works won't even allow him the treatment he needs. Please come to the coalfields and visit. I want you to understand what you don't know.

Posted by: Patty on May 12, 2005 11:30 AM

Using a song written about the oppression by corporations in the coalfields to promote "clean" coal technology??? Usually mind-altering drugs are the only thing that produces a vision like this commercial...this is insane!

Welcome to the 21st century, I guess....

What this commercial does not show is the destruction of Appalachia that "cheap" coal use is causing. Entire mountain ranges are being blown up and valleys & streams buried in order to reach the coal seams deep inside the mountain. Check out www.ohvec.org www.crmw.org or www.mountainjusticesummer.org for more information.

Posted by: Daniel on May 13, 2005 12:09 AM

It's too bad that GE will never show what *really* goes on with coal mining in Appalahia. The truth is too ugly.
GE, you should come to WV and film Marsh Fork Elementary School where there is a HUGE coal silo 150 feet from the school (and they are trying to add a second one), a chemical processing plant, an over 600 acre mountain top removal site, and A 2.8 BILLION gallon toxic sludge lake that is held back by only an EARTHEN dam. The toe of the dam is appx 400 yards from school grounds.
But then again, GE probably does not want to show the *truth*. That would defeat their purpose of boosting their profit.

Posted by: Moon on May 13, 2005 8:49 AM

The fact that any company can think so little of the everyday public that it can try to paint such a "pretty image" to promote something like coal minning is beyond reproach.
Yet equally as flabagasting is that there seem to be no controlls on what can and cant be shown on prime time.
If advertisments for medications have to state the side effects of their product, why can't the same rules be applied to other ads. In other words if GE can airplay there ad with pretty models and dancing elephants so be it, but then run a five minute follower of all the ills that coal mining produces and let the public actually be informed by the media.
If such a thing is actually possible.

Posted by: jason layh on May 15, 2005 3:22 PM

It is disapointing to hear that GE is calling this ad campagin "ECOmagination". Their use of the term ECO has devalued that term for everyone else. We've seen this before with other uses of sustainable and green that are far from the truth.

Further more it is sad to think of how many Americans will be fooled by this ad campagin. Just because this ad says coal is clean(er) and eco friendly doesn't mean it is true.

Posted by: Gina on May 15, 2005 3:30 PM

I find that the recent 16 tons ad appears to come from the Brian Kinney school of advertising. Watching the ad - there is a 60 second spot, as well as the 30 second spot that is getting the larger amount of airplay - is like watching a Vanity Fair spread. I am partiularly amused by the amount of "hardbody" females featured in the ad, as there only appears to be 2 men in the ad. Best part? - why the Calendar group shot at the end! Yeah, if I didn't know better, I'd assume that I was watching an Evian or Gatorade commercial for all the sweat pouring down those bodies.
And the selection of music? Great song, but they have a short memory (who wants to guess that the geniuses who created the ad were born post WWII? (perhaps post Viet Nam?)
On the bright side, the emphasis on US Coal resources may in fact raise demand for coal, and (could it possibly?) benefit US coal workers (who owe their souls to the company store?)... ironic.
Great ad if you are Calvin Klein or Tommy Hillfiger.
Perhaps GE just wants a sexier image.
All in all, the ad makes me want to drink a bottle of water - now I have to figure out whether it's the sweat or the bodies making me thirsty.

Posted by: netlagd on May 16, 2005 10:45 AM

did GE check the lyrics? Merle Travis' Sixteen Tons is about the opression and hoplessness of the american mine workers of the early west to use it in celebration of the achevements of the very kind of profetiring company that did that to us in the past is insulting.

Posted by: darren on May 17, 2005 6:52 AM

This ad is extremely insulting, and I am glad to see that so many have spoken up for the coal miners of Appalachia, because few of them have the voices needed to rebut this ad. Why? Because they have lost their voice due to work in the mines, or worse, died due to black lung disease. Families have long suffered because of mining and this ad is inconsiderate at best.

Posted by: Ben Thoma on May 18, 2005 12:58 AM

Hello. I was fascinated with the "Singing in the Rain" elephant tap dancing commercial. It is the best commercial I have ever seen. Me and many people and friends are trying to get a copy of it. Can you please tell me or direct me to the right place to do so. THANK YOU
Osmel D. Motas, Sr.
Santa Ana, California

Posted by: Osmel D. Motas, Sr. on May 19, 2005 4:02 PM

Hello. I was fascinated with the "Singing in the Rain" elephant tap dancing commercial. It is the best commercial I have ever seen. Me and many people and friends are trying to get a copy of it. Can you please tell me or direct me to the right place to do so. THANK YOU
Osmel D. Motas, Sr.
Santa Ana, California

Posted by: Osmel D. Motas, Sr. on May 19, 2005 4:04 PM

beside all the ethical issues behind the ad with its music,mining, and use of sexuality, the commercial is really good. I enjoy watching both ge's ecomagination ads. they are beautiful to watch. The color choices really set a nice mood.
does anyone know what company created the commercial for GE? i would like to see their other works.

Posted by: nana on May 19, 2005 11:11 PM

"Merle Travis' Sixteen Tons" - ummmmm, correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that the recording playing is the original hit by Tennesee Ernie Ford. Either that or Mr. Travis is doing a damned fine rendition of Mr. Ford's 1950-s era recording.

But this ad is a travesty. First of all, there is no "connect" between GE and "clean" energy. Second, and more importantly, coal-mining as illustrated in the ad is a dirty, filthy, thankless job that leaves its workers maimed, scarred, with several respitory illnesses such as Black Lung and emphysema (just to name a few). To glamorize this is a shart slap in the face to all the families affected by this industry. Shame on GE!

It doesn't matter the lighting, the colors, the mood, etc. Look behind the screen - look at the truth, not what's depicted and how the advertising moguls have hooked you.

Posted by: Juliajenniegillespie on May 20, 2005 6:21 PM

Just saw the GE Coalminer ad on Tv for the first time....absolutely revolting...how could anyone do that...?

Posted by: Christi on May 24, 2005 12:47 AM

Just saw the GE Coalminer ad on Tv for the first time....absolutely revolting...how could anyone do that...?

Posted by: Christi on May 24, 2005 12:48 AM

Love your little elephant. Makes such a happy moment. More please.

Posted by: Judy on May 25, 2005 4:42 PM


"Saint Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go.
I owe my soul to the company store."
Who picked that song for General Electric? The irony is lost on these people ?
Put some models in coal mines and coal is sexy and cool.
Coal, step into the dark.
Coal, the new black.
Are they are snorting the stuff?

Pushing coal to a nation in the throes of an edidemic of asthma in it's children?
No matter how blue you color the film, not cool.
"Pure eco-magination" ? How long can we Americans be played for suckers? Don't answer.
We get it. Just buy GE stock.
Feels like a retro 90's music video.
Without the guitars. or the drums.
Jeremy spoken. He says:
This ad sucks.

Posted by: KRank on June 2, 2005 1:23 PM

you liberal douches. save energy by unplugging your computers right now.

Posted by: mike ofo on June 7, 2005 7:59 PM

While the ad, I'm sure, is fabulous...if people watching it are not aware, we need to quickly remind them of the lives of coal miners in the 30's and 40's...coal is not a new technology. However, the risk to obtain it vs. the value was greatly weighted along time ago. Mining for coal is a hugely dangerous task....not to corporations, but to the individuals performing the task. Many miners lost their lives, or if lucky, only their health mining for coal. Rather that focusing on the sexual aspect of their ads, I believe GE should be focusing on how the have made coal mining safer for the employees obtaining this energy source.

Posted by: coalminersgrandaughter on June 12, 2005 11:42 PM

During the Pennsylvania coal strike of 1927 an estimated 200,000 people had their property seized and sold at auction and were forcibly evicted from their homes. The mine families were left with nothing. They lived for over a year in crowded, unheated union barracks that offered little protection from the elements. Some lived in tents. The garden produce stored for winter was destroyed by company agents. Water was obtained from nearby creeks, polluted with mine drainage, and no sanitation facilities were provided. The immigrant miners had to stay and endure because there was no other place for them to go. Coal and Iron police made their lives a living hell.

Relief in the form of food, blankets, and clothing promised by John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers, was too little, too late, and too sporadic. Those rich enough to help looked the other way. The industrialist controlled governments on the State and Federal levels assisted to starve the miners back to work. The families had no place else to turn to for help except each other, yet they survived.

Miner Injustice the Ragman’s War by Marion, Virginia author, R. S. Sukle, is the story of that survival.

www.minerinjustice.com, or bob@imagespirit.com

Posted by: R S Sukle on September 7, 2005 8:45 PM

During the Pennsylvania coal strike of 1927 an estimated 200,000 people had their property seized and sold at auction and were forcibly evicted from their homes. The mine families were left with nothing. They lived for over a year in crowded, unheated union barracks that offered little protection from the elements. Some lived in tents. The garden produce stored for winter was destroyed by company agents. Water was obtained from nearby creeks, polluted with mine drainage, and no sanitation facilities were provided. The immigrant miners had to stay and endure because there was no other place for them to go. Coal and Iron police made their lives a living hell.

Relief in the form of food, blankets, and clothing promised by John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers, was too little, too late, and too sporadic. Those rich enough to help looked the other way. The industrialist controlled governments on the State and Federal levels assisted to starve the miners back to work. The families had no place else to turn to for help except each other, yet they survived.

Miner Injustice the Ragman’s War R. S. Sukle, is the story of that survival.

Posted by: R S Sukle on September 7, 2005 8:48 PM

etgimmigrant miners had to stay and endure because there was no other place for them to go. Coal and Iron police made their lives a living

Posted by: incest pics stories [TypeKey Profile Page] on September 11, 2005 11:18 AM

GE, you made a mistake. Wrong song choice. Nice song, wrong use. Why has already been stated.

Now, with that said, I'd like to find out if the song is indeed Tennessee Ernie Ford singing 16 Tons (not sung by but WRITTEN by Merle Travis) or is it someone else? Does anyone know?

Posted by: Doug on October 7, 2005 9:30 PM

Yes, the version in our ad is Tennessee Ernie Ford.

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