by Nick Harley

It’s easy for brands to market themselves using social media, but it’s difficult to create a campaign that translates easily across all social media formats. Leave it to the folks over at General Electric to engineer a campaign that spread across Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr like wildfire. What’s even more impressive is that it only took six seconds to do so.

Using their Vine account, GE introduced the hashtag #6secondscience accompanied by a Vine of a short science experiment that shows what happens when milk, food coloring and dish soap is mixed. According to Business Insider, the video was liked over 130,00 times and revined over 105,000 times. The folks at FIG Advertising praised GE for choosing Vine for the campaign, as the app allows its short videos to easily be shared on other platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.

The success of the milk experiment clip lead to GE launching a #6secondscieneFair campaign on a special Tumblr page solely dedicated to the campaign. From August 8, 2013 to August 15, using the tagline “How much science can you fit into six seconds?” GE encouraged users on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine to submit their best six second science experiments, posting the best submissions to their Tumblr page, and sharing, retweeting, and revining on their other respective social media accounts.

Ad Age noted that GE reached out to several Vine celebrities like Rudy Mancuso, Jordan Burt and Jethro Ames to help spread the word on Vine. Also to add relevancy, the digital marketing advisors over at Convince and Convert applauded the timing of campaign’s launch. By unleashing the campaign in mid-August, the campaign took advantage of “a timely back-to-school angle,” and for older users, “the nostalgia of science lessons and the cool factor of revisiting them at home.”

One of the more interesting aspects of the campaign, as Business 2 Community points out, is that the campaign was not a competition, yet was extremely successful, “demonstrating how creative campaigns don’t necessarily need an extensive prize budget if the premise behind the promotion is unique, engaging and fun.” The online science fair had no winner, and no prizes, yet generated over 400 videos. The media also helped spread the word, with everyone from Yahoo! to Mashable posting about the week long event.

“We want to reshare as many as possible,” Katrina Craigwell, digital marketing manager with GE told Clickz.com “It’s not so much us looking for the smartest and best experiments, we want the community to participate with us and we want them to have as much fun as we do. It’s about participating and resharing.” The campaign is just another way that GE is using native advertising on social media sites, like using sponsored stories on Facebook and using their Pintrest page to inspire more experiments.

The #6secondscienefair was undoubtedly a social win for GE, but if I could have improved the campaign, I would have added just a slight competitive element, allowing the best user submitted Vine to be featured in a broadcast television commercial. That would have piqued interest from a less tech-savvy audience. But GE did an incredible job engaging and encouraging customers to put imagination to work, just like their slogan says.

References:

  • Stampler, L. (2013, August 7). GE Is Hosting A 6-Second Science Fair On Vine [THE BRIEF]. Retrieved February 9, 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com/ge-is-hosting-a-vine-6-second-science-fair-2013-8
  • General Electric Hosts a 6-Second Science Fair on Vine. (2013, August 7). Retrieved February 9, 2015, from http://adage.com/article/creativity-pick-of-the-day/general-electric-hosts-a-6secondscience-fair-vine/243552/
  • Gioglio, J. (2014, January 1). Convince and Convert: Social Media Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy. Retrieved February 9, 2015, from http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-strategy/general-electric-hosts-a-virtual-science-fair-on-tumblr/
  • General Electric’s Successful Vine Campaign. (2013, August 21). Retrieved February 9, 2015, from http://www.figadvertising.com/blog/2013/08/ges-6secondscience-vine-campaign/
  • Connor, E. (2013, August 20). GE Wins With #6SecondScience Fair Vine Campaign. Retrieved February 9, 2015, from http://www.business2community.com/social-media/ge-wins-with-6secondscience-fair-vine-campaign-0591052
  • Lacy, L. (2013, August 13). GE Hosts World’s First Science Fair on Vine. Retrieved February 9, 2015, from http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2288357/ge-hosts-worlds-first-science-fair-on-vine