GE Revives Show Dormant Since 1962: What GE’s New Venture Reveals About the Future of Marketing

Part 1 of 6

By Dominick Sirianni, VP of Interactive Education, Internet Marketing Association

General Electric Theater is back.

The show, hosted by then-actor Ronald Reagan, has been off the air for over 50 years. This time, it’s not television that GE is pushing mainstream…it’s podcasting.

General Electric Podcast Theater’s first show, reminiscent of The War of the Worlds, is called The Message. Since launching in October, The Message shot to the top of iTunes and is approaching Serial-like notoriety. As its sponsor, GE doesn’t play a single commercial yet they bring visibility to a technology important to their growth.

The Message chronicles an elite cryptography think tank trying to decode a highly classified radio transmission – a message from aliens. Knowing that most customers skip over commercials whenever possible, GE builds the whole show around the future of audio technology, a space in which they are on the cutting edge with products like 4D ultrasound and echocardiology. Getting people excited about sound technologies via an audio podcast in which sound plays a major plot role…a pretty comprehensive strategy.

It is fascinating and exciting that marketers as large as GE are starting to recognize the value of podcasts in content marketing. The response rate on traditional radio marketing is about 4% while more than 63% of podcast listeners report taking action based on a sponsor of their favorite shows.

The transition away from in-your-face ads has been accelerating. Stalwarts like General Electric and hot tech startups like Kiip are laser focused on how marketing needs to evolve to make products stand out without making viewers tune out.

With podcasting popularity on the rise it’s no surprise large companies are starting to use the medium for marketing. More to come on how smaller companies can leverage podcasting to attract attention and drive content marketing efforts.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

Sources: Nielsen, Midroll, The Atlantic

Leave A Reply