How General Electric’s #GELights Campaign is Lighting Up Social Video

Twenty-twelve has been the year of social video – thanks, in part, to the rapid adoption of leading video sharing apps, Social Cam and Viddy. With many of today’s conversations taking place in 140 characters and through filtered Instagram images, it seems the world is now ready to take a leap of faith by adding 15 second video to its social media repertoire. Celebrities and brands are feeding the trend.

The widespread adoption of Skype, Apple’s Facetime, YouTube – and recent emergence of Google + Hangouts  – have primed us for video. YouTube – today’s mainstay of video entertainment that boasts 72 hours of video uploaded each minute – has evolved video production well beyond the shaky handy cam. Users have come to expect high quality production value.

But Social Cam and Viddy – along with their smaller cousins – have filled the void for short, digestible video bites. With 56 million and 37 million registered users respectively, the world is starting to join the video conversation in a big way. Both apps offer sleek, user-friendly mechanisms to shoot, edit and share videos instantly, while their Facebook integration is a fast way to grow views and engagement. Viddy has been coined “the Instagram of the video” world by numerous industry watchers and they don’t mind.

As usual, a star-studded backing has helped increase awareness of these tools. Celebs, such as Jessica Alba, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, and Bill Cosby are just some of the stars who have Viddy accounts, with more joining nearly every week. The Guardian reported that Bieber’s shirtless debut on the platform back in May has attracted 239,000 new unique followers to the mega star’s Viddy account.

Meanwhile, Social Cam seems to have claimed its spot as the preferred platform for news outlets. During the 2012 Summer Games, the platform –  which was recently acquired by Autodesk – beat Viddy in the bid to partner with Washington Post for Olympic coverage.

But just how are brands and celebrities using these tools and how can we integrate them into our next digital marketing campaign?  Here are some of our favourite use cases in various categories:

Action Sports

Pro Surfer Reno Makani is entertaining his 14,300 followers with 15 second Go Pro edits, while Red Bull is leading the way for action sports brands with amped up, adrenaline fueled bike edits.  Meanwhile, smartphone case producer, Lifeproof, uses Viddy to showcase the durability of their shockproof, waterproof cases and gives out regular prizing for people who create their own videos and use a specific hashtag.

Red Bull Viddy screen capture


Spoiler alerts aside, the reality TV show, Project Runway, is showing 15 second interview highlights with cast members, which provides behind the scenes content for fans.

Project Runway Viddy channel screen capture

Travel and Tourism

Southwest Air is encroaching on nearly 20,000 followers and has a number of fun and quirky segments, including their “guess the airport” series.  They’ve also given big prizes away, including a trip to New York.

Soutwest Airlines Viddy account screen capture

How do we integrate social video into a campaign?

The old saying “if you build it, they will come” simply isn’t true with emerging platforms. It’s one thing to launch a new channel, but it’s quite another to get the word out. Emerging channels should be pegged as part of an integrated marketing campaign in order to gain momentum. New adopters often need to be educated on how to use the platform and why they should subscribe.

For this example, we show you the latest General Electric campaign.

The social media powerhouse has done an incredible job their latest #GELights campaign, which encourages users to  submit an Instagram photo or Viddy video clip of the city lights from their home town for a chance to win a trip to London and a lighting retrofit.

[row][column size=8 centered=1]General Electric website screen capture from #GElights campaign[/column][/row]

The GE campaign integrates the following elements:

The #GELights campaign closes on August 12, but so far, the entries are flooding in on both channels.  Hopefully, GE will supply some of their results in a case study post-campaign  But, in the meantime, it’s time for us to get cracking on our own social video campaigns.

Do you have a great idea for a great Viddy campaign? Share in the comments below.

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