Friday, June 15, 2012

What GE could have done

Yesterday I posted about GE's web series and why I think it won't be effective for the company. I just don't think there's anything relevant, unique or compelling about strapping a refrigerator in the back of a pickup and driving it to Texas to feed a fresh meal to a wildlife biologist. It doesn't solve any problem that exists in the real world.

But I hate it when people criticize without solutions, so here's the web series I would have created.

Right now in this country we have a crisis. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses are on the rise in large part due to our lousy diet. People eat more and more processed food. More and more fast food. The primary cooking appliance is the microwave. Unless we change this course, we will eat ourselves to death.

The promise of GE's new refrigerator is that it keeps food fresher, longer. Well, if nobody eats fresh then this benefit isn't really a benefit. So GE should promote and teach people how to eat fresh again. Help them reconnect to real food. Help them rediscover their cooking skills. Help them learn to shop so they can buy fresh, eat well and live within their budget.

The challenge would be to do this in a way that's fun, not preachy. So sorry, no Jamie Oliver.

Find a chef that people can connect with. I'd recommend Michael Symon. He's a Clevelander, creative, funny, engaging, and different. Have him ambush people in the store who have carts full of junk food, frozen meals, etc. Then challenge them to a home cook-off. Their frozen meals versus his easy to make versions of those meals.

In the end you prove you can cook fresh for the same amount of money as processed without a lot more effort. You demonstrate that it actually tastes better and kids will eat it. And you reinforce GE's position of "keeps food fresher longer." It's also an idea that extends beyond video into advertising, events, promotions, PR and other channels.

To tie product into this, give away a refrigerator filled with fresh food to the participants and add a contest where viewers can enter to win as well.

Is it a great idea? Not yet. It needs more work but this is what you get in 30 minutes.

Is it better than the "Freshpedition?" I'll leave that for you to decide...

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