Ever an innovator, General Electric (GE), one of the world’s largest conglomerates, has made a splash on social media platform Snapchat by releasing a version of the famous moon boots worn by Apollo 11 astronauts in 1969. The just completed campaign celebrated GE’s contributions to the NASA Moon Mission 45 years ago. GE supplied advanced materials used in moon boots and the helmet visors worn by astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins. The company made only 100 pairs of the 2015 boots and priced them at $196.90 (in homage to the year 1969). They were made available through online retailer JackThreads.com and sold out quickly. GE decided to unveil and heavily promote the boots on Snapchat as it made it debut on the platform. Sam Olstein global director-innovation at GE said that the nature of Snapchat, fitting into the world of erasable media – media that goes away after a period of time, lent itself to storytelling and driving engagement and action. The Snapchat campaign featured photos, videos and stories about The Missions moon boots as they were named. They even had Buzz Aldrin take over the Snapchat account for a day and talk about his trip to the moon and back. GE also used other social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter to drive Snapchat activity.
Buzz Aldrin wearing The Missions moon boots
Olstein’s goal is to introduce the venerable GE brand onto new platforms and to new audiences. The company has been shedding its image purely as a maker of industrial products, light bulbs and refrigerators as it embraces the Internet age. “We need to change the way the younger generation identifies with us as a company,” Olstein said. “We’re transforming the company to be more of a software brand. “This is the future of GE: the digitisation of industry. We’re taking all of our incredible complex machinery and mashing it up with software and sensors and evolving into more of a high tech industrial company.” Olstein’s mission also includes – as he describes – using commerce as content. “We see the role of product in a completely different way – around really using commerce as story telling,” he said. Sam Olstein, Director of Global Innovation at GE, spoke at Interactive Minds Digital Summit 2015 in Brisbane.Images – GE and NASA