GE’s New Ecomagination “Clouds” Commercial Rocks


“Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

— Andy Warhol

I just saw the above commercial on CNBC about 5 minutes ago. It’s a beautiful commercial and the ethereal voice of the cover artist (I believe it’s Juju Stulback, based on Yahoo Answers) is simply stunning.

I think it’s fantastic when commerce and advertising converge with art. Whether it’s Target’s commercials pulling new versions of the Beatles’ Hello Goodbye with a sort of pop art sensibility, or Apple’s iPhone advertisements, or Joshua Radin singing “Only You” for JC Penny, or the type of commercial above, I think that these types of advertisements are 1000% more effective. They make you excited to see the commercial again and it’s nice to see money manipulating our culture into a more beautiful place.

This is the one thing that I miss with my Media Center PC. I never see commercials anymore. Net net I think I come out ahead on this as the commercial above probably represents less than 1% of TV advertisement. But it makes you wonder if in the TV of tomorrow we might increasingly see more and more interesting commercial art.

As consumers become more and more aware of and conversant with the tools to strip bad advertising out of their television experience, the best way for advertisers to survive is to quit being so lazy and instead offer us compelling visually stimulating experiences tied to their brands. An added benefit to crafting interesting commercials is that oftentimes you get an added viral boost of your commercial beyond the TV experience through blogs, YouTube, the internet, etc.

A movement towards more interesting advertisements could also represent a boom for music publishers as well as oftentimes the most familiar songs of our culture become the most interesting when repackaged. I, for one, enjoy Cat Power’s version of Cat Steven’s “How Can I Tell You” used in a diamond commercial much more than Cat Steven’s original.

Hopefully, someday soon, the days of seeing the latest crappy Ford/Mercury car advertisement of some boring car zooming around curves with 0% financing splattered across the screen or XYZ pharmaceutical company warning you that their latest anti hay fever drug might induce vomiting as a side effect will be behind us and TV ad land will turn into the more beautiful side of what selling to the American Dream can be about.

My photography set “So This is America” depicting US advertising, commerce and pop art here.

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  1. John Griffin says:

    i couldn’t agree with you more about the ford commercials being so boring. this was truly a great ad. props to the creator.

    i wonder how good GE really is to the environment? these branding and pr companies are so focused on making their multi-national firms look eco-friendly. hopefully they really are for all our sakes.

  2. I agree completely, Thomas. There are so many advertising companies and so much money being spent today – why are so few ads truly artful?

    Just as you said, it’s unimaginitive laziness on the part of the ad agencies and the marketing directors of the companies.

    And while we’re complaining about automotive ads, how many more concrete blocks do we really need to see dropped in the back of pickup trucks, or pickups almost driven over cliffs?

    Thanks for highlighting this cool commercial.

  3. Tom Hebert says:

    …on the other hand, since it was initially posted on Youtube apparently the lawyers have gotten involved and had it taken down.

    Corporate America doesn’t get the web even 15 years on now. “Um, what? someone’s posted our commercial without our approval? They can’t do that…”

    Sigh… it might have been a great spot, but I’ll likely never see it because I, like a growing number of others, don’t own a TV –

  4. Quikboy says:

    Both links are dead.

    Though thanks for sharing the song.