February 11 is Thomas Edison’s birthday and is celebrated as Inventors’ Day. Every year, General Electric (@GeneralElectric) uses the holiday as an opportunity to spotlight its own culture of invention and innovation. On Monday, the brand turned to Twitter to spark conversations and imaginations with the #IWantToInvent campaign.
For a week leading up to Inventors’ Day, @GeneralElectric teased the #IWantToInvent campaign with a countdown on Twitter. To build curiosity, the brand shared rich media including images and engaging Vine videos.
4 days. #IWantToInvent twitter.com/generalelectri…— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 7, 2013
Inventions are built one piece at a time. #IWantToInvent vine.co/v/bn9PXmAFej6— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 8, 2013
@GeneralElectric also highlighted Thomas Edison alongside the company’s own noteworthy innovators.
Imagination. Invention. Innovation. #IWantToInvent vine.co/v/bnj0a72rbqD— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 7, 2013
Katharine Blodgett: 1st female scientist to join our research lab & inventor of non-reflecting glass found in came twitpic.com/c1p4s8— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 7, 2013
Our very own Manoj Shah has 44 US patents. #IWantToInvent: twitpic.com/c1yqvy— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 8, 2013
On Inventors’ Day, @GeneralElectric invited Twitter users to tweet their invention ideas using the #IWantToInvent hashtag. The brand had a team of designers standing by to create blueprint sketches of the tweeted inventions in real time.
What is something that you want to invent?Tweet your ideas using #IWantToInvent.Happy Inventors’ Day!— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 11, 2013
@GeneralElectric then sent @replies to Twitter users with illustrations of their #IWantToInvent ideas. The brand produced over 70 of these highly-customized images in just under 7 hours. Some of the more popular designs included solar powered wings, a doorbell ID and an invisible suit.
.@jahrad_ Our designers prototyped solar powered wings for you! Fly on, Jared. #IWantToInvent twitpic.com/c2ukhp— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 11, 2013
A few brands even jumped into the #IWantToInvent conversation. @GeneralElectric spotted tweets from Trident, Tropicana and Ritz and whipped up Inventors’ Day designs for them.
.@ritzcrackers Feeling hungry? Our designers prototyped your “mood-based topping spreader.” #IWantToInventtwitpic.com/c2v32x— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 11, 2013
To amplify their messages to a wider audience, @GeneralElectric used Promoted Tweets in timelines and in search. The Promoted Tweets were targeted to Twitter users interested in science and technology.
Our designers are standing by to prototype YOUR inventions! Tweet ideas w/ #IWantToInvent & see them come to life. twitpic.com/c2vdy9— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 11, 2013
#IWantToInvent increased brand conversations over 4x the daily average and @GeneralElectric saw strong engagement with Tweets throughout the campaign. With a surprise and delight campaign on Twitter, @GeneralElectric was able to own the conversation around a key moment in its marketing calendar. The brand created a one-to-one, real-time experience that got people tweeting and, even better, engaging.
#IWantToInvent took a month to plan and a team of 12 in its Inventors’ Day command center to execute. The campaign shows that real-time marketing isn’t just about being prepared with quick-thinking creative teams ready to respond to unplanned events (like the Super Bowl blackout). It also takes careful planning and integration well in advance of known opportunities that are brand relevant.
As Edison might have said, marketing in real time on Twitter is all about the perspiration and planning that it takes to make a creative execution look effortlessly inspired.
They say genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. What inventions have inspired you? #IWantToInvent— General Electric ( @generalelectric) February 8, 2013