12 PM | 11 Sep

Beeping Boy Talks to Machines and Will Steal Your Heart in Charming GE Ad

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We’ve seen plenty of ads that use kids to illustrate the power—and limits—of technology. But rarely does it translate in a way that doesn’t seem hokey or freakishly dystopian.

GE and BBDO are on a roll lately, making some of advertising’s more conceptually profound spots. But their latest collaboration is one of the year’s most poignant. In “The Boy Who Beeps,” we follow the life of a child who has an unusual birth defect—instead of normal human speech, he emits a robot-like language and communicates more effectively with machines than people. GE argues that this is perhaps more of an advantage than a handicap, as emphasized by the on-screen line at the end.

Perhaps advertising’s sequel to “Her,” the spot subtly creates a reality that could go down a subversive path. Instead it weaves today’s languages, human and machine, into a charming scenario to which many in our industrial society can relate, despite the bizarre premise.

You have to wonder why Mom was fooling around with the modem, though.

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