“Capture the viewer, or they are off”

GE Vernova recently released a three-part documentary miniseries and understands the power of quality content

Energy company GE Vernova has produced a mini-series called Powering Tomorrow which focuses on energy transition. It shares the stories of nine people working to bring these technologies to life, and examines the role more sustainable, affordable and reliable electricity plays in our lives.

Campaign Middle East spoke exclusively to project leader Adam Tucker, Director of Communications at GE Vernova, and Navdip Dhariwal, a former BBC foreign correspondent, and the co-founder of Miran Media, a creative and film agency that helped produce the films.

Adam Tucker: The goal of the first series of Powering Tomorrow was to capture and inspire audiences with a visually compelling documentary. We needed to tell three compelling stories to highlight these areas using film as the storytelling medium—to capture hearts and minds. Together with our agency storytelling partner, Miran, our Powering Tomorrow campaign was born as three, ten-minute feature documentary films, a campaign website, extensive promotional materials, and a full communications campaign including blog posts and a social media campaign.

Navdip Dhariwal: We took a journalistic approach to filmmaking, traveling light, shooting quickly, and aiming to tell complex stories like the energy transition through people instead of only facts and figures. When people are engaged and interested in the story you’re telling, they can rapidly understand even some of the most complex and technical aspects of macrotrends including the energy transition.

Adam Tucker: GE Vernova’s in-house communications teams are very experienced with video production and development, but this was at a new scale and level for us as our first brand-level video campaign ahead of our spin-off from GE sometime in early 2024 and as our first true brand documentary film series. GE has a long history of producing impactful award-winning video and brand campaigns, and while we wanted to honour that legacy, we also wanted to do something different for GE Vernova’s first video series.

Adam Tucker, Director of Communications at GE Vernova

Our project team knew from the beginning that we wanted to tell three stories and that these stories needed the appropriate time to do justice to their relevance in the energy transition and the people working on making it happen. Powering Tomorrow was designed as an educational and inspirational introduction to crucial concepts for all audiences.

While GE Vernova is present across all films, Powering Tomorrow was filmed in a way where the partnership ecosystem required to achieve an efficient and effective energy transition composed of energy utilities, suppliers, policymakers, our employees, and even external third parties, were at the centre of every conversation. GE Vernova was an “honest broker” for these diverse stakeholders to come together.​

In the films, we are a convener of the conversation around these technologies and the energy transition rather than the sole protagonist, and the format of a documentary lends itself well to creating a conversation versus directly teaching or education more head-on.

Are films more impactful when it comes to climate issues like energy transition?

Adam Tucker: Absolutely, in the first month of Powering Tomorrow’s launch, GE Vernova secured more than 140,000 views of the films across our channels—far exceeding our expectations. Our promotional materials and advertising campaigns also exceeded more than 1.2 million touchpoints with audiences as part of the launch, and social media followings for the executives who shared our films on LinkedIn rose meaningfully.

Navdip Dhariwal, co-founder of Miran Media

The success points both to the quality of the content and effective communications materials created to share and amplify the films to new viewers. Films can be a very successful vehicle for telling a compelling and strategic brand story, but only when wrapped by strategic, focused communications amplification content and campaigns do these assets truly shine.

Navdip Dhariwal: We believe film is one of the most impactful mediums we have today to tell the energy transition story, and it’s a medium that the modern consumer is very familiar with. This familiarity cuts both ways: with video accessible everywhere and all the time with the rise of democratized streaming and omnipresent video content, the average viewer’s expectations for video content they consume is truly a zero-sum game for brand communicators and creators. You must capture a viewer with the story, the characters, the visuals—and quickly—or they’re off to the next piece of content.

The films can be viewed on GE Vernova’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/@gevernova