GE Elephant Singing In The Rain

GE (General Electric) is receiving positive feedback on its ‘Ecomagination’ campaign, gaining high recognition for television advertisements such as ‘Singing In The Rain’. So what’s the fuss about? It’s a dancing elephant recreating Gene Kelly’s steps from the classic movie, “Singing In The Rain”. A string orchestra soars through the tones of ‘Singing in the Rain’ as rainforest animals enjoy the rain. A green lizard, a parrot, a chimpanzee, a toucan, two flamingoes are joined by a dancing baby elephant splashing through the puddles.

Elephant in GE TV ad


The voiceover says, “Water’s that more pure. Jet engines, trains and power plants that run dramatically cleaner. At GE we’re using what we call ecomagination to create technology that’s right in step with nature. GE. Imagination at work”. The spot finishes with a succession of images from GE, including the iconic light bulb, a wind turbine, a molecule, an x-rayed hand, a power plant, a jet engine, the Ecomagination green leaf, and the GE logo. Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

GE’s web site explains the Ecomagination concept and provides a fresh look at the television advertisements in Windows Media and Real Media formats. Click here for the Ecomagination page for the Eco Ads. The Eco Ads page includes the ‘Making of ‘Singing In the Rain’ in Windows Media.

Credits

The ad was created by advertising agency BBDO New York by chief creative officer David Lubars, executive creative director Don Schneider, senior creative director and art director Tom Shaine, senior creative director/copywriter Tom Darbyshire, executive producer Regina Ebel, agency producer Rachel Seitel, music producer Rani Vaz and account person Elizabeth Daggett.

Filming was shot by director Joe Pytka.

Special effects were developed at QuietMan by executive producer/co founder Amy Taylor, Steve Holiner, animation/effects director/co-founder Johnnie Semerad, CG supervisor/modeler/rigger Kris Rivel, assistanct set supervisor Dave Bernkopf, Inferno effect artists Steve Koenig, Kim Harvey, Karen Huston, Charles Quinn, Chris Coleman, Peter Sidoriak, Lauren Hanson, lead animators Boris Ustaev and Anderson Ko, animation team, Sandor Toledo, Sam Curtriss, Chip Lotierzo, Michael Lasker and Steve Parish.

The spot was edited by Sherri Margulies and Matt Shapiro at Crew Cuts, New York.

Music was arranged by David Horowitz, of DHMA, who hosts the ad as a 1.614 mb quicktime video.

Voiceover was provided by Robby Benson, the voice of Beast in Beauty and the Beast.

In the ‘Making Of’ video clip on the GE site we’re introduced to three BBDO staff. One of the creative directors explains that he’d seen ‘Singing in the Rain’ about 200 times since his childhood. The team made the connection with the joy of the Gene Kelly dance and the impact of GE’s help for the environment by having an animal choreographed to the same steps. At first the team considered using a chimpanzee but they changed their minds when the Careerbuilders campaign came out. They chose instead an animated baby elephant.

Fiona Carter, BBDO’s worldwide account director with GE (until recently), explains that this commercial is about all GE’s technologies under the concept of ecomagination. The ad highlights the impact of ‘low emission’ technology. Executive producer Regina Ebel gives the background to the stage preparation. The stage was set up over two weeks to prepare for waterproofing, lighting and electricity before bringing in the green foliage to emulate a rain forest atmosphere. Denise, an animal trainer, introduces the chimp, parrot and toucan. Vincent Patterson humbly says that the choreographer for ‘Singing In the Rain’ should have the credit for the dance steps. All Vincent did was take those steps for two feet and interpret them for a four footed animal. He explains that artistic license was required to have an animal going through steps that would normally lead to it falling over on its side. Patterson is known for his work as choreographer for Lars Von Trier’s movie, “Dancer in the Dark.” The dancers manipulating the elephant puppet were Matt Rustowicz and Gordon Hart-Ganske.

Johnnie Semerad from Quiet Man gives the background to the special effects work. Two actors/dancers were filmed going through the steps of the elephant. The scene was then shot without the actors. The film was then used to guide the creation of a CGI elephant. Controls and rigging were developed that enabled artists to manipulate the whole body of the elephant, including stomach and ear flaps.

Amy Taylor, executive producer, says the process involved study of live elephants in an African game reserve to get the feel of a real elephant moving around. However the elephant’s eyes are slightly larger and more dilated than in real life. The animators had the challenge of recreating the movement of fat, wrinkles, hair and skin surface texture as they changed during the dance. For more on the special effects techniques see the May 2005 article at Animation World Network (AWN).

GE Elephant on DVD

Stash Media include the GE Singing in the Rain video on their compilation DVD no. 10 (July 2005). It can be purchased for $35 or $41.50 outside North America

  • MV Smith

    Thank you so much for the GE Singing in the Rain ad review and especially the ability to d/l it to forward to friends. It is greatly appreciated.

    Now if you could find the WB Doner Zoo commercial done from Doner’s Southfield Michigan USA offices, either 30 or 60 sec. version I’ll vote for you twice in next year’s Battle of the Blogs contest. Only kidding.

    MV Smith

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    You made my wife’s night with that download link! It might seem silly but thank you SO much.

  • Lauren

    I am so happy to have found the link to the dancing elephant!!! Thank you!! I have already watched it 5 times!!!

  • Robert

    The add is very inventive, informative, and extremely cute. Thank you so much for giving us the link and allowing us to download this wonderful ad and enjoy it whenever we wish.

  • http://SciNews.com Jeff Mason

    I have a real problem with the accuracy of the commercial. I can deal with the dancing elephant, it does ooze cuteness, but elephants do not live in the rainforest.

    BBDO could have picked any number of rainforest animals to animate (as the article stated), but they chose an elephant because so many people, like myself, love elephants, and elephants are often associated with eco/environmental issues.

    But it just irks me to see an elephant out of its habitat, no matter how cute, just for mere marketing. It’s just not accurate. And if GE allowed this inaccuracy by BBDO in this commercial, than how can we trust that GE has accurately represented other issues?

    However, judging from all of the gushing about this commercial, it appears that GE got their money’s worth from BBDO.

  • Darla

    In your “Darkest Hour” you can view this brilliant commercial, and find yourself lit up with unending smiles, happiness and a sense of wanting to dance along with the adorable little elephant.
    I can truly say that this is one of the “Best” commercials I have ever experienced.
    I have told so many people about it and I never get bored with watching it.

    In a world of so much darkness…….let’s try and find a “Bright” side to this commercial!!

  • john Worden

    that ad was a winner…plain and simple.
    who cares if elephants don’t live in rain forests…i have never been there.
    i was a big fan of the scene in the movie…perhaps that is why it appeals so much to me.
    when it comes on my screen, my reaction is a mix of smiles and tears…yes tears. i have the same reaction when i hear Pucini’s La Boheme arias….go figure on that one.
    thanks for lighting up my day…if only for 30 seconds.

  • Kathy Mulligan

    Contrary to Jeff Mason comments (4/28), the fact is that there are elephants ( plural ) living in a rain forest. I suggest he look up the FACT of a heard of elephants that for thousands of years have lived on Mount Elgon, Kenya. They are refered to as the ” Cave Elephants ” because a night they go to underground caves to eat the salt off the walls. Why do they need the salt, because they live in a RAIN FOREST, where the HEAVY rains wash most of the required salt from the vegetation they eat. Imagine that.. elephants in a RAIN FOREST. In addition, does Mr. Mason think that Asian elephants that live in lets say , Thailand, ever get rained on in the jungles over there? I’m surprised Mr. Mason didn’t take note as to whether the elephant in the commerical was an African or Asian elephant! Please don’t attack a good thing, especially without the correct facts. We need all the good things we can get.
    This is the BEST commercial I’ve ever seen. I love it!
    It makes my laugh, and yes as said in another comment, I get a tear in my eye. It’s so uplifting, and we need uplifting. My grateful complements to GE. Great Job!

  • Lee Jacintho

    Rainforest habitant or not I really enjoy the commercial.
    BTW: Can anyone tell me about the flash of text near the end of the commercial? I remember about a week ago the beginning of the commercial said something about a hidden message. Anyone?

  • Mandy Brenske

    Actually, there is a rare subspecies of elephant that lives in the tropical forests of Central Africa. They called forest elephants (no kidding!), but tend to be territorial and a little violent. William Karesh’s book Appointments at the ENds of the World talks about them in one of the chapters. The commercial is very cute though and is good for entertaining my parents. I wish they had a website where you could actually save it to the computer.

  • tuffy

    It’s not just the fact that this elephant is in a rainforest instead of a veldt that bothers me, but the fact they show macaws, a toucan and a flamingo that would all be much more at home in the western hemisphere. Is the baby elephant on the wrong continent?

    If they’re going to dedicate the massive time and energy to constructing a set, choreographing a routine, and animating the elephant, can’t someone be bothered to do 5 minutes of research on the internet to make sure they’re actually including a realistic collection of animals?

  • Carol Barno

    Thank you so much for the elephant singing in the rain commercial. I have collected elephants since I was 6 years old and am now 69, Singing in the Rain was my favorite movie, and Gene Kelly my favorite actor, and that made this commercial as if it was made for me. Thank you again, it makes me smile everytime I see the piece, and when I hear the music, I come running.

  • Janet Schultz

    Hi Friends who made the Elephant dancing in the Rain. This is a joy to watch. It makes me smile and smile.. You have created something very special. How about a film about this little joyful dancing fellow. With many ugly scary children’s movies being may now, as a grandmother, I would sure like to view more of Elli the dancing elephant. I hope you folks get an award for your work for GE. Thanks.

  • Sam Foster

    Thank you so much for making the GE “Dancin’ in the Rain” video available. I’ve spent the past hour trying to create mirror sites and every other means I could think of to get it from GE’s site as a file on my local drive, all to no avail. Then I found your site. Thanks again, you’ve made my day!

  • Kris Rivel

    I’m glad everyone enjoys this spot so much….it was a lot of fun. At http://www.krisrivel.com you will find the GE commercial in its entirety as well as some footage in my “reel” of the elephants rigging.

  • http://google.com jack

    Nice site actually. Gone to my favourites. Thanks for creation.

  • http://www.blue-ion.net Jeff

    If you pause and watch the end of the commercial (and other GE Ecomagination commercials), you will find what GE calls “One Second Theater”. In this one, they give a short fictional biography of each of the characters (animals) in the commercial.

    GE marketing should get an A+ because I rarely pay much attention to commercials much less visit web sites they are advertising. The flash of stuff at the end made me think ‘subliminal message’, so out of curiosity, I rewinded it on my DVR and played it frame by frame. That’s how I discovered it.

  • Margo Lange

    I think that this is the most wonderful and creative commercial I have ever see. It alway makes me feel good when I see it. This commercial makes you want to pick up the little elephant and kiss him on the head. It make you trust in GE. Keep up the wonderful work.

  • Larry Peters

    In regard to Kathy Mulligan’s comments, ”
    the best commerical I’ve ever seen”. Do you think that is a bit of an overstatement. And I’ve seen rats living in a car in the junk yard, but that’s not the average rat habitat. So maybe elephants do live in a rain forest somewhere, and maybe that is what GE was depicting, but it ain’t normal. And for my money, I would have liked to have seen penguins dancing in the rain forest. Now THAT would be the best commerical I’ve ever seen.

  • Debbie

    Am i just being crazy or is the link to download this ad not anywhere on the page?! i reeaaally need to download it for an art project and can’t see the link, can someone please tell me the link?!
    thanks!

  • Debbie

    wait my bad see it now, ok so change of question, anyone know if u can downlaod this for free?! (being a poor student and all)

  • Ron Maris

    would like to obtain of copy of com. Please advise. Thank You Ron Maris

  • Peter Ginn

    How do I go about getting a copy of GE’s elelphnat dancing to “singing in the rain” suitable for playing on a HDTV ?

  • http://theinspirationroom.com/daily Duncan

    Buy it from Stash TV

  • phlorum

    Japanese Knotweed There are various different methods of Japanese knotweed removal. Using a Japanese knotweed rhizome barrier may be one of the methods to prevent the local spread of the plant. This will prevent the spreading across a land boundary as the barrier is buried along the required margin. The barrier is comprised of a thick sheet of plastic that cannot be penetrated by underground growth of the knotweed.

  • miria

    Love the baby elephant dancing thru the jungle, factory, etc. Everytime I see it, it makes me smile. If I turn on the TV, and it has already started, I record it backward, and then forward to see the whole commercial.

  • miria

    I was going along with everyone else that the song was “Singing in the Rain”, but unless there are 2 lovable, baby elephant commercials, my husband says the song is a jazz song “Sing, Sing, Sing.

    • Anne

      There are two. Can’t find the newest one online… (with “Sing, Sing, Sing” ~ Chips Ahoy cookies used that one, too ~ :o)

  • Kristen

    Thank you for your elephant commercials. They, like the environment, are simply precious. They bring a smile and a tear or two. So dear.

  • Jay

    I don’t think any of you realize Thomas Edison, one of the founders of GE, electrocuted an elephant to topple Nikola Tesla.

    I think these commercials are in poor taste and reflect the ignorance of their audience not to notice.

    R.I.P. Topsy.

  • louise petti

    the babby elephant dancing through the jungle to the song sing, sing, sing is the best commercial i’ve seen in a long time. some commercials are idiotic, have stupid comments, and lack any kind of sense. GE has a winner with this one.