Short List
Product / ServiceTECHNOLOGY
CategoryC01. Use of Digital Platforms


Name Company Position
Ben Coulson Clemenger BBDO Sydney Chief Creative Officer
Paul Nagy Clemenger BBDO Sydney Executive Creative Director
Brendan Forster Clemenger BBDO Sydney Head of Creative Technology
Chris Pearce Clemenger BBDO Sydney Head of Copy
Dave Lidster Clemenger BBDO Sydney Senior Art Director
Daniel Mortensen Clemenger BBDO Sydney Head of Craft
Claire Bisset Clemenger BBDO Sydney Agency producer
Ivan so Clemenger BBDO Sydney Digital Designer
Sebastian Perez de Arce Clemenger BBDO Sydney Digital Designer
Ben Smith Clemenger BBDO Sydney Creative Director
Luke Hawkins Clemenger BBDO Sydney Creative Director
Emily Perrett Clemenger BBDO Sydney Managing Director
Tom McManus Clemenger BBDO Sydney Account Manager
Samantha Rogers Clemenger BBDO Sydney PR and Social Media Manager
Gemma Aldrich Clemenger BBDO Sydney Digital Producer
Emma Rugge-Price GE Vice-President of Communications AUS & NZ
Gabby Hunt GE Marketing Communications Manager

The Campaign

GEeks go for #cc9900 is a global tech challenge that put the best coders from 138 countries around the world to the test. As part of GE’s sponsorship of the Rio Olympics, we used the world’s largest event to talk to one of the world’s smallest audiences – software engineers. GE machines working in Rio initiated conversations on twitter in binary code - a language that coders just couldn't ignore. Hidden in the machines’ tweets was the first of 3 challenges that quickly went from hard, to mind-numbingly impossible.

Creative Execution

GEeks go for #cc9900 is a 3-part tech challenge that quickly escalated in difficulty from relatively hard, to mind-bogglingly impossible. The first challenge, was to turn binary from GE_LED1’s twitter feed into ASCII art. The second, was to write code to find binary hidden in a gigapixel image (or you could spend days searching for it). The final challenge bordered on impossible. An image of what appeared to be a GE logo was tweeted and participants were given no more guidance than this. The trick was to recognize the wavy lines in the image as sound, then write code to reconstruct sound from the image to reveal a secret URL. Zoltan Szabo was the first to finish this brainathon in 15 days, winning $10,000 in prize money.


The campaign not only got some of the world’s best software engineers and data scientists to participate, it also attracted a significant amount of PR, and traffic across key markets. GEeks go for #cc9900 got the global media talking about GE as a tech company with over 19,000,000 media impressions globally. It also got the world’s top tech talent participating in the campaign with over 109,000 unique website visits (a massive number for a niche audience) from over 138 countries. Best of all, there was a 27% increase in the recruitment of coders.

Geeks go for #cc9900 (that's hexadecimal code for gold by the way) is a global recruitment campaign that spoke directly to one of the world's hardest-to-reach audiences – software engineers. Not only did we speak to coders from 138 counties with a small budget, we engaged them in a near-impossible tech challenge. This earnt GE much needed credibility in the world of software engineers, which led to a significant increase in the number of coders applying for jobs at GE.

Software engineers are a unique audience. We knew that we couldn’t talk to them through standard communication channels. Any attempt to assert our software smarts through advertising would be both wasteful and met with a combination of scepticism and incredulity, or even worse, indifference. To get the attention of software engineers and earn GE some credibility in their world, we spoke to them in the language that only they would understand – binary code. We decided to use Twitter and one of our biggest global sponsorships (the 2016 Olympic Games) to launch a global coding challenge to this very niche audience. We set a series of three increasingly difficult technical challenges and drew software engineers to the challenge with binary tweets along with irresistible banners and posters in binary code.


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