I had the great fortune to attend the recent FUSE conference held in Chicago for design and branding professionals, and see Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock speak.

spurlock My friend on the left is Kitty Hart from Capsule, who blogged about FUSE in the post entitled “Day 3: A Morning of Design Heroes.” My friend and colleague Steve Baird also blogged about the conference. Morgan Spurlock’s presentation was as amazing, as you would expect. I will merely focus on one of the areas in which he enlightened us.

When the iconic brand GE approached Mr. Spurlock, asking him to promote their brand by showing their “cool” MRIs, he said NO! Instead, he convinced GE to sponsor an important issue, and thereby connect its brand with an emotional topic. What a success!

It was hard to hold back the tears when he showed the GE-funded Focus Forward video clip entitled “Fire With Fire,” which shows a six-year old girl’s battle with terminal cancer. The GE logo was bookended — being shown at both the beginning and the end of the clip.

SPOILER BELOW! I highly recommend watching the clip before reading more of this blog post.

The Reader’s Digest version (for those of you who did not watch the video clip) is that the doctors in Philadelphia tried an innovative new treatment of injecting modified HIV cells into the girl’s blood. This modification kept the cells from infecting her with HIV, and at the same time these cells violently attacked her tumors. Remarkably, a girl with no chance of recovery was CURED!

I do not know about you, but this clip made me want to buy a GE light bulb. This video clip shows the power of emotion (and Morgan Spurlock’s genius). Indeed, this vignette even made me think that GE may have even had a hand in her recovery, through providing products or medical devices.

Marketing genius!