Men only: GE to launch ‘more manly’ appliances?

GE Appliances, which is owned by China’s Haier group, has applied for a trademark to sell appliances under the brand name GE Big Boy.

The unexpected move came within hours of a comedy sketch by US TV show Saturday Night Live, in which Hollywood star Jason Momoa is a stay-at-home dad tackling the chores with a fictional new line of heavy-duty tools from GE Big Boy Home Appliances.

The clip, which has had more than 1.3 million YouTube views since it was published last weekend, sees Momoa stack a dishwasher with a 70lb steel door, saying, “I’d like to see a woman do that” and get the washing done with a six-feet tall washing machine.

GE has taken the unanticipated publicity in its stride, suggesting that the company’s next product line could indeed be a line of “manly” products designed to make household work more exciting for men.

The company said it believed in creating “good things for life” and that good ideas can come from anywhere, including a comedy sketch.

“Does it sting that the comedy team at SNL gave our engineers a run for their money? A little,” said GE Appliances chief commercial officer Rick Hasselbeck. “But at the end of the day, if we can make chores more exciting for men and enable them to do their share, well, that’s still a win.”

The SNL GE Big Boy Collection also included a Big Boy Ride-On vacuum cleaner. But the Kentucky-based firm remained tight-lipped about the actual GE Appliances Big Boy Collection could, saying but confirmed that “it will be big, and manly”.

“No agency fees, no 10-hour meetings and no focus groups behind glass, all we had to do was turn on our TV,” said Hasselbeck. “Thank you to SNL for making our jobs infinitely easier. When we see a good idea, we jump on it and this one hits quite a niche.”

The household appliances firm said that the Big Boy brand skit created a “social storm with men everywhere claiming they’d do their part if only they had the right tools” and went on to quote some of the feedback they’d had from Twitter.

“This level of enthusiasm in the market must be met,” said Hasselbeck. “We thought our Black Matte finish was a game-changer but this… well, there are no words.”

GE responded to the SNL sketch with its own video, humourously showing its employees and engineers preparing to launch the Big Boy collection, which it says are “100% more manly”.

Watch the SNL clip here, and the GE response here.

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