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GE gets lost in 'The Matrix' with new ad for connected hospitals starring Agent Smith

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GE ad Agent Smith from The Matrix
GE ad Agent Smith from The Matrix

GE wants you to feel better about going to the hospital now that it's helping "connect" medical machinery and software using...Agent Smith from The Matrix? That's the impression of a new commercial for well, no specific GE product per se, but a larger trend the company and others have taken to calling the "industrial internet," which basically involves adding internet connectivity and applying big data analytics to all sorts of industrial machinery and infrastructure, which have traditionally been self-contained and siloed-off.

The new spot, which has the blessing of Matrix creators the Wachowskis and studio Warner Brothers, and which features actor Hugo Weaving reviving his iconic role as the villain from the 14-year-old cyberpunk franchise, will make its network debut on April 13 during Saturday Night Live. It's not the first time GE has turned to old sci-fi staples to promote its enterprise offerings — the company previously reached even further back in time to use KITT, the self-driving, wisecracking car from Knight Rider, and a plethora of other robots for an ongoing ad campaign it calls "Brilliant Machines." But this may be the first time the company has used a well-known, mouth-dissolving villain in order to stress why you should trust it with your healthcare. Or maybe it's been a while since GE executives plugged in to the desert of the real.