National Geographic came this year, the original intention is touting the success of its global rebranding in the fall of 2016 and nothing—not even the looming Disney-the Fox and could see it move to a new company next year—will bring down the focus.
Therefore, the network stuck to the game plan during the pre-event Wednesday night called “beyond the front”, held in a five-story townhouse in SOHO, which was in NAT geo building.
“Eighteen months ago we started this new strategy to promote our programs and make sure that we are the leading place in the world for premium Content on science and adventure and exploration. And this transformation has,” Courtney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic global networks, told Adweek. “Our initial slate confirms our commitment to this big, bold and creatively ambitious, premium Content, as well as our desire to use the power of stories to change the world and to expand the topics that matter.”
In this upfront, Monroe is hoping for more brand partnerships in line Breaking2, documentary National geographic society released last year with Nike. The special, which was broadcast ad-free in September, and then the three best long-distance runners, as they spent a year perfecting his training with scientists from the Nike Sports research lab to become the first man to complete a marathon in under two hours.
“This is a great example of a brand that has never advertised with us before,” Monroe said Nicky. “We can have a very unique negotiations with advertisers about the use of the National geographic portfolio to enhance the story their brand”. Between global networks, and digital and social footprints and the national geographic magazine, “what can we use to strengthen our own history and the history of our brand is unmatched in the market.”
National Geographic is rolling out in the open with a few return of the franchise, including season 2 on Mars, season 3 of the Story of God with Morgan Freeman, another season at the best prices (with Neil degrasse Tyson), the new season of Cosmos (“Space”: possible worlds and degrasse Tyson hosting and airing next spring) and the third season of genius (Picasso-centric season 2 aired).
Monroe said that the history of the God, Mars and the genius of the three most popular National geographic series in the history of the network.
In addition to these franchises, National Geographic has announced a few new shows and events in the framework of its upfront slate:
- Valley Boom is a six-episode limited series about the ’technological boom of the 90s and bust of silicon Valley. Monroe said it will be the scenario/scenario hybrid series like Mars; about 75% of it to be formed, and the other 25% will use documentary footage and interviews with real players. The series will focus on making the Internet browser Netscape theglobe.com (social network, the predecessor of Facebook) and Pixelon, who stood at the origins of video compression technology. “The tone is very similar to large, where we break the fourth wall and have lots of fun with the material,” said Monroe.
- The script of the series “hot spot”, from Executive producer Ridley Scott, based on the bestseller by Richard Preston about the Ebola virus and efforts to prevent its spread in the human population.
- Six-part documentary series looks hostile planet in the most extreme conditions in the world and shows how various species survive and thrive in them. “It’s beautiful, epic, natural history, but told with a very specific lens that is changing and quite unfriendly planet, and how it affects species and their ability to thrive,” said Monroe.
- Free documentary chronicle of the world free Solo climber, Alex Honnold, who scales the massive peaks without a rope (or “free solo”. In June last year, he was the first person to free solo climb the cliffs of Yosemite, El Capitan. “You know how it ends, and yet, there are parts where you really can’t watch. It’s visually spectacular and an incredible record of unprecedented human achievement,” said Monroe. The documentary will receive a festivals and a limited theatrical release before the world premiere on the national Geographic channel.
- After last year’s live Earth, Yellowstone will live four days demonstrating the wild nature of Yellowstone National Park.
- Special Apollo will retell the story of the space program “Apollo”, taking the 50-th anniversary of the mission Apollo 11.
“This is a continuation of the strategy, which really works well for us and we are very excited about what we have,” said Monroe. While National Geographic’s sticking to his strategy TV rebranding in 2016, on Monday, the company announced that its 130-year-old magazine will be getting an overhaul.
When it comes to the looming Disney-the Fox merger, Monroe repeated what she previously told Adweek: she, like other networks involved in disney’s up to $52.4 billion acquisition of 21st century Fox (including ABC Fox and FX) and not to change its initial strategy, given that the transaction may take another year to close.
“This is such an exciting and invigorating time for national geographic,” said she. “We have no shortage of work to do as we head into the attack. So it’s business as usual. I think our brand is very fit snugly with Disney, if that’s what ends up happening. But now we are very focused and does not allow us to escape.”
“In advance this year will work exactly as it is,” Joe Marchese, President of the advertising revenue for Fox networks group, which includes national geographic, reported by Adweek in February. “We must act thus, for practical reasons, as a business, but also because with these companies, who knows what will happen in the future?”