Celebrating the launch of the second season of Mars, its hybrid series mixing documentary and scripted material to explore what living on the planet would be like, National Geographic last Thursday took over a posh townhouse in Soho. Red light, intended to reflect the planet’s iron-rich surface, cast a forgiving glow over all. Guests could slip into virtual reality headgear affording 360-degree views of the sprawling set in Budapest. They could also sip Martian Sunrises, a cocktail of blue Curaçao and juices (sunsets on Mars are blue), while standing around an Olympic-length pool featuring red foam letters spelling out M-A-R-S (pictured above). There, former NASA astronauts Leland Melvin and Dr. Mae Jemison, featured in the series, chatted with Nat Geo executives and the press.
National Geographic has kept pace as the country’s demographics rapidly shift and the cultural definition of immigrants, identity and families continues to evolve, having recently launched a year-long series dedicated to exploring “Diversity in America.” With national conversations on race, immigration and diversity front and center, Susan Goldberg (pictured below), Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Director, National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Partners (pictured below), spoke with MediaVillage about why it was time to take stock of these issues and how that might be done.
National Geographic has long enjoyed a cachet few brands could match. For 130 years, the magazine has connected readers to a world of exotic lands by fostering a sense of community and exploration. That connection sparks a sense of stewardship for the planet, which translates seamlessly from print to TV to social media. Most importantly the brand is infused with a sense of purpose, which translates to its strategic and media partners. In the 18 months since Brendan Ripp joined National Geographic Partners as Executive Vice President, Sales and Corporate Partnerships, overseeing brand revenue across all platforms including linear TV, OTT, social, digital, mobile and print, growth has been explosive: digital revenue has tripled.