The venerable National Geographic Partners continues to find creative ways to tell stories about science, exploration, and adventure to help people understand the world and their role in it. In 2018, National Geographic launched its documentary series One Strange Rock. To tell the story of Earth, the company used several new technologies to tell stories from space. And to garner attention for the series, National Geographic developed an Astronaut Reality Helmet to give wearers the perspective of viewing Earth from space using a mixed-reality experience. One Strange Rock also featured the first-ever Instagram live chat from space.
For Free Solo, the documentary that chronicles Alex Honnold's achievement of being the first person ever to climb the face of Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan summit (3,000 feet) without ropes, National Geographic not only filmed this remarkable achievement but showed viewers how it went about doing so. It's this combination of technical achievement mixed with transparency around both the logistical and ethical challenges in doing so that burnishes National Geographic's identity as the singular place to witness such otherworldly feats.
The famous yellow outline has managed to create some of the most innovative and credible brand content work in recent memory. Over the last year alone, it was the distribution partner to air Nike's Breaking2 documentary, and its branded content division has created work with Adidas, The North Face, Travel New Zealand, and a newly announced hour-long special called The Secrets of the Garden, created with P&G's Herbal Essences. In May, the magazine launched a stunning cover featuring an iceberg that looked like a plastic bag with the headline "Planet or Plastic?" It was much more than one magazine story, but rather part of a multi-year initiative to help raise awareness around ocean health and pollution and trying to reduce the volume of single-use plastic that enters the world’s oceans.