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Your Shot: National Geographic Channel

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BBDO New York, Caviar’s Reynald Gresset & brand’s CMO on new campaign

Your Shot: National Geographic Channel

National Geographic Channel has launched its first brand campaign for four years, and most definitely ensured that it was worth the wait. Addison Capper spoke with BBDO New York creative partners, Rick Williams and Mercel Yunes, National Geographic Channel Chief Marketing Officer, Courteney Monroe, and Caviar director, Reynald Gresset, about the new immersive spots. 

 

 

Rick Williams & Marcel Yunes, creative partners, BBDO New York
 

LBB> What was the brief from the client and what were your immediate thoughts when you saw it?
 

RW&MY> National Geographic Channel wanted to focus on their various television series and how we, as viewers, get so pulled into unexpected places – both geographically and emotionally.
 

LBB> What were the shoots like as a whole and where did they take place?
 

RW&MY> We shot in Croatia, a location as exciting as the places National Geographic is known for.  That said, it was a very challenging shoot. Weather especially, in the Alaska part, made for beautiful film but also made it very difficult for the crews and actors to perform.
 

LBB> Why was director Reynald Gresset the right person for the job and what did he bring to the final productions?
 

RW&MY> We knew Reynald was right for this project after talking to him on the very first phone call. He got the concept from the start and gave us a very clear, visual way to tell this story.
 

LBB> How long did it take to fully develop the concept and what were the key challenges you faced?
 

RW&MY> The campaign was about six months in development.  There were four spots of varying lengths to be filmed.  As mentioned above, this made for a rigorous shoot:  four days in a region where we could access water, mountains and cold war bunkers within short car rides from one another.  But it also led to a few unforeseen cultural issues, like getting a wardrobe and other props that look American and appropriate to the shows.

 


Courteney Monroe, CMO, National Geographic Channel
 

LBB> This is National Geographic's first brand campaign for four years - why was it right to launch something of this scale now?
 

CM> With the incredible momentum the channel is currently experiencing, it is a perfect time to take advantage of the marketplace excitement in this channel to re-energize our fans and introduce this network to new viewers
 

LBB> Strategically, what do you feel this campaign will achieve for National Geographic Channel?

 
CM> Working with our partners at BBDO New York, we set out to create brand definitional spots which truly capture the awe and excitement viewers experience when they watch a show on our network. With these spots, as with our programming, you don’t just find yourself somewhere new, you find yourself totally, emotionally engaged in the stories. This emotion is triggered by the drama, tension, strangeness, struggle, triumph and fascinating characters inherent in our programming – programming that is authentic and that expands your understanding, challenges your perceptions and rekindles your awe of the world.

 


Director Reynald Gresset


LBB> What was the brief from the agency and what were your immediate thoughts when you saw it?


RG> My producer, Michael Sagol, and I were immediately attracted to this project. I really liked the sharpness of the scripts, the creation based on offbeat characters and these ‘intruders’ in staggered sets. And, of course, I love National Geographic and I was thrilled to shoot something for them.


LBB> What appealed to you about it?


RG> The offbeat idea and the poetry of the subject really appealed to me. The originality of the campaign comes from the idea of integrating these extreme sequences into the banality of the everyday life of the viewer. I loved mismatch between the heroes and their audience, as well as between life and death situations and situations of everyday life – all told with a smile. 

 


LBB> What was the pre-production process like?


RG> The main problem was to find a country where it would be possible to find snowy mountainous landscapes in the spring, as well as access to the sea. The perfect choice was Croatia. Croatia also worked perfectly for the casting needs. We wanted to create realistic, simple situations that would keep the spots rooted in reality for the viewer.


I’d also like to note that transporting an aircraft to the snowy mountains is no easy task. 


LBB> What were the shoots like? What were the biggest challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?


RG> I absolutely wanted to shoot in the actual atmospheric conditions. For example, we shot in the snow and negative temperatures for the wintery mountain scenes – this was very hard on the actors and extras. I’d like to thank them for their courage because they were outside in tee shirts and had to pretend to be comfortably installed at home – that wasn’t as simple as a traditional performance on their part. 


For the ‘Tuna’ film, we had requested that a group of people cling to the boat, so they all really had to use their sea legs. Shooting at sea and in the mountains was a bit complicated from a logistical point of view but it was definitely worth it. For all of us, this shoot was a very beautiful human and technical experience. We also had an excellent and collaborative relationship with the agency, so that helped to make the shoot go very well.

 

Credits


Agency: BBDO New York
Client: National Geographic Channel
Title: “Anthem,” “Alaska,” “Tuna,” & “Preppers”

 
Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars
Executive Creative Director: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Mike Smith
ACD/Art Director: Marcel Yunes
ACD/Writer: Rick Williams
Executive Producer: Angelo Ferrugia
Executive Music Producer: Melissa Chester
 

Senior Account Director: Tara DeVeaux
Account Director: Leland Candler
Account Executive: Gisell Galan
Business Affairs: Paul Cisco
 

Production Company: Caviar Content
Director: Reynald Gresset
Executive Producer: Jasper Thomlinson
Executive Producer: Michael Sagol
Producer: Louis Saint Calbre
Director of Photography: Glynn Speeckaert
 
 
Editorial Company: Final Cut NY
EP: Stephanie Apt
Producer: Viet-An Nguyen
Editor: Stephen Berger
Assistant Editor: Geoff Hasting
Online Editor: Cecil Hooker
Online Producer: Alek Rost
 

Visual Effects: Eight VFX
Executive Producer: Shira Boardman
Creative Director: Baptiste Andrieux
 
Roto: Absolute NY
 
Color: Company 3
Colorist: Tom Poole
 
Sound Design/Mix: The Royal T. Room
Sound Designer/Engineer: T. Teressa Tate
 
Music: Stimmung
Music: Pulse Music

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BBDO New York, Wed, 15 May 2013 14:46:09 GMT