Posted by the HIT board
Upfronts are about celebrity and entertainment – and rightfully so. Media buyers are roused to make investments based on innovative television programming and big name talent that the networks trot out in a show of what’s to come next season.
Traditionally, upfront season is packed with (predictably) great parties and good business but last night, National Geographic’s Further Front raised the bar and took the typical upfront, well, further than we’ve ever seen before.
Stationed throughout Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room was breathtaking photography of mountains and oceans, of climbers and divers. Morgan Freeman, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Katie Couric, Harvey Weinstein and scores of other celebrities walked the yellow carpet – It was an elegant, beautiful, star-studded event. But it was the evening’s programming – celebrating the explorers, photographers and geniuses that grace the pages and the programs of National Geographic that inspired all attendees in a way no other upfront DGC has ever attended has – or could – before.
Further is all about pushing ourselves. To achieve. To learn. To go outside the borders we place on ourselves – both literally/physically and figuratively/mentally. The day’s programming reflected that – with presentations from Morgan Freeman who explores how our beliefs connect us all in The Story of God, as well as Jane Lynch who will host Earth Live, a two-hour live broadcast that is described as the “Super Bowl” of the natural world. The Further Front wasn’t simply about celebrities and pictures, it was about celebrating those who were pushing themselves to do more, not just for themselves, but for the world. It’s a mantra that is woven throughout the culture and reverence of National Geographic and always has been. Through the National Geographic Society, 27% of all proceeds are used to support any number of good causes, including the fight against climate change and wildlife preservation. It was simply impossible to walk away from last night without wanting to do, see and achieve more.
A key tenant of the Further ethos is that there’s an explorer inside all of us. The message was loud and clear last night – and a rallying cry to brands that are always seeking ways to forge authentic connections with their audiences. Tap into the explorer inside, and go further together.