Would you rather have another shrimp at an upfront cocktail party or dangle from a zip line 50 feet off the ground? National Geographic Channel thinks it knows the answer and invited a group of media buyers and clients for a long weekend at Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., last month.
NatGeo, under new commanders David Lyle and Howard Owens, is looking for fresh approaches to the way it does things, including how it goes to market, says Rich Goldfarb, senior VP for ad sales. “We wanted to fi nd something that folks had never done before and might never do again,” he says. Conveniently, Huntsville is also where the network’s Rocket City Rednecks cast hails from, so they were able to join the get-together, along with Owens and Lyle.
Zach Isaacs, an associate activation director at Starcom, says that space-training adventures and talking with executives and talent gave him insights about the channel at a time when the agency is looking to expand the number of networks it buys for some of its clients. “It’s very different from getting a pamphlet or email blast,” he says.
While NatGeo is planning its next event, it will also continue to present programming and research to all the agencies. “There’s no substitute for that,” Goldfarb says.
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