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‘Further’ embraces spirit and ethos of National Geographic, says Swati Mohan

The re-branded channel will have premium programming with Hollywood style story-telling mixed with world class documentary sequences and high end graphics

Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | November 16, 2016

Swati Mohan Swati Mohan

National Geographic recently underwent a re-branding exercise, adding the word Further as a new global tagline. The revamped channel went on air on November 14 with its first show named ‘Mars’ and aims to offer some premium programming for the consumer. met Swati Mohan, Business Head, India, Fox Networks Group, to know more about what’s in store.

“Further is the new global tag line for the brand across all its assets. National Geographic is not a just a channel for the globe but also an institution which has many other assets like magazine, consumer products, digital, television and so on. In November last year, there was a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox that really said that we own a majority stake and ownership across all of these assets. We needed something to define the coming together of all these assets and underline under one National Geographic,” says Mohan.

She added, “There needed to be one brand tag line that really embraces the spirit and ethos of the brand and content that we’ve been riding for the last 128 years. And that tag line is Further.”

What changes with the re-branding in India is the look and feel. The channel now has a sophisticated packaging and on-air look. This aligns with the brand’s new premium programming strategy which is built on quality and excellence. The re-branding has depth in content with Hollywood style story-telling mixed with world class documentary sequences, and high-end graphics.

Mohan says the show ‘Mars’ received a great response from the industry and the advertisers. Academy award winning film makers and talent are coming together. The channel already aired ‘The Story of God with Morgan Freeman’ earlier this year and is going to talk about on-air and behind-the-scenes talent that is coming together.

When queried about targeting rural audience considering the premiumisation of content, Mohan explains, “It’s not that we haven’t. When it comes to National Geographic, I keep saying it is an institution. We are an inclusive brand, not trying to say that premium is supposed to excuse viewers, we cut across age groups, demos, markets and we always have. For us, the definition of premium is not exclusive as it is an inclusive brand that gives you a really unique experience and engagement opportunities through the kind of content that everybody wants to hear about.”

According to Mohan, BARC has been a great thing for the industry. There is still a little way to go in terms of defining how some of these channels function. For National Geographic, the channel has been pretty stable in its viewership and the advertiser’s demand. Mohan added, “When it comes to National Geographic, we look at a collective and a lot of things beyond ratings.”

Mohan shared her expectations from the re-branding. “With early results, we know how the content is consumed and how it has cut across markets and demographics has been re-assuring. We expect a new level of content, the new way of consuming content and this is a big leap for National Geographic India. The other expectation, I think, slowly but surely, the word ‘Further’ will have a different meaning for everybody just by how we are embracing it with content and activities that we will do in the coming year.”

There has been a good response from brands for the channel and with the re-branding, the channel is not particularly looking for premium advertisers. The brand hasn’t re-branded for decades together now and will streamline its marketing over the months to come. A fair amount has gone in the re-branding exercise, although Mohan couldn’t share the numbers. Currently, National Geographic’s content is available on Star’s digital platform – Hotstar.

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