- National Geographic teamed with Coors Light on a branded content partnership titled "My Next," per details provided in an email to Marketing Dive.
- The effort, part of Coors' "thirst for more" platform and made with parent company MillerCoors' agency, Connect, sent two Nat Geo explorers and film crews on expeditions to discover new adventures. Submarine pilot Erika Bergman began studying howler monkeys in Costa Rica, while geologist Andres Ruzo left the Amazon River to study the tundra in Iceland.
- The multi-platform partnership includes documentaries, interactive maps and photo journals following Bergman and Ruzo's adventures, which all live on a co-branded digital hub on Nat Geo's website and will be shared across the publisher's social media channels.
Native advertising has been popular for years now, but Coors and Nat Geo's latest campaign shows how the format has grown past sponsored posts on websites to include more visually-rich, narrative-driven offerings like documentaries and interactive digital hubs. Marketers tend to value these types of partnerships because they closely mirror the content and editorial audiences are already drawn to on platforms like Nat Geo's, and can be more appealing than traditional brand advertising.
Nat Geo is known for its legacy print magazine, but has been beefing up its digital offerings to lure a new generation of readers and find fresh revenue streams. An interactive broadcast of Nat Geo's "Safari Live" garnered 220 million total views on Facebook Watch from Aug. 3 to Oct. 31, 2017, and added 52,000 followers to the publisher's page that September. Nat Geo also recently became an early adopter of Instagram's new IGTV platform, airing the final episode of its docuseries "One Strange Rock" around the app's launch.
More marketers, like Coors, are also embracing the documentary format to provide content that feels authentic to viewers. Coca-Cola last week debuted a digital docuseries titled "One Last Summer" that profiles a group of high school friends spending their final summer together before heading to college. Pabst Blue Ribbon, a competitor to Coors, recently worked with the digital media company Vice on documentaries exploring how diverse millennials live out their own interpretations of the American Dream.
Adult viewership of brands' original digital video, including documentary series, increased 60% from 45 million in 2013 to 72 million in 2018, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau research. Audiences for this type of content tend to skew younger and be more diverse and tech-savvy, the trade group found.