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Power of brand is important in today’s world: NGC prez Tim Pastore

MUMBAI: Legacy brands like National Geographic Channels (NGC) are faced with a disruptive media environment. To survive they need to actualise the power of their brand. This is important because viewer consumption habits have changed dramatically in the past few years. In this scenario, the brand plays a more significant role than ever before. Today one has a scene where a hurricane of content is crashing into homes.

NGC US president, original programming, production Tim Pastore made all these statements while delivering a keynote at MipDoc in Cannes, France.

“If content is king, the brand is the castle. Kings come and go; the castle stays. We’re in 2015, and 50 per cent of viewers are doing something else while watching TV”. Therefore, social media is critical. National Geographic has 50 million fans on social media.

Pastore spoke about the five pillars of the broadcaster. These are Stay bold, Be resilient, Maintain authenticity, Make some noise and Disrupt. In terms of making noise, he took the example of ‘Killing Jesus’. “There have been one million impressions for the Killing Jesus minisite, making it our best-performing digital property.”

He cautioned that authenticity does not mean that the brand should be boring. It must retain a point of view and not be swept away by trends. “Do we need another Alaska series?” Pastore asked, further explaining that he will accept a new project only if it’s compelling and true to the National Geographic brand.

NGC is looking to build on the success of ‘Killing Jesus’. “We’re looking to delve into a couple of projects a year, and maybe open up to a series. It could potentially be the case. Because we’re so new to this sector, we don’t tend to do pilots. I’m way too impatient for that! We love to have our drama rooted in history but the yellow border can take us to other places. Including comedy, a big experiment! I hope it can open up a new realm of potential for us.”