Genesis BM, Cheil put together Nat Geo Mission Blue; Isobar bags digital

This Earth Day, National Geographic rolled out ‘Mission Blue’, taking forward its efforts to increase awareness about and also increase adoption of techniques to conserve water. With this year being their heaviest investment on the initiative, the entire Mission Blue campaign has been put together by National Geographic’s PR agency Genesis BM with the help of their creative agency Cheil Worldwide, while the digital mandate is being handled by Isobar from Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN). 

The campaign, which is India-specific at present, will have a 360-degree marketing mix and run across all media platforms. National Geographic will disseminate the message through various formats of storytelling to reach and appeal to as many people as possible. The channel will release the creatives in a phased manner over the next few weeks with Farhan Akhtar, who is a key partner and face of the campaign. Farhan has also taken a life pledge to change his habits in order to save water and will be seen reminding people that they need to conserve water in the upcoming campaigns. 

Farhan took to Twitter to stress on the importance of water conservation. He tweeted: “I’ve got 140 characters to explain why saving water is important, can do it in just 22 though: No one survives without it” #wakeup.” 

Commenting on the importance of an initiative like Mission Blue, Swati Mohan, Business Head India, National Geographic and FOX Networks Group, said, “Water conservation is one of the most important issues today as water is becoming scarcer by the day. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population could be facing absolute water scarcity and the scarier part is that not a lot of people know what to do about it. There are a set of people who don’t think it is their problem; and the ones who do want to do something about it don’t know what to do, and that’s what the Mission Blue initiative is attempting to do.” 

She further said that through specially created digital tools, people would get a sense of not just how severe the water problem is, but also how small changes in their daily lives could help reduce their water footprint. “Water is precious than diamonds today and water saved somewhere today will only help someplace else,” Mohan said emphatically. 

Water Aid Foundation, a non-profit known for its contribution to the cause of water, has partnered with National Geographic Mission Blue, where they will together help provide clean drinking water to schools. 



On the digital front, people can visit the website to calculate their water footprint, learn how they can reduce it, pledge to conserve water and share their results on Facebook and Twitter. 

While National Geographic came on board as the ‘Green Partner’ at Goafest 2017, where they encouraged the organising committee to use recycled paper and make available a system of carpooling for the delegates, there are no plans to introduce such an initiative at Cannes Lions this year. 

Meanwhile, award winning directors like Imtiaz Ali, Hansal Mehta, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and Madhur Bhandarkar have been roped in to specially create short films on the water issue that will creatively bring out the key message through everyday stories of India. 

While appreciating the award winning directors who took out time from their busy schedule to be a part of the cause, Swati Mohan remarked, “Shortlisting the filmmakers to make the documentaries around water conservation was a difficult choice as the team needed filmmakers who have made impactful movies and are an influencer to the youth today.” 

Imtiaz Ali, who has directed ‘Paani Panchayat’, one of the four documentaries, said that he had a personal connect with the cause since his father spent several years working on water irrigation projects in rural areas. 

Special documentaries on the water issue – both global and local, as well as the specially created short films will begin streaming on website from April 28, 2017, onwards.


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