Consumer engagement has long been a cornerstone of National Geographic’s business model and purpose. For more than a century, the company’s poignant and dynamic storytelling has inspired people to act, enlighten their perspective, provoke conversation and become catalysts for innovation.
It was in this vein that National Geographic and partner GSK Consumer Healthcare developed Chasing Genius, a groundbreaking digital platform designed to inspire, ignite and enable the “genius” inside each of us to turn ideas into positive global change.
Based on the belief that transformational ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, National Geographic crowdsourced “sparks of genius” from everyday people, via one-minute video submissions describing their ‘Genius’ idea and the solution it provides. Four winners, selected by the Chasing Genius Council and voting across the platform, each received $25,000 to take their ideas further.
Once the competition opened, Beck Media leveraged the host of National Geographic’s Brain Games and Origins: The Journey of Humankind, Jason Silva, to inspire and engage a broad population of “geniuses” to participate in the Challenge — securing coverage from The Huffington Post, the nationally syndicated TV program RightThisMinute, and on the Mother Jones podcast Inquiring Minds.
The coverage, along with a robust social media and digital engagement campaign, encouraged readers, viewers and listeners from around the country to submit their ideas through the Chasing Genius website, helping to generate nearly 3,000 consumer videos.
On the day National Geographic announced the winners of the Chasing Genius Challenge, Beck Media placed an exclusive story with Fast Company, spotlighting each of the four geniuses and capturing National Geographic’s genuine passion for the campaign in addition to additional coverage in regional outlets pertaining to the winners.
Watch the sizzle video for Chasing Genius here: