Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I saw the trailer for the documentary Restrepo that recently aired on National Geographic and was trying to find some way to tie it back to advertising. It‘s a compelling look at war which some might be tired of seeing. (Political leanings aside, you can’t watch and not give much respect to the men and women overseas.) But if I *did* have to bring it around to more of an advertising focus for y’all? It’s that of all the brands I’ve seen, Nat Geo seems to be the most consistent in terms of knowing its voice, especially their cable programming. Where A&E and Bravo once put out shows with integrity (and have now sunk to Geraldo and Springer levels of entertainment), Nat still seems on point. When I saw this trailer, it reminded me of an old article I saw as a kid that my dad had saved. It was about America’s early involvement in The Vietnam War, and it tried to depict what it was like over there. Well, as much as any magazine could. Life magazine of course had always looked at war; at times graphically, but for the most part, we hadn’t yet been immersed in years of fighting, let alone experiencing a brutal honesty in the way journalism covered things. It would take the likes of Larry Flynt, himself a veteran, to erode that facade a few years later when he published graphic images of war victims. Then of course came the movies that addressed deeper psychological issues (Coming Home, Deer Hunter, and so on.) Through it all though, Nat Geo has stayed true to its purpose of looking at other cultures and global events in compelling ways without sensationalizing its subjects.