National Geographic created CHASING GENIUS based on the belief that transformational ideas can come from anywhere. From anyone. This ground-breaking digital platform which launched in May 2017 is designed to inspire, ignite, and enable the genius inside each of us turning ideas into catalysts for change in the world.
The focus for the CHASING GENIUS kick-off challenge, sponsored by Glaxo Smith Kline, is to crowdsource solutions around the following critical issue areas:
1. SUSTAINABLE PLANET: HOW CAN WE REDUCE OUR IMPACT ON THE PLANET?
2. GLOBAL HEALTH: HOW CAN WE HELP PEOPLE LIVE HEALTHIER LIVES?
3. FEEDING 9 BILLION: HOW DO WE FEED A PLANET APPROACHING 9 BILLION PEOPLE?
Consumers submit 1-minute videos describing their CHASING GENIUS ideas. To incentivize participation, four winners will receive $25,000 to further their ideas.
Here's how we did it:
Build a Community
We designed a secure, dynamic digital headquarters that hosts our community of conscious consumers who can contribute in multiple ways—submitting their own original ideas, offering feedback to others, and sharing with their networks.
Inspire Them with World Class Storytelling
Nat Geo created inspirational content that was shared socially and across other platforms to demonstrate the power of one idea to change the world. This included 3 mini-documentaries and a steady drumbeat of 20+ pieces of digital content including quizzes, articles, galleries, and interviews, all of which was shared through 277 posts across Nat Geo's global social footprint.
Enlist the Support of Experts
Through the CHASING GENIUS Council, we enlisted the support of experts, influencers, and storytellers to help us spread the word and in their own social media channels and ours. Jay Shetty created a motivational video which garnered more than 5M of the social impressions alone. Members will also participate in scoring the finalists, helping us determine the winners. They include: ERIKA BERGMAN Submarine Pilot, SUSAN GOLDBERG Editor, Journalist, CALEB HARPER Urban Agriculturalist, JOHANNA KELLETT Research And Development Scientist, ALBERT YU-MIN LIN Research Scientist, Entrepreneur, JAY SHETTY Storyteller, Filmmaker & Former Monk.
Drive a Social Conversation
We developed a rich suite of social media tiles that engaged our global community with probing questions and statistics that helped to contextualize the three critical issues we were aiming to address. Across the digital site, we embedded social sharing buttons that encouraged visitors to share the challenge and ideas that inspired them. In addition to our organic reach on social, we implemented a paid social campaign to target likely participants i.e. socially conscious, entrepreneurial, interested in science.
Activate Our Partners and Social "Superfriends"
By supplying social media assets and copy to our strategic partners like Nerd Nite as well as more than 1,000 universities, innovation incubators, and sustainability organizations, we extended our reach well beyond our social footprint, generating an additional 8,700 posts with a potential extended reach of 50 million followers.
Initial results for the initiative are impressive. With the voting phase yet to take place, we have already garnered over 225 million impressions—162M of those were via social media. Perhaps more impressive than the reach numbers are the engagement stats from social. The 227 CHASING GENIUS posts across Nat Geo's accounts generated 1.1M reactions, 75k shares, and 30.3k comments, demonstrating that we drove a global conversation around the notion that one idea can change the world.
In addition to the engagement on Nat Geo's accounts, CHASING GENIUS spurred more than 8,500 individual posts, amplifying the initiative with additional potential reach of 50 million people and 2.9 million impressions (estimated at 5% of potential reach).
The CHASING GENIUS kick-off Challenge, a high bar by any consumer engagement standard, outperformed all past challenges of its kind by Nat Geo, generating 3,000 submissions and seeding a community of 25,000 people who have an appetite for change.
The community continues to grow by the minute and they eagerly await their next CHASING GENIUS Challenge!