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From the 3rd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

The Astronaut Reality Helmet

Winner in Virtual Reality, Education


This past spring National Geographic premiered One Strange Rock, an event series from Darren Aronofsky and Nutopia. The show tells the story of Earth, told from the only people who have ever left it: astronauts.

But only 536 brave souls have actually been to space. It requires years of training and education, millions of dollars and state-of-the-art technology. So to promote the show we thought: how can we recreate that experience without requiring viewers to leave the planet?

Inspired by the innovative storytelling in One Strange Rock, we created the Astronaut Reality Helmet to bring this unique astronaut vantage-point even closer to those on Earth. It is a wearable immersive experience housed within a replica space helmet. Housed in a replica space helmet, the projection technology creates an immersive viewing experience through a unique combination of laser projection, custom fish-eye optics and in-built audio.

Strategy and Execution

With successful ratings of their television programming National Geographic is able to achieve one of their primary objectives; to generate revenue through their TV network via ad sales and affiliates. With the launch of a new series like One Strange Rock, National Geographic needed help to drive strong viewership to the new show's premiere through a consumer engagement activation. The Astronaut Reality Helmet was able to generate value for National Geographic's business by sparking media coverage and consumer intrigue to tune into the new show.

The Astronaut Reality helmets made their debut on March 14th 2018 at the One Strange Rock press premiere event in New York. As a consumer engagement activation, the helmets served its purpose to generate strong media attention and encourage viewers to tune into National Geographic's new show One Strange Rock.

To measure awareness, the Astronaut Reality Helmet's press coverage demonstrated consumer affection for the new television show and the National Geographic brand alike. The Astronaut Reality Helmet led to 47 pieces of press coverage since the premiere event, over 457 social shares and reached 312 million people, which generated 1.27 billion readers online.


As a result, One Strange Rock viewership was 13% higher than the channel's non-fiction average performance. For its first four episodes, the show ratings were up 91% versus the quarter average. Looking at the 2018 fiscal year performance for the National Geographic Channel, the second half of the year really boosted the overall ratings for the network, which allowed for a successful year. One Strange Rock's premiere in March 2018 (Q3 FY18) contributed to National Geographic's successful yearly ratings, which directly helped achieve the Nat Geo business objective to generate TV revenue.

-Season to date, One Strange Rock averaged 0.42/361 L+3 P25-54 rating for four episodes, up +91% versus quarter average.

-DVR Lift from L+SD to L+3 continued to be strong, at +50%, much higher than the non-fiction series average for NGC in fiscal 2018 of 31%.

-Reach was +13% higher than NGC's non-fiction average: 0.76% for OSR vs. 0.67% for non-fiction average

-Average time spent viewing was also higher by 4 minutes: 31 minutes for OSR vs. 27 minutes for non-fiction average


Video for The Astronaut Reality Helmet

Entrant Company / Organization Name

McCann New York, National Geographic

Entry Credits