Wed, 26 Oct 2016 22:37:04 +0000The startup has 100 million daily users. Giphy It's official. GIFs are slowly but surely taking over the world. Today, Giphy announced in a lengthy blog post that it's delivering more than 1 billion of them every day and that viewers spend more than two hours watching the endlessly looping video daily. The site also revealed it has 100 million daily users, putting its size on par with Instagram's 2-month-old Stories feature. Meanwhile, Snapchat counts 150 million daily users, while Twitter reportedly has 140 million daily users. Giphy's new stats are up from the 50 million monthly users the company claimed in August 2015, according to a New York Times article. One of the major drivers of Giphy's growth and goal of becoming the de facto GIF engine has been its API that powers looping video within Twitter, Facebook, Slack, Kik, Tinder and email service MailChimp. Since launching in 2013, the New York-based startup has raised more than $75 million, valuing it at more than $300 million. With that huge valuation, it's unclear how Giphy plans to make significant money through advertising, media partnerships or payments. In its blog post, Giphy pointed to its Los Angeles-based agency Giphy Studio as one example of how it's starting to make money from advertisements. The studio opened in April and recently worked with NBC to take over 19 LED displays in New York's World Trade Center transportation hub to promote the network's sitcom Superstore. Other clients include Chobani, McDonald's and Nike. allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="//giphy.com/embed/3o6Zt8geIKVt9oYVAA" width="480"> allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="481" src="//giphy.com/embed/3owyp3G75FPOBxG9jy" width="480"> The creative studio isn't the only revenue source Giphy has its eyes on, though. It also works with media companies and events to crank out real-time GIFs. Its work with CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has netted more than 500 million views. And NBC's Saturday Night Live is working with Giphy to capture and catalog funny GIFs from each episode to create the "definitive GIF library" to the late-night show. In May, chief operating officer Adam Leibsohn told CNBC there are money-making opportunities around the company's search technology to create a Google-like ad product that would populate ads alongside GIFs in apps and messaging services. Searching for a burger, for example, could trigger a branded McDonald's image to pop up in search results. "The whole premise underneath all these products—the web, all the integrations we do, apps we power, the messaging services we enhance—it's all a search experience," Leibsohn told CNBC. "And what we deliver in that search experience is a result, and our result is something that ticks off an interesting Venn diagram of information, search result, content, entertainment and communication." [...]
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 22:07:45 +0000(image)
When it comes time to woo potential advertisers, TV networks have their upfronts, digital publishers have their NewFronts and, for the past several years, Hearst Magazines has hosted an annual MagFront. On Tuesday, the company hosted its fourth MagFront presentation at Hearst Tower, previewing its upcoming slate of content—and sponsorship opportunities—for an audience of approximately 200 advertisers and marketing execs.
The editors of each of the publisher's 21 brands presented previews of their editorial franchises for 2017, all with an eye toward sponsor integration. For Hearst Magazines president of marketing and publishing director Michael Clinton, getting the editors involved in selling their own content has been integral the MagFront equation. "Whether you're an author or a playwright or an actor or an editor, it's been so interesting to see how the creative class has become very invested in the commercial success of their endeavors," he said. "I think our editors have really led that charge in [the magazine] world."
Highlights included flagship brand Cosmopolitan's cross-platform "year of beauty," which will offer plenty of native content integrations both in-book and on the magazine's digital and social channels, per new editor Michele Promaulayko. Meanwhile, O, The Oprah Magazine is planning its own "year of adventure"—and an Oprah-branded cruise. Elle will be launching a new personal style initiative and awards platform, and Marie Claire will focus on "The Next Big Thing" across multiple categories with special digital-only covers, an online video series, pop-up shops, events in multiple cities and more. Hearst's digital food brand, Delish, is hoping to expand its audience with the addition of a Delish Kids channel and the Delish Teen Experience food tour, and Food Network Magazine editor Maile Carpenter teased the possible launch of a new magazine built around one of the TV channel's stars.
As always, there were plenty of celebrities on hand to dazzle advertisers, among them recent Esquire cover star Liev Schreiber (who joined the magazine's editor Jay Fielden onstage for a short Q&A), up-and-coming actress Alexandra Daddario (one of the faces of Marie Claire's Next Big Thing initiative), model Hailey Baldwin (who introduced Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey) and Lena Dunham, who discussed her year-old lifestyle site Lenny Letter, in which Hearst is a partner. The grand finale was a surprise appearance by none other than Oprah Winfrey.
Partnerships will continue to be big for Hearst in the coming year, said Clinton. "The Lenny Letter has been a great success, we have Carine Roitfeld and Linda Wells, and now we're having a lot of different personalities and celebrities and brands come through our doors to ask if there's a way they can live on our platforms," he noted, adding that the company's newly crowned chief content officer, Joanna Coles, is overseeing that push to bring in more celebrity and influencer partners.
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 20:35:50 +0000(image)
Quick, can you name the brand that counts more celebrity endorsers than any other in existence? A brand that's understood the power of having famous names and faces behind it for longer than many brands have even existed?
And consider this: The brand not only has Hollywood's A-list lining up behind it, it doesn't pay a cent for the support.
It’s the United Service Organizations—or USO for short—and, in fairness, it isn’t a brand you can buy in stores or online. But if you happen to be a man or woman serving in the U.S. armed forces, the USO is probably the most important brand in your life.
The government-chartered, privately operated USO provides a plethora of support services for uniformed personnel—everything from couples counseling to free phone calls home. But it’s best known for bringing famous entertainers to far-flung military outposts to perform for the troops.
The USO turns 75 this year and will host an anniversary celebration in New York aboard the retired aircraft carrier USS Intrepid tonight. It’s a fitting opportunity to look back at a few of the hundreds of celebrities who’ve volunteered their time to fly halfway around the world to sing, dance, tell jokes or simply shake hands with men and women in uniform. (See the gallery below.)
It may come as a surprise to many that celebs performing in camouflage, a routine pioneered by Bob Hope during World War II, is a tradition that’s still alive and well. But according to Paul G. Allvin, the USO’s senior vice president of brand advancement, the gesture means as much to the troops today as it did to service personnel in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
"When you’re in Kandahar or Djibouti and someone who’s internationally famous comes all around the world to thank you, shake your hand and perform for you, it’s America itself finding you and reminding you that you’ve not been forgotten, you’re not misunderstood and you’re properly appreciated," Allvin said. "That will never diminish or go away. There’s nothing like someone standing in front of you saying, ‘I came across the world to say thank you.'"
He added that the celebrities his organization books aren’t just volunteering their time, they’re making a bigger commitment than ever before. In the old days, when entertainers like Frank Sinatra or B.B. King put on an overseas show, they could at least count on some financial incentive: The troops would buy their records once they returned home. "[But today], you make your living from live performances, and we’re asking you to take a break from that," Allvin said. "Our appeal to them is not a career opportunity."
Maybe not, but it’s an integral if often overlooked part of national defense. It's also proof that the most effective celebrity endorsements, incredibly, don’t involve appearance fees. Here are 10 memorable stars who've stumped for the USO.
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:30:30 +0000(image)
A year and a half after wrapping his iconic TV series Mad Men, the show's creator, Matthew Weiner, has finally picked his next TV project.
The creator is leaving AMC for streaming, making a $70 million deal with Amazon and The Weinstein Co. for his new, modern-day series. While Amazon often allows its subscribers to vote on its pilots before deciding which ones to pick up to series, Weiner's show has received a straight-to-series order, as was the case with the streaming service's recent drama Goliath and Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes.
According to Deadline, which first reported the news, Weiner's new series is a "contemporary anthology set in multiple locations worldwide." Weiner will be creating, writing and executive producing the show, and directing several episodes.
Since finishing Mad Men's seven-season run last May, Weiner has laid relatively low as he plotted his next move. He directed an episode of Orange Is the New Black's most recent season, and wrote a novel, Heather, the Totality, which is due out next fall.
Weiner's choice of Amazon, which like Netflix releases an entire season's worth of shows at once, is somewhat surprising given that Weiner said last year that he'd prefer to have his shows released weekly. If he ever were to make a show for Netflix, he said shortly after Mad Men's finale, "I would try to convince them to let me just roll them out, so there was at least some shared experience. I love the waiting, I love the marination. I think when you watch the entire season of a show in a day, you will definitely dream about it, but it's not the same as walking around the whole week saying, 'God, Pete really pissed me off!'"
There was no immediate word from Amazon about the release schedule for Weiner's new series.
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:02:25 +0000(image)
Younger generation wine drinkers have had their fill of the pompousness that's often associated with fine wine. And more brands are catching on, adapting their marketing strategies to include funky labels, laid-back messaging and even wine in cans. The latest to democratize vino is the Bordeaux Wine Council, or Bordeaux Wines, which markets all wines from the Bordeaux region and is launching a new video series on YouTube to make its varietals more accessible to younger drinkers.
The 10-episode series, Beyond Bordeaux, created with agency CreativeFeed, is hosted by Leiti Hsu, founder of the food magazine Word of Mouth. For the new series, Hsu interviews sommeliers and chefs in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to discuss their favorite foods to pair with Bordeaux and find the best BYOB restaurants in which to drink Bordeaux—from neighborhood pizza places in New York to taco joints in L.A. to sushi spots in Chicago.
The idea is to establish Bordeaux as an everyday wine that's affordable and accessible, particularly to millennials and Gen Xers. Bordeaux wine had become wrongly associated with exclusivity, formal occasions, high prices and the idea that the wines needed years, or even decades, to be ready to drink, said Mary Gorman-McAdams, market advisor to the Bordeaux Wine Council for North America.
"The strategy was to bring Bordeaux to anyone who wants to drink wine, even if you just have $15 to $20," Gorman-McAdams said. "This campaign speaks a language that's understood by regular wine drinkers and shows that it doesn't need a formal occasion and you don't have to spend three digits. It's a wine to have fun with. It also doesn't need a steak—you can have it with a burger, or vegetarian food, or spicy food, or fried chicken."
Bordeaux Wines also will launch a tool called Bordeaux In Your City on its website later this fall to help consumers find the closest local stores to buy Bordeaux.
"We told the story in the context of the way everyday people eat and drink—BYOB restaurants and restaurants at lower price points," said Clara Kim, creative director of social and content at CreativeFeed. "Other wine content is much more technical for people who have a certain level of wine knowledge. This series speaks to wine newbies too. It creates a dialogue about the wine that's accessible and interesting."
allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="367" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wrqo20otuRA?list=PLdDLaxXh1gEltpFoJ-AqeirBONMev_QBK" width="652">
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:58:11 +0000The demise of last fall's two biggest fantasy football players turned into an ugly reality for broadcasters' bottom lines in September. According to new data from Standard Media Index, broadcast television spend fell 13.2 percent in September versus the previous September, when revenue swelled because of the freewheeling spending of dueling fantasy football companies DraftKings and FanDuel. Those companies—which rose quickly last year and fell even quicker—spent nearly $100 million less last month across broadcast and cable than they did the previous September. Last September alone, DraftKings spent $65 million on U.S. advertising while FanDuel spent $53 million, according to analysis from MoffettNathanson. They accounted for 3 percent of all advertising revenue across 14 broadcast and cable networks for the month. In SMI's findings, which tracks 70 percent of national ad spending from global and independent agencies, prime-time revenue fell 16 percent year over year, while the average unit cost in prime time (excluding sports) for the four major broadcast networks was $86,000, a 7.6 percent decrease from $93,300 a year earlier. Upfront spend for the month was down 25 percent—SMI said many advertisers held back their upfront spends for the month after committing so many ad dollars to the Rio Olympics—while scatter for the month was up 32 percent. By night, NBC took home the most broadcast revenue on Monday and Tuesday in September, fueled by The Voice and fall's biggest freshman hit, This Is Us. Wednesday was split between ABC, with its comedy block and Designated Survivor, and Fox, where Empire continues to be its most lucrative show. CBS was on top Thursday with Thursday Night Football, while NBC is the Sunday night revenue champ because Sunday Night Football. Without sports, ABC would win on both Thursday—thanks, Grey's Anatomy—and Sunday, where SMI said it has double the ad revenue of CBS and quadruple that of Fox. On the cable side, ESPN remained on top in September, but its revenue was down 10 percent versus last year, and the price of an average 30-second spot fell 4.5 percent. The presidential election helped the three big news networks see double-digit increases in revenue and the cost of average spots. Fox News had 16 percent revenue growth, CNN jumped 25 percent and MSNBC surged 28 percent. SMI found that the average 30-second spot for all networks showing NFL games in September was $489,193, which is a 4 percent increase from last September. While Fox and CBS had an 11 percent increase in cost for an NFL spot, Thursday Night Football was flat for CBS and ESPN fell by double digits. The automotive category purchased the largest quantity of ads across all NFL games in September, followed by telecommunications, insurance and consumer electronics. "Our new cost level data clearly shows that while ratings on football have been under pressure early in the season, average unit costs continue to increase. This demonstrates that live sport and the huge audiences it attracts are an outstanding drawcard for major brands. On the flip side, primetime and late night programming doesn't provide the same pull. Poor ratings are directly linked to falls in revenue and average unit cost declines," said SMI CEO James Fennessy in a statement. "While some of September's falls can be attributed to a post Olympics hangover, evidence shows the biggest contributor to broadcast's significant fall was driven by the fantasy leagues spend almost completely drying up under the numerous legal actions they face. Cable's gains are directly related to the terrific results delivered by the news networks, which we fully expect to continue through the November election cycle." [...]
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:09:07 +0000The Cleveland Cavaliers opened the 2016 NBA season with a victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. LeBron James scored a triple double for the league's defending champions, but he was more focused on the underdogs in Nike's latest campaign from Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., which debuted the same night. The Cavs came from behind to win the championship last year. And while James has been a household name for some time, his narration in this campaign celebrates those players who followed the same unlikely path. These are the aspiring stars who weren't "supposed" to escape their neighborhoods, beat the odds and go pro, no matter how many coaches told them they had potential. They all happen to be wearing James' number 23. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="367" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dOZxIpy6Gm4" width="652"> James' cameo at the end serves as both the conclusion of the narrative and a reminder that pro hoops will be just as unpredictably thrilling this year as it was last year. He's not the only NBA star who came "out of nowhere." In addition to the anthem spot, the campaign includes out-of-home executions celebrating the individual styles of other players who were never supposed to be big, like Kevin Durant, Paul George and the 5-foot-9 dynamo Isaiah Thomas. These OOH pieces will appear as posters and larger-than-life projections in each player's market. (Check out some of executions below.) The "Come Out of Nowhere" campaign will run through the first two weeks of the season. CREDITS Client: Nike Title: "Come Out of Nowhere" Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore. Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke Interactive Director: Dan Viens Copywriter: Jordan Dinwiddie Art Directors: Jacob Weinstein, Emma Barnett Integrated Production Director: Matt Hunnicutt Senior Integrated Producer: Molly Tait Tanen Agency Production Assistant: Emily Knight Digital Producer: Keith Rice Art Production: Amy Berriochoa, Krystle Mortimore Project Management: Emily Norman Studio Design Manager: Simone Takasaki Studio Designer: Edgar Morales Retoucher: Greg Radich, Frazer Goodbody Motion Production, Design: Jeff Ackley Strategic Planning: Andy Lindblade, Nathan Goldberg, Reid Schilperoort Media, Communications Planning: Danny Sheniak, John Furnari, Brian Goldstein, Anthony Holton Account Team: Chris Willingham, Katie Gurgainus, Eric Watkins, Simone Jackson Senior Business Affairs Manager: Laura Caldwell Broadcast Traffic: Stefanie Goodell, Andrea Sierra Production Company: Anonymous Content Director: Mark Romanek Executive Producer: SueEllen Clair Line Producers: Bridgette Pugh, Tom Martin Director of Photography: Adam Arkapaw Production Designer: Jeff Higinbotham Edit Company: Spot Welders Editor: Robert Duffy Assistant Editor: Sophie Kornberg Post Producer: Lisa English Executive Post Producer: Carolina Sanborn Visual Effects Company: The Mill 2-D Lead Artist: John Shirley 2-D Artists: James Allen, Adam Lambert, Kelsey Napier Senior Visual Effects Producer: Enca Kaul Visual Effects Producer: Anastasia von Raul Visual Effects Supervisor: John Shirley Color: Company 3 Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld Color Producer: Ashley McKim Producers: Rick Rubin, Jonathan Sanford Composers: John Christopher Barnes, Jason Lader Sound Designer: Matt Miller, Lime Studios Song: "Here You Are" Music, Sound, Mix: Licensed track from Human Worldwide Producer: Rick Rubin Audio Mixer: Matt Miller Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan [...]
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 16:37:15 +0000"Martha!" gasped 9-year-old Madeline Zakarian in awe, as Martha Stewart walked into one of the test kitchens in one of her many headquarters, located along the Hudson River in Manhattan. Everyone else sitting in the kitchen-slash-studio agreed with that sentiment. Seeing Martha Stewart in person can have that effect. On the second day of her American Made Summit this past Saturday, Stewart was preparing to take part in seven Facebook live videos, all while being a welcoming hostess to the many panelists, speakers and lunch-goers. The summit is, essentially, Comic-Con for homemakers. "They reminded her what she was going to cook while she was walking here," whispered Liz Malone similarly in awe, a publicist for Martha Stewart Living. You'd never know it, though, because Stewart is always prepared for anything. "She can be told with a switch of a hat that she is making something different, and it's no problem," said Malone. In the first test kitchen, 40 or so gold ticket summit participants watched as Stewart and Geoffrey Zakarian, a chef, TV host and father of three (including Madeline), baked maple-pecan shortbread cookies, which were crumbly, sweet and as perfect as you'd expect a recipe from Martha Stewart to be. Another 57,000 people watched live on Facebook. Ever the businesswoman, Stewart adroitly promotes brands in the live videos. In this case, Bob's Red Mill brand of flour, which was also one of the sponsors of the summit. The videos are highly prepared but not scripted, so the conversation can flow anywhere she wants it to. "For Facebook Live, Martha sticks to the brands she would naturally use in the kitchen when cooking for herself," said Marci Greenfield, director of content marketing. "She loves certain products and loves to point out which ones she loves!" Just like most Facebook live videos, Stewart's are typically shot on a smartphone, with the handy dexterity of Samantha Schutz, senior producer and videographer of Martha Stewart Living. For the larger segments filmed during the summit, Schutz stood on boxes at the back of the makeshift studio using a slightly more sophisticated camera than her iPhone. "It's different every time, and even though Martha is full of spontaneity and surprises, she's guided by her own intuitive way of doing things," said Schutz. She'll answer anything during the broadcast, from the best types of butter (she prefers French), to the difference between grade A and B maple syrups (she finds the rumor that grade B syrup has a stronger flavor "debatable"), and even to whom she's voting for come Election Day. "Both Snoop [Dogg] and I are voting for Hillary Clinton," she said. And when Zakarian said he doesn't discuss politics, or religion, Stewart replied: "This year, I think you have to." (Let's not forget she and Snoop Dogg will co-host a dinner party TV series for VH1 which premieres Nov. 7.) Her live videos run the gamut. Some of the most popular are simple How To's, like how to iron a shirt or plant a garden. Most importantly, she always wants to be the first to adopt these new technologies. She was one of the first to start using Facebook's live video option, and her fans were quick to respond with bright enthusiasm. It takes a village to produce the controlled chaos of these segments, mostly led by segment producer Judy Morris. Days or weeks go into planning them, as sometimes a celebrity guest will be assisting Stewart in the kitchen. Occasionally the weather will interfere with their plans and a different video will end up happening on the spot. Stewart once had to scrap a video idea due to strong winds and&n[...]
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:20:20 +0000It takes a certain set of skills to successfully transform one's career not just once or even twice, but over and over again. No one has been more successful at achieving new, seemingly unattainable goals than Arnold Schwarzenegger. From conquering the world of body building, taking on Hollywood and eventually achieving his political ambitions, Schwarzenegger is a true Brand Visionary. Accepting the 2016 Adweek Brand Visionary award at the Rainbow Room in New York on Tuesday night, Schwarzenegger let the room in on a few keys to his continued success and why it was so important for him to accept his award in person. Over the past 14 days, Schwarzenegger said he was working on a film with Jackie Chan in China, but had a hard stop on Oct. 25. He needed to get back to accept an award that he said, means a lot to him. "I think, personally, that having a vision is the most important thing for one's success," Schwarzenegger said. "If I wouldn't have had a vision, I wouldn't be standing here today." Schwarzenegger recalled his first vision, coming to the United States from Austria at the age of 10. Everyone told him he'd never get there, but somehow he did. Next came his passion for bodybuilding. He picked up a bodybuilding magazine at the age of 15 and decided this was the next thing he wanted to master. Adweek responsive video player used on /video. "I saw myself very clearly, and I was so convinced that if I started training up to five hours a day like a fanatic, believing, that one day I will get there," he said. "When people saw me working out five hours a day, smiling, having a great time they all thought this guy must be crazy ... but I couldn't wait to lift another 500 pounds, I couldn't wait to do 100 chin ups, I couldn't wait to do another 1,000 sit ups because every day, every step of the way, every weight I lifted was taking me one step closer to turning this vision into a reality." Schwarzenegger continued to plot his next career moves, from Hollywood to politics. While he was met with resistance at pretty much every step of the way, he said his visions kept him motivated. When people in Hollywood told him in the '70s, "Dustin Hoffman is the star. Al Pacino is the star. Woody Allen. Those are the sex symbols of the '70s," and that his accent would mean that he would never be a leading man in a major movie, Schwarzenegger didn't listen. When he felt that he has accomplished all he wanted to accomplish in the movie world and pivoted once again to politics, people said he was crazy and would never be elected governor of California. No one would ever take an actor and former bodybuilder seriously. "I said to hell with those people, that's a load of crap!" Schwarzenegger said. He became governor of California and proved everyone wrong, something he has continued to do throughout his entire career. "If you don't know where to go, you don't end up anywhere. The best airplane in the world, the most sophisticated ship, but if the captain or pilot doesn't know where to go you are not going to end up anywhere. Vision is the most important thing and this is why I am so honored to receive an award that is the Brand Visionary award," he added. [...]
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:01:01 +0000National Geographic Channel's recent reinvention, and National Geographic's expanded partnership with 21st Century Fox last fall, is ushering in a global rebrand for the entire company. As part of the rebrand, all of National Geographic's global properties have a new tagline, "Further," while National Geographic Channel will be dropping "Channel" from its name, and will be known simply as National Geographic going forward. National Geographic will have one brand logo across all of its media platforms as part of the overhaul, which will include a redesign of its magazine, website, all digital and social channels and even the company's D.C. headquarters. The charge, said Declan Moore, CEO, National Geographic Partners, was to "reinvent National Geographic for the 21st century and in so doing, establish the world's leading premium brand in science, exploration and adventure." That also means dropping "Channel" from the name of its flagship network. The word "suggests this linear television destination, and increasingly, that's not the only place that people are consuming us," said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic global television networks. "That does seem a little bit archaic." Monroe said she hadn't talked to advertisers about the name change before unveiling it to the press, but the company has "slowly" been having conversations with select advertisers and affiliate partners about the rebrand. The rebrand will coincide with the Nov. 14 premiere of the network's event miniseries, Mars, which "marks a real turning point in the transformation of our network," said Monroe. "What began as an exercise to overhaul the look and feel of the television network has become a comprehensive rebrand of every single National Geographic consumer touchpoint." As part of the rebrand, "we sought a brand tagline, something that could define us, that could really serve as our north star," said Monroe. The company settled on "Further," which is "a rallying cry, an ever-shifting marketing of progress. ... by definition, it never ends. It knows no bounds," she said. The tagline conveys to audiences and advertisers that "we embody a relentless pursuit to go deeper." The company also considered "Farther," but that word only implies distance. "You can 'further' your understanding of the world, but you can't 'farther' your understanding of the world. So we liked the double meaning, and it does translate around the world," Monroe said. Since she was promoted last November, Monroe has been overhauling National Geographic Channel, stressing quality programming over quantity as she shifted to fewer shows with a higher budgets and A-list talent, and indicated to Adweek earlier this year that more expansive, company-wide changes would be coming by year's end. Her upfront presentation featured an emphasis on scripted programs, and the company also reduced its ad load by up to 50 percent for new series and specials, with documentaries airing commercial-free. Because Monroe's work at rebranding the network over the past year inspired the global rebrand, the network's content won't change beyond what she had already put in motion a year ago. But the network will have a new on-air look, with revamped IDs and brand animations, and a new campaign with talent including Jason Silva (Brain Games), Neil deGrasse Tyson (StarTalk) and Richard Bacon (Explorer). National Geographic worked with branding agency Gretel NY on the rebrand. Next year, the overhaul will extend to include a Further section in National Geographic magazine (covering the latest in exploration and science),[...]