National Geographic broadcasts ‘zero gravity’ idents

National Geographic is today broadcasting what it claims are the world’s first channel idents filmed in zero gravity, developed by Brothers & Sisters.

National Geographic is today broadcasting what it claims are the world’s first channel idents filmed in zero gravity, developed by Brothers & Sisters.


The idents will be used as promos for National Geographic’s Space Week, launching in January, before being used as channel idents over an 18-month period, according to Brothers & Sisters creative director Steve Shannon.


The advertising consultancy, which was commissioned in April on the strength of an existing relationship with National Geographic, travelled to Nevada to film ‘content-based idents’ in zero-gravity conditions on G-Force One, a specially-adapted Boeing 727.


Las Vegas-based company Zero Gravity Corporation, which leases its aircraft to Nasa, created zero-gravity conditions for 30 seconds at a time, by performing a series of parabolic dives where the aircraft was in freefall mode.


Shannon and his 14-strong team captured the idents during 17 parabolic dives – a total of eight-and-a-half minutes – to ‘explore’ zero-gravity conditions, experiencing floating with their equipment.


The idents depict the effects of zero-gravity conditions on 20 cubes of jelly, a rack of pool balls, four balloons, two apples, torches and pack of M&M sweets, while a visual brand element – the iconic National Geographic yellow border – binds the idents together.


Shannon says that Brothers & Sisters, which has no previous experience of channel branding, undertook the project with minimal mark-up. Production costs, according to Shannon, were £100 000. ‘We did it because it was a brilliant project,’ he says.


Brothers & Sisters, based in London, currently works with Sky Sports, The Sun and Teenage Cancer Trust.


Its 40-strong team offers TV production, post-production, print and digital services.


The idents will be broadcast across the network’s television and online channels in 166 countries from today. To view the broadcast, visit http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7995964614742220424.

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