Why do we think this strategy is unsustainable? Because these sorts of projects leverage National Geographic’s existing brand equity without adding anything of value to it.
Put another way: A generation of television viewers will come to know National Geographic as a company that partners with Nissan, BMW, Budweiser, Coke, and a host of other multinational companies. In 10 or 20 years, people will not be saying: Remember those great National Geographic television specials with Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall? That brand halo will be gone. Instead, the National Geographic brand will be defined by advertising partnerships like the one above.
Good for Nissan, but bad for us.
The view from the driver’s seat of the new Nissan X-Treme might be exhilarating for the moment, but do these sorts of adventures take our Society where we want to go?