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Posts Tagged ‘Shark Week’

Conservationists Use Twitter to Inject ‘Real Science’ Back into Shark Week

If you were to search #SharkWeek on Twitter right now, it would yield plenty of brand tweets reminding customers that the product or service in question is a perfect tie-in to the annual celebration of our toothy, aquatic heroes. In fact, with shark-themed doughnuts, cars, cosmetics, and whiskey, one might even be able to live this whole week without touching a single non-shark-related thing, however tenuous the actual connection might be.

But brands aren’t the only Twitter-users utilizing the #SharkWeek hashtag to further their own purposes; while it’s undeniably fun to buy into the hype, there are many organizations and individuals that would like to remind us that the heart of Shark Week is (or should be) science, education, and conservation, and they are taking to Twitter to hammer this message home.

While some are simply taking it upon themselves to spread awareness and education (like the examples above), others are taking direct issue with the programming on Discovery, lamenting the replacement of good old-fashioned documentaries with the increasingly-popular “docudrama.” Read more

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Something Smells Fishy at ‘Shark Week’

The latest chapter in Discovery Channel‘s scaly salt-water empire Shark Week, breaking ratings records with a mixture of legitimate science and horror since 1987, raised some eyebrows back on land.

Seems that the “documentary” Megaladon: The Monster Shark That Lives played fast and loose with the facts while producers hoped no one would notice.

In case you were never a 12-year-old boy, the megaladon was a prehistoric creature with teeth the size of a human hand which, as you may surmise from the special’s title, may still be alive and terrorizing the world’s oceans today.

Fans of accuracy in media will be disappointed to know that this is not even remotely true. The big deal, really, is Discovery’s failure to include a “none of this is real, BTW” disclaimer beyond a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it notice aired during the last minutes of the show calling it a “film” based on “legend.” Quite a few people fell for this nonsense, too: if you believe the channel’s super official megaladon poll, only 21% of viewers think the shark is definitely extinct. (We wonder how they feel about Bat Boy.)

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Shark Week Takes a Big Bite out of Social TV

According to AdAge, Discovery Channel execs first conceived of their big-name summer staple “Shark Week” during a hotel room brainstorming session way back in 1987, when cable was still new and the channel itself was only two years old. Desperate to attract viewers, they noticed that shark-related programming always precipitated a ratings jump. In a moment of inspiration, former executive Steve Cheskin reportedly blurted out “shark week”, leading founder John Hendricks to respond with a smile and a eureka-like “that’s it!”

Now, a quarter of a century and a generation of shark enthusiasts later, “Shark Week” is cable’s longest-running promotion; it has consistently attracted more than 20 million viewers since 2003. Even more impressive is AdAge‘s report 35% of all cable social-TV activity recorded during “Shark Week” this year was directly related to “Shark Week” programs. This trend may have something to do with the fact that the programming attracts fairly young, tech-savvy viewers: Scott Felenstein, senior VP-ad sales at Discovery Channel, told AdAge that the average “Shark Week” viewer is 31 years old, roughly 8 years younger than Discovery’s usual audience, making it a hot topic on social media and a potential goldmine for advertisers.

“For Discovery, it’s the Super Bowl,” said Felenstein.

Check out the Trendrr graphic below for a fabulously colorful and shark-infested depiction of this year’s “Shark Week” cable social-TV activity: Read more

VW Beetle, Meet Great White Shark

The Discovery Channel and Volkswagen got creative this year to promote the 25th anniversary of the ever-popular “Shark Week“: They enlisted engineers to create a framework model of the famous VW Beetle that doubles as a shark cage, allowing divers to literally drive along the ocean floor and check out the great white action above (while keeping an eye out for those pesky bottomless crevasses).

This unique meeting of a classic car and America’s favorite saltwater predator has been in the works for a while, with Discovery gradually releasing a series of teaser shorts. But the first official video is worth a glance:

Looks like another win for Deutsch LA, an agency that can seemingly do no wrong.

Coming in September: Weeks Week

The brains and notable names behind some of New York’s biggest week-long events, including Fashion Week, Restaurant Week, and Internet Week, will join forces for one monster week of celebrating weeks.

The International Academy of Weeks  is launching Weeks Week,  taking place September 19 through 25. And, on September 25 — Weeks Night — Shark Week will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It will capture the energy, diversity, and creative spirit that are a hallmark of New York’s thriving Week industry,” Internet Week co-chairman David-Michel Davies said in a statement. “Who knows, if it’s successful, maybe we can expand it to an entire month.”

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