In a true “War of the Worlds” moment (look it up, kids), The Discovery Channel and its various agencies managed to scare quite a few shark-weary Canadians with the help of the local government before admitting yesterday that it was all a stunt.
Here’s the clip that went semi-viral, alleging that a bull shark had been spotted in Lake Ontario. Does this look like a paid ad?
It is. More specifically, it was created by OMD and TBWA to promote the upcoming special ”In Search of Canada’s Rogue Shark”–a special sponsored by Nissan.
Yet authorities took it so seriously that Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro told local press:
“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…it is potentially, I guess, a very serious situation. If there is a shark in Lake Ontario we need to know about it.”
It’s almost like Discovery fed him the damn lines. In other words, it’s still very possible to get both local media and a skeptical public to believe–or at least click on–even the most unbelievable nonsense. Need more proof? One word: mermaids.
Thanks for setting the bar so very low, Discovery.