Sniff. Sniff. Shark Week’s over and I’m still crying about it. To make it better, I thought we could take a look back at a few of the best marketing campaigns which helped coin the term “sharketing.”
Cold Stone Creamery: Cold Stone created menu items in honor of Shark Week. In addition the company held a contest where a winner would win a trip for four to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. To enter, fans were encouraged to share a picture of their Shark Week Creations on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #sharkweekfrenzy. On July 2nd, Cold Stone teamed up with the Discovery Channel to host a Twitter chat about shark and ice cream trivia. During the event, participants won Cold Stone gift cards and Shark Week swag items.
Dunkin’ Donuts: A joint campaign between Dunkin’ Donuts and Discovery Channel’s Shark Week challenged users to submit selfies of themselves taking vicious shark bites out of donuts to win prize packs or gift cards to Dunkin’ Donuts. Certain pictures were featured on the nightly show, Shark After Dark.
Volkswagen USA: Volkswagen collaborated with Discovery to promote the launch of their new car. The Golf SportWagen is changing the way wagons are perceived and the collaboration aimed to use music as a way to explore sharks, providing insight into how they are a vital part of the ocean’s ecosystem. Together, they created the site www.sharkrescored.com as an interactive tool to demonstrate their point.
The campaigns listed above were successful because of their creativity, but there is more to it than that. Scott Hamula, associate professor and chair of the Department of Strategic Communication at Ithaca College, said everything is coming up shark lately in part because the majority of consumers have some emotional shared shark connection, whether that’s from “Jaws” and SNL’s Land Shark skit or Katy Perry and “Sharknado”.
According to Variety, on a total-day basis, Shark Week 2015 was the most-watched ever with an average of 1.269 million viewers throughout the week, beating out the previous high of 1.201 million in 2013.
There’s only 11 months until Shark Week 2016. Time to start thinking about genius campaigns to cash in on this marketing phenomenon.