Last week held a very special place in my heart and the hearts of many 18-49 year olds. Last week was Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. The program boasts over 29 million viewers with 2.1 million of those viewers tuned in during prime time. This viewership is as massive as a Megalodon’s bite radius, and like chumming the water to attract sharks, shark week brings out all the marketers. Some brands took to twitter, posting shark themed updates or aligning their products with sharks. Other’s cashed in on the shark week buzz purchasing television spots during the programs, mixing their products in with the featured animals.
Similar to how some other networks piggy back off of the impending attention that Discovery Channel will receive, it is important for marketers to stay aware of trends regardless if they are personally interested. For example, SyFy understood the numbers that Shark Week brings in and produced 2 movies to try and hook some of those viewers. Whether you loved or hated Sharknado or its sequel, the movie was a cult hit. Staying up on trends and cultural movements is one of the easiest and most effective ways to create engaging ads. Sharks are here to stay, and they might be one of the first animals to lead a serious reimagining what is possible in the digital space. Thank goodness vampires are out. As far as advertising and marketing goes, yelling “shark!” might be the quickest way to get someone’s attention…at least for such a very special week.