Shark Week is a cultural phenomenon, but it has taken over far more than viewers’ hearts. Everyone across the industry wants a piece of this jaw-dropping programming event, and Discovery invites them all to the party. Better yet, everyone accepts the invitation. For the 2019 programming stunt, Discovery’s domestic distribution team executed promotions with affiliates that ranged from a fully custom flagship AT&T store and takeover of AT&T HQ to Comcast rolling out an X1 interactive Shark Week game and custom voice command. To engage with YouTubeTV’s customers, Discovery had a talent takeover with Shark Week’s own Puffy the puffer fish hosting a Q&A on YouTubeTV’s Twitter.
After more than 30 years of Shark Week, you might think there are no new fish in the sea. But Discovery just keep reeling in the viewers, thanks in part to smart marketing. Its 360-marketing campaign included custom campaign for every large distribution partner. This meant MVPDs highlighted the programming stunt on local channel spots, in their VOD hubs and in other marketing. Other creative elements included a sweepstakes through DISH to win a trip to Atlantis, a customer Shark Week interactive game for Cox customers and screening events at Optimum stores. Shark Week 2019 delivered record ratings, claiming cable’s No 1 network during Shark Week across adults and men.