Shark Week is back for its 31st year and is riding the wave of partner tie-ins to celebrate the longest-running cable TV programming event in history. Last year, Shark Week reached 34.9 million total viewers on Total Day and 3.5 million streams across all Discovery Go digital platforms.
This year, Discovery is bringing back the experience to viewers through digital and social media platforms with new episodes on Snapchat, exclusive original programming through Discovery’s streaming Go app and over 100 new shark GIFs and stickers via Giphy.
Thanks to Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps last year, the company is also leveraging sister networks Food Network, HGTV and ID by turning their promos into Shark Week spots.
In addition to returning partners like Southwest, Build-A-Bear and Vineyard Vines, a plethora of new brands have launched Shark Week-inspired merchandise and campaigns. Here are the Shark Week partnerships that are making the biggest splash.
Hyundai, the only auto sponsor of this year’s Shark Week, hopes to boost brand metrics by partnering with Discovery on the beloved event. The partnership includes programming of the brand’s latest “Better Drives Us” campaign video spot which blends footage of sharks swimming and footage of a Hyundai SUV. The automaker will also have the ability to run targeted video on demand (VOD) and over-the-top (OTT) ads in a series—based on the Discovery channel’s first scripted feature-length film called Capsized: Blood in the Water—that will live on the Go app.
In its sixth consecutive partnership with Shark Week, the airline launched an augmented reality (AR) filter that allows fans to “swim with sharks” via mobile devices and Southwest’s site. Additionally, a never-before-seen episode of the series is available for viewing inflight on all Southwest flights.
Beer company LandShark Lager is adopting 100 sharks and giving fans a chance to swim with one of them at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Six winners will have the chance to win the grand prize, an all-inclusive trip for a two-night stay and a shark dive. To enter, fans 21 and over must text SHARK to 78896 and can do so through August 24.
LandShark Lager also created Shark Week-inspired video spots poking fun at Corona with the messaging, “This week is our week.”
The sneaker brand is new to the lineup of those getting in on Shark Week action. Launching in stores and online in July, the partnership includes a Vans line of kid and adult footwear, t-shirts and accessories featuring graphic shark overlays. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Oceana, an organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans.
To give its seafood lovers something new, Red Lobster created a pairing menu for Shark Week to make “hosting a Shark Week party easier and more fun than ever.” The restaurant is suggesting which dishes to order based on the shows airing throughout the week.
Kellogg’s teamed up with the creator of viral children’s song Baby Shark, Pinkfong, to launch a Baby Shark breakfast cereal. Starting August 17, the cereal will be available at Sam’s Club, and in late September at Walmart.
Returning partner Build-A-Bear created a new collection of furry shark stuffed animals and clothing, available in all stores and online. The brand also released a behind-the-scenes video showing rough sketches that formed the final toys.
The brand is back with a selection of almost 50 styles of apparel, swimwear and beach accessories for kids, men