AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Fins Up! Discovery Channel Gets Creative for Shark Week

Posted by rubenmarinbach on August 7, 2012

As many of you know, Shark Week is coming up next week. This is one of my favorite weeks of the year by far, despite the Great White nightmares it might (definitely) causes for a few nights a year. Shark Week already has a massive cult following, is a huge topic on social media annually, and in it’s 25th year now, is more popular than ever. For all of these reasons, the Discovery Channel is deciding to take the plunge (sorry…) into a slightly risky, but very fun and creative new social platform for this year’s festivities. The Discovery Channel has partnered with a new service called Thunderclap. Thunderclap tracks how many people share or spread the word about a topic, in this case Shark Week, as well as the conservation efforts of Discovery Channel,  and non profits Oceana, PEW Charitable Trusts, and Shark Savers. Thunderclap displays how many people have signed up, and if enough shares are scheduled, the message will be sent out Flash Mob style. Pretty awesome.

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Here’s a look at what the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week Thunderclap page looks like

This is just the latest site to continue what I believe is the next trend in social media and marketing, which is turning online interactions to in -person, touch-point experiences. No longer is it enough to utilize social media in it’s basic form to market a product or disseminate a message. There seems to be a reverse reaction now, at least in my eyes, towards bringing back the physical, personal element of campaigns (in this case, the flash mob), to provide something more tangible than we’ve seen in years. It’s almost like a less corny PR stunt. I think a lot of people feel as if they’ve “seen it all” online, and now would like to just have fun instead of being the “first” or the “coolest”. In the case of Thunderclap, with the ability for people to share the message through their Facebook or Twitter, the idea should pay off. The Shark Week Thunderclap already has over 38,000 shares and can easily be in the millions within the next few days. Now that’s something to take a bite out of (sorry…)

Happy Early Shark Week,
-Ruben Marinbach

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One Response to “Fins Up! Discovery Channel Gets Creative for Shark Week”

  1. kap07 said

    Very interesting. Reminds me a bit of experimental marketing when you were mentioning how the public wants something more tangible on social media. In some way giving the public this power can cause a lot of changes that organization should be aware of if they want to utilize it to their advantage- ie. advocacy groups like the Humane Society and others can really do a lot with this. Also, nice ending to the piece, Ruben.

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