Discovery Channel Promo, Case study FRENZIED WATERS by CAMPFIRE

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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Executive Creative Director Mike Monello
Creative Director Sean Gannon
Producer Jenn Mann
Released July 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media Marketing
Product/Service: SHARK WEEK
Date of First Appearance: Jul 7 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: CAMPFIRE, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Executive Producer: Steve Wax (Campfire)
Executive Creative Director: Mike Monello (Campfire)
President: Jeremiah Rosen (Campfire)
Creative Director: Sean Gannon (Campfire)
Producer: Jenn Mann (Campfire)
Line Producer: Ryan McGrath (Campfire)
Media placement: Blogger Outreach-50 Capsules - Entire USA - July 2009
Media placement: Radio Outreach- 11 Capsules - Entire USA - July 2009
Media placement: Story Capsules - Key Target Markets In USA - July 2009
Media placement: Twitter - Fenzied Waters Hashtag - July 2009
Media placement: Banner Ads - Key Websites/Discovery Websites - July 2009
Media placement: Homepage Teaser/In Story Teaser - - July 2009
Media placement: Facebook Connect - Key Target Markets/Facebook Group/Discovery Websites - July 2009

Results and Effectiveness
Shark Week was the most watched week of television on Discovery Channel in 2009. In the first two weeks, we hosted almost 270,000 unique visitors and drove tons of online discussion. One compelling stat: we recorded 2,232 tweets discussing or mentioning “FrenziedWaters” during that period. By the premiere of Shark Week, we received 700,000 unique visitors and we counted over 4 million Twitter impressions off of 3,527 tweets. In addition, traditional press, bloggers, and influencers covered the campaign with over 100 articles (and 1,204 online reader comments).

Creative Execution
After 22 years, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week wanted to re-establish excitement for their well-known week series. Discovery was seeking a way to stage a large-scale campaign, including robust digital media, to drive awareness and ratings. The creative portion of the campaign was grounded in intensity, anxiety and fear in order to relate to the target audience, (psychological fear enthusiasts, horror enthusiasts, reality-TV junkies, general entertainment and heavy television viewers). Discovery Channel’s enthusiastic fan base was just starting to coalesce around the network’s Facebook presence and we leveraged that audience to evangelise on our behalf. We played on the public’s inherent fear and anxiety about sharks to create a first-person POV of shark attacks. As a result, we were able to see/monitor discussions throughout Facebook, Twitter and various other blogs/social media channels. These underground discussions and POV experiences led to the most-watched week on Discovery for the year.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
“Frenzied Waters” was an interactive experience designed to promote Discovery Channel’s 2009 Shark Week. We built buzz and heightened awareness to create a frenzied climate around our campaign. It started when we shipped “experience capsules” to influencers. These capsules contained the remnants of historical shark attack narratives and were aged. Each influencer received personalized obituaries that drew from their professional and personal biographies to enhance the creepy effect. These capsules drew attention to the campaign and drove audiences to a digital experience that brought the experience capsules to life. For the campaign website we produced POV videos that recreated the shark attacks from the perspective of the victim. We used Facebook Connect to pull info from an individual’s profile - tagged photos, locations, job descriptions - and simulated the user’s life flashing before their eyes. Similarly to the custom-crafted influencer obituaries, Facebook Connect experience made the online experience buzz-worthy and proved immensely shareable.