A Look Back at Discovery's Killer Shark Week Ads

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Believe it or not, Discovery Channel's Shark Week, the inspiration for a now very famous life lesson, is twenty-five years old.

It's not hard to see why audiences keep coming, with shows ranging from "Sharkzilla," "Shark Fight," to "Air Jaws" and "How Not to Become Shark Bait," but we suspect some groundbreaking marketing has helped to ensure its success. To kick off the fun, check out some of Discovery's most exciting promotional Shark Week plays from around the globe.

Beetle, Meet Shark
For this year's big Shark-fest, Discovery tapped Deutsch L.A. and partnered with Volkswagen on a new campaign that created a VW Beetle-shaped shark cage. The footage from the cage will be captured for one-minute segments to air on Discovery this week.

A Biteful of Fun
RappCollins Sydney came up with this fun out of home "board" to promote Shark Week in Australia.

Here, Sharky Sharky!
Revision3, an online video company owned by Discovery, adds a softer side to the brutality that is Shark Week with "Animals Acting Like Sharks Week," featuring a bunch of critters that aren't exactly as badass as a Great White.

There's a Shark Behind You
Australian Coastal Watch, created for Australia's Shark Week in 2009, leveraged Google Maps to pinpoint sharks creeping in on sunbathers at Bondi Beach. Check it out--it's still live--and make sure to zoom in real close to see the detail.

A Real Good Scare
Creative shop Campfire was the mastermind behind the "Frenzied Waters" alternate reality game. The agency worked with interactive shop Your Majesty to freak the f-ck out of blooger and journalists with mysterious packages containing shark victim paraphernalia, like bloody clothing and newspaper obits. The goods pointed to a website, Frenziedwaters.com (no longer a Shark Week site), where visitors could find clues to locate capsules containing more, er, sharkbait. Read more about the effort in Behind the Work.

It's Like My Own Pet Shark!
For its 20th Anniversary, Discovery teamed with digital/gaming shop Area/Code to launch SharkRunners, an online game that invites users to man a marine research boat and tail actual sharks that were tagged with GPS units.

The following year saw SharkRunners 2, an experienced that upped that upped the ante by bringing the hunt to the Great Barrier Reef and adding a slew of social elements.

Be Very Afraid
This 2003 ad out of Bayless Cronin and directed by Peter Darley Miller showed how Shark Week made it scary to go into any kind of water.

The Shark Has Entered the Building

Shark Week mascot Chompie, is a 446-long, 200-foot wide inflatable shark that graces the Discovery Communications' Maryland headquarters every year. This time around, he's accompanied by Chompie Jr., a roving little guy who's been out and about rewarding Shark Week's most loyal fans in person.

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