Saturday, July 18, 2009

Horror and Terror

From Creativity Online.

Discovery Channel seeks to bring the fear back into Shark Week in a promotional game created by Campfire, along with N.Y. and Stockholm-based interactive shop Your Majesty...
Campfire Co-Founder/ECD Mike Monello says he and team returned to their horror roots in conceiving this game. "Discovery Channel had a great brief," he explains. "Shark Week is 22 years old, and a lot of people think of it as a known quantity. They wanted to tap into people's fear of Sharks and bring back the fear of Shark Week.

Just great isn't it.
I found the above link on The Dorsal Fin, an interesting "Shark conservation-minded blog that will deal with Shark news and promotion of Shark conservation".

Here's what they have to say about Discovery's idiotic Frenzied Waters.

Now, why would I give a free-pass to Campfire for creating a horror-based entertainment vehicle, but then turn-around and call out Discovery Channel over it?

It’s simple, I expect more/better from Discovery Channel, because it is the worldwide leader in non-fiction programming.
Discovery Channel is marketed as a learning/educational themed channel, while Campfire’s philosophy is quite a bit different. According to Discovery’s corporate site, “John Hendricks launched Discovery Channel in 1985 with a mission to satisfy curiosity and make a difference in people’s lives by providing the highest-quality, nonfiction content, services and products that entertain, engage and enlighten.”

Is creating an unnecessary sense of fear towards Sharks really “enlightening” the audience?
People who watch programs on Discovery Channel do so under the assumption that they are watching an educational work of non-fiction. Focusing a marketing campaign around Sharks attacking humans for programming that is expected to be educational is just plain irresponsible and seems to go against their Corporate Social Responsibility statement, in my opinion.

While I won’t be see ignorant as to not understand the fascination of people with the predatory aspect of Sharks, I still do not understand why Discovery Channel feels the need to perpetuate fear rather than respect of this aspect of Sharks.

At the end of the day, I guess the marketing experts at the Discovery Channel concluded that tapping into fear could earn them more advertising dollars than educating viewers would. At the rate that worldwide shark populations are decreasing, I would think that Discovery Channel would see that their “cash cow” is at risk of running dry.

Perhaps, it might be a good idea to focus on conservation rather than fear.
Apparently, that wasn’t in the marketing plan for Shark Week this year.

Whoever you are, well said!


Jim Wells said...

Shark Week is a travesty against sharks. The biggest sell out is Paul Gasek who claims to be pro shark and is a staff member of the US National Aquarium.

At most he's a shill for Discovery Shark Porn,he represents the worst of those who's job it is to show all animals in a positive light, and who have thrown all dignity aside for a few moments in front of the camera and some cheap fame.

Shame on selling out Paul, and to all the other NGO's who have been subsumed by DC and are being used by them as a cheap counter to Shark Porn.

National Aquarium
Sea Shepherd - whale wars

DaShark said...


But why "Oceana"?
Isn't it the Ocean Conservancy?