But, apparently, VW and Discovery also had some difficulty relating a small, German hatchback to a large, voracious, man-eating fish.
"When Volkswagen approached us asking, what's the next big thing we have going on this year that they can align with, Shark Week was a natural choice," said Scott Felenstein, SVP-ad sales, Discovery Channel in a story on AdAge.com. "Shark Week is Discovery's Super Bowl."
"The biggest task for us was how to integrate VW and Shark Week without it just being tacked on," said Scott Clark in the same story. He's one of the creative directors for the project at Interpublic Group's Deutsch. "We tried to find the similarities between sharks and the Beetle, but there weren't a lot. Instead we took the fun and playfulness of the Beetle on land and brought it under water."
So how do you work Beetle into Shark Week? With a wireframe Beetle shark cage, of course!
"We wanted the integration to be authentic and fit naturally with the Volkswagen brand, imprinting our signature style on Shark Week," said Justin Osborne, general manager, marketing communications, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "The Beetle shark cage plays on the silhouettes of two of the most iconic images, the shark fin and the Volkswagen Beetle."
VW's press release says the "Volkswagen Beetle Shark Observation Cage" will "put viewers in the driver's seat as it cruises along the ocean floor."
Check out the full press release and video below.
German engineering meets the ocean's highest-performing machine
Herndon, VA - Volkswagen of America is proud to announce its sponsorship of Discovery Channel's 25th annual Shark Week, which airs on the network August 12-16.
This is Volkswagen's first year as presenting sponsor for the acclaimed programming event, which has carved out its place as must-see television for millions of viewers worldwide. The unique partnership unites the two pop culture icons across multiple platforms, with Volkswagen offering viewers a chance to dive deeper into the Shark Week experience.
The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle plays a special role in the Shark Week collaboration. Volkswagen and Discovery Channel have worked closely together with marine biologist and shark expert, Luke Tipple, and his engineering team to create a one-of-a-kind "Volkswagen Beetle Shark Observation Cage" that will put viewers in the driver's seat as it cruises along the ocean floor. The design, construction and submersion of the Beetle shark cage will be unveiled for viewers in a series of three, one-minute segments during Shark Week programming.
"Shark Week has a loyal and enthusiastic following of fans, and we're thrilled to partner with Discovery Channel on this 25th anniversary special," said Justin Osborne, general manager, marketing communications, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "We wanted the integration to be authentic and fit naturally with the Volkswagen brand, imprinting our signature style on Shark Week. The Beetle shark cage plays on the silhouettes of two of the most iconic images, the shark fin and the Volkswagen Beetle."
"Discovery Channel and Volkswagen share a great partnership and we are extremely proud to have them as a presenting sponsor for our 25th annual Shark Week," said Scott Felestein, senior vice president, ad sales, Discovery Channel. "We're thrilled to offer Volkswagen the opportunity to showcase their innovation and creativity to our loyal Shark Week viewers, helping to increase awareness of their brand."
Volkswagen's social media sponsorship will enhance fans' online Shark Week experience with new viewing choices including a simultaneous broadcasting application with audio syncing to the TV programming.
Additionally, VW will provide exclusive content with a custom "Shark Bites" video playlist and timeline photos for VW's Facebook page. The custom Shark Week hashtag #VWSharkWeek will give fans a chance to engage in conversation leading up to and through Shark Week.
On-air elements include "Shark Bites," vignettes that celebrate the greatest moments from past Shark Weeks, and "Sneak Peeks," short segments beginning the week of July 17th that look ahead to this year's 25th Shark Week.