• Video
  • 11
What do sharks and the Volkswagen Beetle have in common? No, this isn't a joke. We can't really come up with any uncontrived correlations, but that isn't stopping VW from being the title sponsor of Discovery Channel's 25th annual Shark Week.

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.

Show full PR text
VOLKSWAGEN JOINS DISCOVERY CHANNEL AS PRESENTING SPONSOR FOR 25TH ANNUAL SHARK WEEK

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.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Erik Robinson
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a sad sad pointless publicity stunt. I'm sure some clueless marketing exec thought it sounded great in the boardroom and used lots of words like "synergistic", "leverage" and "energize".
      Gorgenapper
      • 2 Years Ago
      Discovery Channel has become less about intelligent programs and more about making money. I mean all shows are about making money but Discovery used to have a definite focus on interesting documentaries. Now it's all about Ice Truckers, tow truck drivers, crab fishermen and other useless shït.
      GasMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's official. VW has jumped the shark.
      - v o c t u s -
      • 2 Years Ago
      ...in honor of shark week... ::rolleyes::
      yanxfan67
      • 2 Years Ago
      You go inside the cage? Cage goes in the water? Shark's in the water. Our shark.
        atc98092
        • 2 Years Ago
        @yanxfan67
        What's with the thumbs down? Doesn't anyone recognize lines from "Jaws"?
      YOUKNOWWHATSCREW@HOTMAIL.COM
      I know what they have in common. They both need to be underwater for anyone to find them interesting in any appreciable way.
      mr.vw
      • 2 Years Ago
      How f'ing stupid..!! VW is losing it's German edge with our family. VW turning is into Toyota. A water down version what they use to be. Just watch next a passat NASCAR!. VW moving the beetle upstream is the most short sighted move possible. With the impending global fiscal correction coming VW could of really capitalized by offering the beetle in its true form. Cheap counter culture transportation which made it hip again. Any real vw guy is going with the gti which way is better in the corners and twice the car in build quality. One reason - German built. The beetle, new jetta/passat are crap compared to the German built Volkswagen.
      Ric J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Didn't Top Gear Australia already do this with a classic Mini?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]