For the premiere of Discovery’s Shark Week, we hosted the first underwater Google+ Hangout from inside of a shark tank at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Marine biologist Holly Bourbon fielded questions from select YouTube stars such as iJustine and Shark Week super fans.Discovery was launching their 26th season of Shark Week and with their most famous property hitting its quarter-life crisis, we needed to convince new and old fans that this year wasn’t just a replay of the same 7-days of jaw-gnashing soft core gore. Shark Week is one of the most talked about programs across social media year over year. So with the Jaws theme playing in our heads, we transported fan conversation from the feeds of the social web to the inside of a live shark tank with sharks swirling overhead. Throughout July, Discovery and the National Aquarium prompted millions of Shark Week fans to submit questions via Facebook, Twitter and Google+ using hashtag #SharkWeekHangout. Fans’ best and most thought-provoking questions would be answered live in the Hangout on the night of the premiere. The first underwater Google+ Hangout submerged fans in the depths of a giant shark tank while the host took questions from social media while twenty sharks circled overhead. This not only allowed Discovery Channel to evolve its programming from a one-way stream of pre-canned clips to a two-way conversation, but revolutionized the way that Google+ Hangouts are used. RESULTS • Discovery Channel experienced their highest rated and most watched Shark Week telecast of all time; Shark Week debuted with a 1.3 rating (adults 25-54) and 4.8million viewers. • Coverage included AdAge, Mashable, VentureBeat as well as various other high profile news sources and blogs. • Generated 3,200+ social posts and the potential maximum reach of over 14 million impressions on Twitter.
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