ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Discovery Channel?s Shark Week leverages augmented reality to target Gen Z

Discovery Channel?s renowned programming block Shark Week is utilizing advertising mobile application Blippar to enhance physical ads with augmented reality capabilities and attract Generation Zers.

As the cable network's fans look forward to Shark Week every year, Discovery Channel is likely trying to recruit younger viewers by incorporating a mobile capability. Smartphone users can scan the ads and instantly become a part of the augmented reality experience.

?We wanted to provide a family friendly experience that could help bring children into the event and teach them about sharks and underwater life,? said Lisa Hu, vice president of business development at Blippar, New York. ?More directly, the campaign is designed to allow children and their parents to download Parragon's free Shark Week ebook. 

?The AR experience is generally designed to tap into and further heighten the excitement surrounding the social media sensation that Shark Week has become.?

Taking a bite
Users must have the Blippar app downloaded to access the experience.

The Discovery Channel and Blippar also teamed with Parragon Books to promote its eBooks for kids. These ads can be found in Metro newspapers or can be accessed on the Discovery Kids Web site. Also, the ads are on the Blippar, Parraon and Discovery social channels.

Users download the Blippar app and scan the image and the sharks then come to life. 

Once a 3D shark image is shown, users can also download a free Shark Week eBook, take a selfie with a shark or seal and send it to friends and download the Discovery Kids Sharks app. 

Blippar is available for free on iOS and Android platforms.

Biting into entertainment
Television has found several ways to incorporate its efforts with mobile to attract young, tech savvy audiences.

Television network National Geographic sought TV-to-mobile advertising to promote its show Life Below Zero through smart remote control mobile application Peel, driving an increase of viewership by 100 percent and ad recall rate by 50 percent because of the dual-focused ads.

By engaging viewers with a TV ad that was later displayed on the app, the partnership employed a multichannel strategy given the prevalence of mobile?s role in the entertainment industry lately. If users have access to promotions or advertisements across many sectors, marketers can rest assured knowing that consumers are more likely to wander across them and become more engaged (see story).

Broadcasting company Fox is readying fans for the premiere of the new upcoming show Gotham with an interactive contest involving the movie trailer and mobile application SendUs.

Marketers within the entertainment industry hope to keep the consumer?s ongoing attention through adding an interactive experience on mobile for smartphone users. Through these efforts, networks can use the power of user-generated content as brainpower for their own future initiatives (see story).

Mobile has been proven to be a great resource for furthering the television experience.

?Digital collaborations like Blippar's Shark Week campaign with Parragon can help bring popular entertainment brands to life in all-new, highly interactive ways, enabling viewers to have deeper experiences with the brands and characters they already love,? Ms. Hu said. ?Through the interactivity of an AR campaign, a memorable and shareable layer of engagement is now possible.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York