Shark Week isn't until August, but the Discovery Channel is already preparing us with its new promo. The new Shark Week promo is pretty funny, with an average Joe at the center of a feeding frenzy (and a lovely lady's attentions). Apparently, the tagline of this year's Shark Week is "King of Summer." It's a little macho, and it's a marketing angle that does not bode well for the direction of Shark Week 2014.
Last year's special saw an increase in fluffy coverage and a disturbing lack of real science – remember the disappointing fake megalodon documentary? Discovery seems to have shifted its focus to the extreme elements of sharks at the expense of hard science. Yes, it is probably difficult to fill an entire week with shark programming, but slightly boring real shark footage is preferable to fabrication and forced narratives.
Hopes that this year's Shark Week might have shifted toward a more scientific, though potentially less badass, approach are dashed by this promo. Not only does it lack any real footage of sharks, it seems like it's trying a little too hard to be viral. The ad is in the same vein of self-aware manliness as the Most Interesting Man in the World or The Man You Could Smell Like. It's been done before, and why should Shark Week be geared toward men? Discovery would be wise to let nature, rather than masculinity or fake extremes, take the lead in its advertising and Shark Week programming. Sharks are scary enough on their own.