What do Sharks and the Volkswagen Beetle Have in Common?

Since 1988, Discovery Channel has aired a week-long series of feature television programs dedicated to sharks, usually running in July or August.

How do you work the VW Beetle into Shark Week? With a wireframe Beetle shark cage, of course! (Source: autoblog.com)

Volkswagen plans to take a big bite out of this year’s Shark Week, which airs on the Discovery Channel 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 across multiple platforms, with Volkswagen offering viewers a chance to dive deeper into the Shark Week experience.

“The biggest task for us was how to integrate VW and Shark Week without it just being tacked on,” said Scott Clark in a story on AdAge.com.

“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!

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.

“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, in a news release.

Building the wire Beetle shark from the ground up. (Source: autoevolution.com)

“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.”

It looks like how it sounds, metal bars looking just like the outline of the new Beetle turned into a shark cage, complete with wheels.

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.

To play up the connection, the German automaker is offering “Shark Bites” video playlist and timeline photos for its Facebook page.

“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.

On-air elements include “Shark Bites,” vignettes that celebrate the greatest moments from past Shark Weeks, and “Sneak Peeks,” short segments began the week of July 17 that look ahead to this year’s 25th Shark Week.

Volkswagen is going to take a big bite out of the 25th anniversary of Shark Week. (Source: usatoday.com)

The Volkswagen Beetle Shark Observation Cage will certainly put viewers in the driver’s seat as it cruises along the ocean floor.


Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Website: vw.com

Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications is the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.7 billion cumulative subscribers in 209 countries and territories.

Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through more than 147 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, and Science and Investigation Discovery.

Website: corporate.discovery.com

Please Note: This is the second of a two-part series on Shark Week

Part 1: Shark Week 2012

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Worth Pondering…
Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in January, only more intelligent.
—Dave Barry

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