Shark Week Shows Teeth in Generating Search: EDO

House of the Dragon EDO Shark Week
The trailer for 'House of the Dragon' fired up search engines (Image credit: HBO Max)

Commercials appearing in Shark Week programming on Discovery Channel were 49% more effective at generating incremental online searches than the average primetime program across broadcast and cable, according to research and analytic company EDO.

Compared to last year, EDO said the number of incremental search generated by commercials in this year’s edition of Shark Week generated 6% more incremental searches for the brands advertising, 552,000 compared to 523,000 a year ago.

Also: Airbnb, Morey’s, Nautica, PNC Bank, Red Robin, Sport Clips Join Shark Week Sponsors

Discovery earlier this year hired EDO to measure the impact of ad campaign on achieving clients’ business objectives.

Overall, EDO found that his year’s Shark Week primetime programming was 11% more engaging than last year’s event.

Ads and promos for entertainment properties tend to draw the most reaction from viewers, and the spot that generated the most searches during Shark Week was the 3-minute trailer for House of Dragons, HBO Max's eagerly awaited prequel to Game of Thrones. Appearing during Jackass Shark Week 2.0, the trailer generated more than 43,000 incremental search, a positive for corporate synergy now that HBO and Discovery are both part of Warner Bros. Discovery.

Running in Shark Week, the House of Dragon trailer generated 96 times the online branded search as the average House of Dragon ad on national TV.

The next two most incremental searches resulted from ads for the film Bullet Train

Among other product categories, a spot for Great Wolf Lodge generated the most additional search. The spot aired during Clash of Killers: Great White vs. Mako and produced 9,780 more searches.

Great Wolf Lodge EDO Shark Week

Commercial for Great Wolf Lodge scored during Shark Week. (Image credit: EDO)

EDO said the restaurant category accounted for half the top non-entertainment commercials, with spots for Sonic Drive-In, Domino’s Pizza and Chick-fil-A all making the list.

Among all categories, banking and finance and pharmaceuticals saw the best increases in incremental searches compared to the average primetime program. Viewers of banking and finance ads during Shark Week were 108% more likely to search online and pharma ad viewers were 72% more likely to start a search.

“This marked the first Shark Week presented by the newly merged Warner Bros Discovery network. As such, loads of cross-promotion and cross-channel support – as well as a star-studded lineup with The Rock serving as master of ceremonies and guest stars from the cast of Impractical Jokers and Jackass – helped propel year-over-year viewership as well as an 11% improvement in overall program performance,” said Laura Grover, senior VP, head of client solutions at EDO. "Ad airings from the restaurant category performed particularly well this year, holding half of the top ten spots as measured by ad-driven online branded search.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.