Verizon Media Pushes Shark Week With Augmented Reality Campaign

Shark Week Verizon Media AR Discovery Plus
Verizon's AR campiagn aims to get people to subscribe to Discovery Plus (Image credit: Verizon Media)

Discovery and Verizon Media are bringing sharks closer to viewers with an augmented reality Shark Week campaign aimed at driving viewers to Discovery Plus.

The programmatic campaign, Shark Week IRL is built around AR filters for Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook that put the underwater predators into the viewers' surroundings.

Verizon was a launch partner for Discovery Plus in January and helped generate subscriptions via programmatic ad campaigns across display, mobile, video, Xbox, digital out of home and connected TV. 

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Discovery was also one of the first brands to use Verizon Media’s TV tune-in attribution product, which launched last year.

The AR filters are being promoted through a multi channel campaign executed in display, mobile, video, CTV and digital out-of-home through Verizon Media’s demand side platform. The ads include a QR code that helps users download the lenses. 

Verizon Media says 85 million people in the U.S. are expected to use AR this year. Members of Gen Z are particularly expected to point their phones and unlock additional layers of content.

Also Read: Shark Week Spawns Everything From Cupcakes to Underwear

“The past year has unlocked new consumer demand for branded experiences that are more immersive, innovative and interactive,” said Iván Markman, chief business officer at Verizon Media. “Hybrid reality experiences’ value has accelerated, further bridging the physical and digital divide, and bringing branded experiences to consumers wherever they are. We’re proud to partner with Discovery for yet another iconic Shark Week summer event.”

Verizon is in the process of selling Verizon Media to Apollo Global Management for $5 billion.

As part of the campaign, native AR ad units also ran across Verizon Media’s premium owned and operated properties like Yahoo. AR for programmatic requires unique creative and Verizon Media’s in-house creative agency was tapped to re-code and optimize the AR creative to be able to run broadly, and programmatically, across channels and platforms, extending reach and visibility. 

“The campaign is a great example of AR advertising’s evolution - it’s accelerating as an ad format through programmatic,” said Markman. “With access to programmatic platforms, like the Verizon Media DSP, brands can now execute AR advertising at scale, while ensuring data-driven targeting and performance.”

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.