Syfy flick Sharknado got the buzz — but even it paid homage to Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” the piscine power stunt that returns for a 26th summer on Aug. 4. It’s still swimming strong, as premiere episodes drew a cumulative 21.4 million viewers last year, up from 18.6 million in 2011. Discovery won the week last year in the 18-49 demo among nonscripted cable networks. This year’s Shark Week ups the number of entries to 11, from eight last year, plus a nightly Shark After Dark show.
The stunt also is a prime time for Discovery to do tie-ins with affiliates, which this year include:
• A Shark Week celebration event at Time Warner Cable’s retail store grand opening in Los Angeles on Friday, Aug. 2, featuring Josh Wolf, host of the late-night Shark After Dark.
• Shark Week family day events with TWC at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, both on Saturday, Aug 3.
• Comcast Spotlight Chicago hosting an advanced screening of Return of Jaws at two iPic theaters on Wednesday, July 31. Several local Cox Media markets (Rhode Island, New Orleans, Kansas/Arkansas, Omaha and Oklahoma City) also will host advanced screenings of that documentary, which includes “Shark Cam” footage of great white sharks hunting near seal colonies off Cape Cod, Mass.
• Retail promotions in 31 Time Warner Cable stores, with a sweepstakes in which a customer will win a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with a shark adventure. Mediacom Communications also will have Shark Week promos out in five of its largest retail stores.
• Dish Network will be running an onair promotion on the Blockbuster Studio Channel, including a pre-premiere episode of Top 10 Sharkdown, recounting international shark attacks, and the top 10 Shark Week programs of all time.
• Various affiliates have been supplied with promo-assisting “Event in a Box” kits that include an eight-foot inflatable shark, signage and a screener.
Discovery is again partnering with environmental groups interested in assisting sharks and other ocean life. Discovery will offer up multi-platform content produced in conjunction with partners that include federal agency NOAA Fisheries, One World One Ocean and Oceana.
Moon-dos? Moon-two? New mun2 Campaign Sets Record Straight
NBCUniversal-owned Latino youth cable network mun2 is embarking on its first brand refresh in years, launching an awareness campaign that takes a witty approach to bridging the pronunciation gap of “mun2.”
The mun2 moniker plays off the Spanish word for the number two, so the name sounds like “mundos” — as in Spanish for “worlds.”
“We realized that, yes, some people have a hard time pronouncing mun2 correctly, so we said: ‘Let’s have a little fun with it,’ ” Ricardo de Montreuil, vice president and creative director of bilingual mun2, told The Wire. He and marketing vice president Alex Alonso are leading the brand-refresh effort.
Elements include a small tweak of the mun2 logo, which gets a new font and is now framed within a circle. Accompanying the change is a new image campaign — the first in six years — kicking off Aug. 12 across several NBCU properties, including Bravo, USA Network, Syfy, iVillage, Telemundo, Oxygen and Style.
Titled “Maestro: How to mun2,” the effort centers around the character of Maestro (Teacher), a prim and proper, jewelry-clad, mustachioed man who educates new network viewers on how to properly say “mun2.”
In “Diner,” one of two spots created by New Yorkbased agency Gretel, Maestro uses all sorts of facial and verbal tricks to teach a clueless kid how to say mun2. The kid tries several times: “Mohn-too,” “Moon-toes,” “Moon-dust,” “Moon-does,” until he finally gets it right and both crack up in hysterical laughter.
In a second spot, “Rapid Fire,” Maestro is in a parking lot helping “educate” a young woman on the correct pronunciation of mun2. In his effort, Maestro turns up such hints as a group of wrestlers, a quinceañera, a group of beauty-pageant contestants and a low rider until, ultimately, she gets it.
Maestro also will take part in mun2 events throughout the year, starting on Aug. 17, when he will make a surprise appearance at a popular Los Angeles flea market.
— Laura Martínez
NCTA Faces Deadline On Accepting Terms For Rebrand Prospect
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has until mid-September to agree to a disclaimer to its request to trademark a potential new moniker — “NCTA The Internet & Television Association” — or risk losing the opportunity to protect that possible name change.
As reported back in January by FierceCable editor Steve Donohue, NCTA submitted the possible new name to the Patent and Trademark Office for trademark protection. NCTA said at the time it was simply exploring the possibility of the name change and wanted to protect that option.
It would be no huge surprise if the trade group opted to put the Internet first in its name — or even removed “cable” altogether — as its members have been placing some big bets on broadband, from their role as uber-Internet-service providers to their exploding Wi-Fi presence. It would represent a bit of a “back to the future” move, though, as the NCTA removed “television” from its name in 2006, embracing “telecommunications.”
The PTMO found no conflicting mark, but in an April 16 letter it informed the NCTA it had to disclaim any exclusive right to the “The Internet & Television Association” partly because others might want to use it to describe their goods or services.
“An applicant may not claim exclusive rights to terms or designs that others may need to use to describe or show their goods or services in the marketplace,” the agency said.
The NCTA had no comment.
— John Eggerton