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Was Discovery’s Penguin Execution A Gimmick For The Birds?

Tapping into lovers of Penguins might provide a hardcore audience, but whether it will generate buzz and a large audience for a television series remains to be seen.  Discovery has launched its digital campaign around its upcoming seven-part series, FROZEN PLANET, with a penguin-centric core.  Beginning yesterday and through the month of April, they will presenting a 24/7 feed of the Penguin cam from San Diego’s Sea World and will introduce an online game called Criminal Penguins.  All of it is a cut way to engage fans ahead of the season launch, but will it be anything more than a gimmick?

I value what fun can be had by viewing the USTREAM live video for a bit, but will it entice viewers to watch the show that covers much more than cute penguins and delves into quite serious subject matter?  My 3 year-old daughter has already loved it and grown tired of it in the past 10 minutes this morning.  It seems that the game – which is coming out next week – would also be targeted at children.  I just question if it is much ado about nothing.

It could be great if they were to place more cameras or even show views from other SeaWorld penguin locations to provide more variance.  If the focus is on penguins, I wish there were also some conservancy components that I could check out with the family.  Having seen a number of USTREAM Live offerings, I am surprised by the jumpy video quality and the pixelation.  While you see penguins from a distance and hope that you can see one up close, when they do come close to the camera, you can barely make out their features.

On the surface, I think the partnership is a strong one that will bring value from the parks and other considerations.  With all the advancements in technology with multi-screen and toggling capabilities, I just feel that this execution could have been so much more to fit with the times. They do link out to SeaWorld site pages for more information, but the promotion could have leveraged the technology to convey much more than the opportunity to interact with information and “get to know” the five Antarctic species represented in stronger ways than just listing their names.

My daughter is now back in front of the computer watching the stream, jumping up and down and screaming Happy Feet!  I guess the promotion is working for something.  I just wish Discovery had gone further than the surface to present something truly special, unique and meaningful in the way they have proven they can on TV.

Without the well thought out integration and holistic environment, it just does seem like a gimmick that will easily be forgotten by the time the new show airs – leaving me to think that it was all for the birds…

By | 2016-10-29T12:43:42+00:00 March 2nd, 2012|Core|0 Comments

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