Virtual campaign virtually makes me poop my pants
Over the past few days, some popular movie bloggers like Victor Holtreman fromScreenRant (image cred) and Johnny Wright from YesButNoButYes received mysterious packages in the mail. The packages contained an old rusty mason jar with a bunch of objects inside like a shark tooth, a shredded bathing suit and closed beach sign. The most unsettling object however, was an obituary describing how the recipient died because of a shark attack.
For a full description of the contents of the jar and the notes, check out either link to the blogs above.
One of the objects is labeled with the URL FrenziedWaters.com. The page simply shows undulating dark water with four mason jars floating in the center. One of them links you to a Facebook window and asks you to login, which I regrettably did. What followed was a first-person view of what seemed to be a shark attack. It began with laughter and splashing and ended with blood, foam, and screaming. That was the pleasant part. The screen then began flashing pictures of me. Pictures with friends and family. Old pictures I had forgotten were online. Then my profile picture was posted at the top of a newspaper obituary with the year of my birth and my death, 2009. In bold letters it read “Shark Attack.” The names of friends were placed under quotes talking about what a tragedy it was. My palms are sweating by this point.
Allow me to remind you about what I’ll be doing in September. Yeah. The site didn’t scare me into thinking twice about the trip, but at the very least it did elicit some nervous laughter. “Wow, they made it look like a shark killed me. Heh…heh…”
Apparently this is a promotional campaign for some sort of movie or show. But before being shocked by my own obituary, the first thing I thought was “more shark porn.” With the annual Discovery Channel hit Shark Week beginning on August 2, many shark conservationists have hit the web to discourage the production of shark porn. Shark porn can be described as overly violent and dramatic shark footage that place priority on shock value versus truth and education. Check out Shark Divers take on the issue and the fear tactics of the campaign.
Strangely enough, although I’ve always been a fan of Shark Week, it wasn’t until I planned to actually get in the water with sharks that I realized how much of the Discovery programming can be considered “shark porn.” For the casual viewer who doesn’t seek out additional information on sharks, a lot of what’s being shown on Discovery might only reinforce the myth of the mindless killing machine. This in turn might cause people to think shark fishing is OK, and that ridding the ocean of these monsters might be beneficial to us. Case in point, this guy who caught four very large and probably very old tiger sharks off of South Carolina.
So shark issues aside, the mysterious package campaign has provided some decent buzz online. For what? We’re not sure yet. Let’s see if they can keep it up long enough for people to know what they’re talking about.
~ by Joel on July 10, 2009.