In the tradition of the 1975 classic Jaws, Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week is back to take a bite out of summer fun in the surf. Seven days of shows began Sunday, including programs on the deadliest shark attack ever, killer tiger sharks and what it's like to be eaten alive. (You can see a pattern here.)
Promotions for the annual fright fest's 20th anniversary include New York City cabs painted to resemble great whites and pop-up magazine ads that open to 5-inch-high shark fins. Last year, more than 20 million people tuned in to the 60 hours of Shark Week shows. To better satisfy the feeding frenzy, Discovery increased it to 130 hours this year. Says head of marketing Marina Anglim: "People love sharks."
Toymaker Mattel doesn't have a formal deal with Discovery, but like any good corporate predator, it knows how to attack an opportunity. Just out is its Matchbox Mega Rig Shark Ship (a giant sailing vessel with a giant shark and giant price of $44.99). To be sure no one misses the connection, Mattel cites Shark Week in its product announcement.
Singin' in the rain
Rihanna has rained, er, reigned over radio playlists with her hit song Umbrella. Now, the sexy singer's fans can stay dry under new Rihanna umbrellas from Totes Isotoner and her Def Jam music label. The line includes a rainbow of colors, with styles from $15 to $50 on totes-isotoner.com. Totes — maker of umbrellas, slickers and rubber footwear — may earn a little hip cachet as well as cash with this deal.
"The company has had a lot of fun with it," says Kristen Stary, category director for rain products. "We're happy that she's made umbrellas topical."
Are you ready for some logos?
Starting with the Aug. 9 preseason play, print photographers at National Football League games must wear vests sporting logos of the NFL, Reebok and camera-maker Canon. The NFL says it's so security can identify journalists on the sidelines, but the National Association of Newspaper Editors and the Associated Press Managing Editors think the league stepped out of bounds. In letters to Commissioner Roger Goodell, they protested photographers becoming "walking billboards."
TV station crews get black vests with Reebok logos. Network crews can wear vests with their own logos.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the plan is not an ad ploy. "If it were, the (logo) size and the placement would be highly visible to the TV audience."
Water on tap
Under pressure from advocacy group Corporate Accountability International, PepsiCo is adding "Public Water Source" to Aquafina labels to clarify that, like many bottled waters, it is purified tap water. "It's a reasonable thing to do," spokeswoman Michelle Naughton says. The group argued that label images of snow-capped mountains and the slogan "pure water, perfect taste" implied it was spring water.
Girls just want to have funds
That sums up a just-released financial survey from female-oriented cable network Oxygen (2,100 U.S. women ages 15 to 70 polled from January to March). Highlights:
• 79%: Prefer $25,000 in stock to $25,000 in jewelry as a birthday gift from a significant other.
• 75%: Say they're more concerned with their assets looking big than their butt looking big.
• 70%: Say they'd rather their mother taught them to be a moneymaker rather than a homemaker.
• 64%: Prefer a financial makeover to a beauty makeover.
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