Shark Week

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Southwest partners with Discovery Channel for augmented reality and in-flight entertainment (IFE) with bite.

Proving itself once again to be a master of killer promotional partnerships, Southwest Airlines is teaming up this summer with longtime partner Discovery Channel to celebrate Shark Week.

In previous years the carrier has wrapped its airplanes in vivid Shark Week liveries, hosted in-flight chats with real-life shark experts and offered an array of Dare to Dive sweepstakes to exotic destinations like Aruba and Costa Rica. This year, Southwest has upped the ante even further with a Facebook-based augmented reality (AR) experience that brings Shark Week to life like never before.

Southwest’s AR experience will allow users to select their favorites among the five most-featured shark species in Shark Week programming  (hammerhead sharks, great white sharks, bull sharks, mako sharks and tiger sharks) to swim across the screen of their personal device of choice. Fans are then encouraged to share their videos and photos from the experience online using the hashtag #SharksTakeFlight.

Also sure to make a splash with Shark Week-loving Southwest passengers is the return of the carrier’s custom Shark Week IFE channel. Housing an extensive library of classic Shark Week content, the bespoke channel is also offering up a sneak peek at the latest Shark Week sensation, Extinct or Alive: The Lost Shark, which passengers can view almost 30 days before it premiers during Shark Week. If passengers do happen to be traveling during Shark Week, which airs on Discovery Channel July 28 to August 4th, they’ll also be able to watch Shark Week TV content live onboard all Southwest WiFi-equipped flights.

Currently celebrating six years of partnership with the Discovery Channel, Southwest spokesperson, Alyssa Foster says it’s not just passengers who revel in the fun during Shark Week, but the employees as well – particularly when it comes to brainstorming fun, new ways to ring in Shark Week.

“While keeping these partnerships engaging for our customers and employees, they’re also supporting commercial goals for the airline,” Foster said. “Our partnership with Discovery’s Shark Week works because both brands are open to innovating the ways that we connect with consumers through their love of these beautiful creatures.  Year after year, our Shark Week content is among the most-watched content onboard, and we have no doubt it will be the same this year.”