To hype the March 20 telecast of Spring Break Shark Attack, CBS will blitz the airwaves during the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament with promos that end with killer sharks taking great big bites out of the historic 50-year-old “eye” logo.
Shark Attack, CBSers will tell you, is just one of those for-the-heck-of-it projects that ought to draw millions of viewers. “We also do the Hallmark Hall of Fame,” jokes George Schweitzer, president of the CBS marketing group, who concocted an elaborate and deliberately over-the-top promo campaign for a movie that has sharks, mayhem—and a lot of cute coeds in bikinis. In short, it’s perfect for the Madness crowd.
After the games start on March 17, you’ll see the shark slither across the screen with Jaws-like music sounding in the background. At California beaches, planes towing banners—with a chunk “eaten” by a shark—will hype Shark Attack, and in New York’s Times Square, CBS will distribute “Bite Me”-emblazoned can coolers and inflatable sharks. Throughout the week, CBS will promote the movie as it sponsors babe-alicious spring-break coverage beamed by Viacom-owned sister network MTV.
CBS has nixed past attempts to alter the eye, but Schweitzer says, seemingly citing a guide to such things, “I noticed, nowhere is it written that a shark can’t take a bite out of it.”