"Shark Week" is still a month away but the ad campaign has begun, and it features the same kind of drama the Discovery Channel series is famous for--at the expense of poor Snuffy the Seal.
The accompanying video shows a fictitious newsroom story with footage of a rehabilitated and beloved seal, Snuffy, being lowered from a pier in a sling, about to be released. Enter the monstrous shark, completing an airborne attack before horrified spectators.
The footage might, for some, seem in poor taste. But the abruptness of the ad works perfectly for its theme: "Shark Week. It's a bad week to be a seal."
Writes Business Insider: "The ad is shocking, awesome, and effectively getting fans pumped up for August 4."
The Drum points out that "Snuffy the Seal" was trending on Twitter after the release of the ad.
One of the tweets, via Conner Morris (@ConnerSaurusRex): "I've been an emotional basket case ever since I saw that shark kill Snuffy the Seal."
Another tweet described the footage as "advertising genius at it's finest."
That's a fair assessment.
Presumably, fans of "Shark Week" will see real sharks munching real seals when the series airs Aug. 4-9.