As you may know, Shark Week is a week-long series of TV programs completely dedicated to the topic of sharks. The series has been taking place on the Discovery Channel since 1987, but has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to the influence of social media.

With its growing popularity, a ton of brands are now looking for creative ways to capitalize on all this attention.

But it’s not just the big-name brands that are taking advantage of the Shark Week madness.

Here are 5 of our favorite Shark Week campaigns from real Constant Contact customers.

1. “Scarf Week” at Coveted Yarn

Yarn, knitting, crocheting…these are not things you would immediately think of when it comes time to celebrate Shark Week.

But that didn’t stop Rob Porter, owner of the Coveted Yarn, from creating an awesome Shark Week, excuse me, Scarf Week video when a shark accidently ended up on the deck of his boat.

Rob posted the video to a locally-owned video sharing site OvaTheBridge.com and shared it to his Facebook Page.

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(Trust me, you won’t want to miss this video.)

2. Narragansett Brewing Company’s “Crush it Like Quint” campaign

Rhode Island-based brewers of the Narragansett Brewing Company have a special connection to the annual Shark Week event.

In the 1975 film Jaws, Captain Sam Quint the shark hunter (played by the late Robert Shaw) crushes a can of Narragansett with one hand to intimidate Matt Hooper (played by Richard Dreyfuss).

Narragansett is re-releasing the now-famous can for a limited time only in celebration of Shark Week. They’re encouraging customers to #CrushItLikeQuint.

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3. The Manmouth Museum presents “MMKids Shark Week”

While there’s certainly plenty of entertainment that comes along with it, Shark Week is really all about education.

This week, The Manmouth Museum decided to offer some shark education of its own, offering a full week of shark activities, crafts, and other fun programs.

From “Shark Week Family Movie Night” to “Sharktastic Story Time,” it’s a fun week to visit the Manmouth Museum.

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4. Management Resources Group’s “Great White Papers for Your Summer Reading”

Even brands that don’t market directly to consumers are getting in on the Shark Week action.

This week, Management Resources Group, Inc, a leading professional services company that specializing in asset management, reliability, and foundational data services, offered some great content to its email contact list with a unique Shark Week theme.

Inviting readers to swim over to their library of more than 30 white papers and other educational content, they were able to relate to their readers in a creative way while also staying true to their brand.

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5. SciStarter.com “A Feeding Frenzy of Citizen Scientists”

For an organization like SciStarter, whose goal is to offer a place where members of the science community can discover, take part in, and contribute to research projects around the world, Shark Week is a great time to gain visibility for a number of shark-related projects.

On Monday, SciStarter sent a Shark Week-themed email with the subject line:  “SharkWeek: A Feeding Frenzy for Citizen Scientists,” promoting a number of projects that readers can become involved with right away.

They also used Facebook, Twitter, and shared articles on the SciStarter blog to help generate visibility for these exciting shark-related projects.

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Using hot topics and special events without getting bit

Whether you sell products to consumers, offer services to other business, or run a nonprofit organization, there are a number of ways you can use popular topics like Shark Week to better engage with your audience online and off.

By using hot topics like these, your marketing will not only be more engaging but it will also be more relevant to the people you interact with every day.

While I may not be in the market for yarn or interested in spending a day at the museum, I am going to pay attention to a message that connects with my personal interests outside of the products you sell or the services you provide.

Does that mean every hot topic should show up on your Facebook Page or in your next email? No. If fact, there are a number of hot topics that 99.99% of brands are better off swimming away from. But if you’re being true to your brand and keeping your customers in mind, you should be able to safely navigate the waters and have a more enjoyable marketing experience for you and your customers.

Happy Shark Week!

Have you seen any creative Shark Week marketing campaigns? Let us know about them in the comments below!