Dino-mite! Inside Animal Planet’s Partnership With Jurassic World

Exclusive Chris Pratt footage will air during Sunday's ‘Jurassic-Sized’ River Monsters finale

Animal Planet isn't the first network one would think of for a big movie partnership, but the Discovery Communications channel has teamed up with a potential summer blockbuster: Jurassic World.

The cable network is promoting the fourth Jurassic Park film, opening June 12, as part of its annual Monster Week, which runs through Sunday, May 24. Then on Monday, May 25, Animal Planet and Universal are joining forces for River Monsters' two-hour season finale, River Monsters: Jurassic-Sized Prehistoric Terror. River Monsters host Jeremy Wade will look at the prehistoric ancestors of the modern creatures he tracks down, using computer reenactments. The episode will also feature exclusive footage featuring Jurassic World star Chris Pratt, shot specifically for Animal Planet. The network will also wrap the episode in co-branded content.

The Animal Planet-Universal partnership was hatched last fall between Marjorie Kaplan, group president, Animal Planet, TLC and Velocity, and Annah Zafrani, svp promotions, Universal Pictures. The two companies teamed up years ago for a Puppy Bowl promotion tied to Despicable Me. But this collaboration would be on a much larger, Jurassic-sized scale. Monster Week "tied in perfectly to the themes within the film," said Scott Felenstein, evp, ad sales, Discovery Communications. 

"The dinosaurs featured throughout the film aligned with the monsters featured in River Monsters," said Jeff Pellegrini, vp ad sales, Animal Planet. "Universal was interested in finding a great environment to feature the edge-of-your-seat film content, and Monster Week fit that idea perfectly.

In addition to the River Monsters finale integration, "the campaign combines Animal Planet's targeted digital video with a series of custom produced microsodes, very short episodes, that will live on Animal Planet's Facebook page," said Pellegrini. Those microsodes will combine Monster Week moments and Jurassic World imagery. Universal will also receive targeted video display on the Monster Week site.

After its dino-sized partnership concludes next week, Animal Planet hopes to team up with other major media properties. "Animal Planet is adaptable to multiple partnerships, whether it is our tentpole events, like Monster Week or Puppy Bowl, our build shows like Treehouse Masters, or our popular pet programming. We offer something for everyone," said Felenstein.