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giant inflatable shark for shark week

Celebrating Shark Week with Chompie: A Jaw-some Spectacle

Every year, Shark week takes a bite out of summer television, captivating audiences with fascinating, thrilling, and educational programming about sharks.  Launched by Discovery Channel in 1988, Shark Week has grown into a pop culture phenomenon, drawing millions of viewers eager to learn more about these fascinating ocean predators.  But beyond the documentaries and special features, one of the most iconic symbols of Shark Week past has been Chompie, the massive inflatable shark that graced the Discovery Channel headquarters in Maryland for many years.

Custom Inflatable Shark Replica Through the Discovery Channel Building for Shark Week Promotion
Inflatable Shark Named Chompie In Discovery Channel Headquarters

The Origins of Shark Week

Shark Week began as a week-long event to promote conservation efforts and dispel myths about sharks, aiming to present these creatures in a more scientific and less sensationalized light.  The initiative was also intended to boost tv viewership during the summer, which is typically a slow television time.  Over the years, Shark Week has become the longest-running cable television programming event in history, recognized for its blend of both entertaining content and educational content.

Shark Week has featured a wide array of programming, from heart-pounding shark attack reenactments to informative documentaries about shark behavior, biology, and conservation efforts.  Each year, the television event garners a significant following, uniting shark enthusiasts, marine biologists, and casual viewers.  Ths year, Shark Week is taking place on Discovery Channel from July 7th to July 13th and is hosted by John Cena. 

Meet Chompie: The Inflatable Shark That Swam Though the Discovery Headquarters

In 2008, Discovery Channel decided to make a splash when advertising for Shark Week.  They did this by introducing the world to Chompie, a colossal inflatable shark.  This enormous inflatable creation quickly became a fan favorite and an unforgettable part of Shark Week’s promotional efforts for the years to come.

Chompie wasn’t just an amazing inflatable advertisement, it was a feat of engineering and design.  The inflatable shark consisted of five inflatable pieces, required ten blowers running continuously to stay inflated, and spanned over 400 feet in length.  The construction of the inflatable Chompie used 11,750 yards of fabric, illustrating the sheer scale and complexity of the project.

Chompie made multiple appearances at the Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The enormous inflatable shark looked like it had swam right through the headquarters building!  With the head sticking out from one side of the building, the tail sticking out the back, fins attached to both sides of the building, and a giant dorsal fin sticking out from the roof of the building.  

Chompie the Giant Inflatable Shark for Shark Week
Chompie the Giant Inflatable Shark for Shark Week

Why Custom Inflatables Like Chompie Work

Chompie’s success is a testament to the power of custom inflatables in marketing and promotional efforts.  Here’s why these larger-than-life creations are so effective:

  1. Eye Catching Appeal: Custom inflatables like Chompie are visually striking and impossible to ignore.  Their sheer size and presence make them perfect for drawing attention, whether at events, trade shows, or in public spaces.
  2. Memorable Branding: A unique inflatable creates a lasting impression.  People remember the spectacle, associate it with the brand, and share their experiences on social media, extending the reach and impact of the marketing campaign.  In fact, when Discovery stopped displaying Chompie to promote Shark Week, people noticed and articles were written about it in the local news.
  3. Cost-Effective: Comparted to other forms of large-scale adverting, inflatables offer a high return on investment.  They provide significant visibility and engagement without the recurring costs associated with traditional media.  Discovery was able to use the same inflatable Chompie year after year to promote their Shark Week event.

Leveraging Custom Inflatables in Your Next Marketing Campaign

For businesses and organizations looking to make a splash, custom inflatables offer endless possibilities.  Whether it’s a giant inflatable product replica for a launch event, interactive inflatables for a trade show, or a themed inflatable for a seasonal promotion, these eye-catching creations can elevate any marketing campaign.

At Inflatable Design Group, we specialize in creating bespoke inflatables tailored to your specific needs and vision.  Our knowledgeable team works closely with clients to design and manufacture inflatables that captivate audiences and enhance brand visibility.  From concept to execution, we ensure that every detail is perfect, delivering an unforgettable marketing tool that resonates with your target audience.

Shark Week and Chompie exemplify the power of innovative marketing strategies.  The giant inflatable shark not only drew attention to the Discovery Channel headquarters but also became an iconic symbol of Shark Week. 

By leveraging custom inflatables, businesses can create memorable experiences that captivate audiences, boost brand visibility, and drive engagement.  Contact our team at to learn how we can help you make a big splash with your next marketing campaign.

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