I’m glad the network is all Lady GaGa over its recent ratings and ad revenue increase. They’ve gone from one demo geeky guys et al. to another (older women). Yeah, and...? Regardless of the buzz over the renaming (and its slow as hell website), its problem always seemed to be one of programming. Wasn’t a fan of the name change mah-self.
The “if” part of the tagline equation from the previous iteration was the real heart of imagination and sci-fi. That was about the idea of possibilities. The current Imagine Greater seems too aspirational.
As one response to the Ad Age piece summed things up:
I still hate the name change. Unfortunately, since the owners decided to change the program mix more and more away from anything that fits the definition of “science fiction”, then the name change fits.
It is the change in programs that they air that is drawing in a different audience. Why is it that every cable channel that seems to have a niche wants to broaden their audience by straying from what they are supposed to be?
I’m a pretty major horror slash sci-fi freak, and right now, SyFy is generally the last channel I turn to for either genre. Over time, I think Fox, FX and a few others have created better original series. SyFy feels like where reruns go to die.
Call it Lifetime Lite™ for female science fiction fans. Can’t wait until they roll out the MySyFy brand extension.
Before the channel fanboys jump on this one, look at the website. (The, slow-loading website among other things.*) It’s trying for portal status with sections like Art & Design, Culture and Fidgit | Gaming. This approach has even extended to the TV experience. I don’t mind a rebrand if the new thing makes you go wow, but as a hardcore fan, this doesn’t.
Maybe they’re okay with that though because in their minds, the channel was never about fans like me. Their loss, because there’s still room out there for a kick-ass Sci-Fi horror channel. Imagine Greater?
Okay, how about imagining a Tarantino and Co. creating the ultimate site? One with online streaming of every badploitation sci-fi flick he grew up watching. Original shorts from known directors. A site that ties in with hardcore gamers and live events in a way SyFy doesn’t currently do. (And so on.)
In place of those things though, you’re left with a generic sci-fi experience watered down for the masses. All networks need shows with passionate fans. You have to ask what original show has given the network the obsessiveness of a Lost, an X-Files, a Star Trek TNG?
Maybe, Stargate. Battlestar Galactica was about the only show I watched but it was killed after a relatively short run. Caprica now fills the void in terms of a BG backstory. (They also offer free music to go along with the show.) Here’s hoping that Space 1999 remake happens though! (I’m such a kidder.) Also too soon to see how Warehouse 13 does in the long run. Ghost Hunters? Cool, but I’d hate to see the channel go all reality show.
Should you have to scrounge around to find hits though? They’re a science fiction channel—that’s what they do. You’d hope they’d have more hits than misses in the genre. After that, all they seem to have is reruns. (Forget reruns in terms of movies either.)
Speaking of flicks, check out their original titles. Are you hot for Aztec Rex? I know I am. Tell me that’s not an ancient Mexican T-Rex with lasers in its nostrils.**
Our Lady of Land of the Lost, pray for us.
What good is promoting a brand if the product still needs work. I don’t mean a website makeover or integration with museums, but a commitment to owning the genre for real fans.
Instead, they have a site that appeals to fans’ moms.
*Really? The search function on the bottom of the page?
**All ancient Mexican T-Rexes had lasers in their nostrils.