GLOW Crit #2:
Syfy Brand Voice
Concept: A Sci-Fight.
Inspired by Syfy's love for WWE, the genre's epic need for fighting/battle, and Syfy's interest in ESPN and their ability to celebrate every part of their genre (sometimes all at once), I thought- let's give em a fight they won't forget!
The idea is to spark unusual and creative interest by pitting iconic and beloved Science Fiction characters against each other on social media and have the Syfy fans "battle" over who is best.
Syfy would play marathons of each movie series in the same week and the social content would prod at viewers' brains a little bit. In the spirit of Sci-Fi fan fiction and chat rooms, this idea could really take off in an interesting way and Syfy could become the outlet and social space where Sci-Fi fans come to discuss their Sci-Fi thoughts. Fans may even be inspired to create wacky fan art with our out of the box pairings to show us their thoughts. (Contests?) The key is to own the genre and to put completely random characters/movies together in order to get a larger crowd interested in the TV network and the social chatter. This concept is all in good fun and while the characters are "battling" they're also all on the same team: the Sci Fi team and there is plenty of content to celebrate that fact. What would happen if Batman and Harry Potter had some beef? How are they similar? How are they Different?
For example these gif mashups:
Other on-air ideas related to the battle of the week such as trivia for example are another way to get those Sci-Fi brains working and involved in the brand. They can be featured on Snapchat- highlighting its tapping interface making it easy for users to find out the trivia answers with the tap of a finger. Additionally, If they're displayed during commercial breaks, a curious mind must wait until the end of the commercials to find out how well they truly know their favorite shows/comics/movies.
Other things that may be more on the nostalgic side would be quote cards featuring figurines of Sci-Fi characters; a huge part of the Sci-Fi culture. I think that using figurines more often in content is a different and relatable way to get fans, collectors, and general nerds alike interested in the content and feel some more warmth toward Syfy as a brand because they're bringing back childhood memories. In this example in particular, I was able to find a quote from Harry Potter and Batman that was very very similar which I found super interesting and sharable. Finding similarities and differences in these seemingly random characters is just one more fascinating point of conversation for Syfy viewers to discuss and celebrate.
As I'm sure most of you have come to a similar conclusion, what would help SyFy is to make more genuine fan-like content. We should think of ourselves as (educated) fan artists. Be that design, typography, photo editing, Illustration, or Motion Design. And with these skills, we could create more series based pieces similar to the "This Day in Syfy" pieces I have been making (example shown somewhere around here). Which I believe to be successful because it is simply a cool illustrated piece made for fans of all types of fandoms with their love in mind.
Here is a quick piece to help re-illustrate the series concept. This could be considered an Update type series which just informs of interesting real life Sci-Fi events taking place. For example, the findings of Proxima B! This is made for fans, similar to myself, who are most interested in Space and its current happenings.
I know on Instagram we already do illustrations to celebrate “This Day in Science Fiction” and those are the best performing post. We need to go further. I attached a quote card from one of the most known science fiction films ever, Metropolis. Science Fiction fans love to celebrate their culture through nostalgia and/or reflections on how the genre began vs where it is now.
[Sci-fi Fans LOVE]
- Talking about comic books
- Video Games that fit the genre such as “The Dark Souls” post on Facebook
- Celebrate the culture: Highlight genre defining quotes, the roots, nostalgia
- Advancements in tech (Example)
- Saturday Anime
- Licensing more science fiction films
- Quality documentaries on sci-fi topics (ex: how scenes in popular movies are made, CGI behind the scene looks)
- Reality tv shows, wrestling and cooking shows
- Stop showing James Bond films (there are other channels for that)
* There are Youtube celebs and channels that support all kinds of science fiction such as:
Black Nerd: He was at Live From Comic Con
Felicia Day: She wrote the Syfy show, Eureka
Syfy should look into giving people like this segment shows or their own programs. These are the kind of people Syfy should be trying to attract because they live and breathe the culture plus millennials love them. Thanks.
If Syfy really wants to own the genre, the first step is for them to acknowledge that more than half of the best Sci-fi and Fantasy movies and shows have been anime, and at the same time most everybody can agree that Toonami had a major impact on a generation and introduced Americans to Dragonball Z, Gundam, and Pokemon. Without Toonami those shows would not be the household names they are today (depending on the household). Currently, Toonami is only a Saturday night set of programming on Cartoon Network. I think its initial success capturing the latch-key kid market can be replicated to establish Syfy as the place all teens know is the home of all Sci Fi and Fantasy. I can sincerely see Toonami or a Toonami-like block of after-school programming reviving Syfy's appeal.
So after careful review, I think different ideas we could suggest to Syfy that can make them an identity brand begins with immersing themselves in the Sci Fi culture. ESPN sponsors sports tournaments, from little league to adult. What Syfy did at Comic Con was great start. Being apart of the NERD culture once again. Some other things I think syfy can do are:
- Bring back Anime Saturdays. Anime is definitely apart of the culture in its own way, and many animes adhere to what sci fi is all about. Subtracting that definitely eliminated a heavy fan base (that is also a big part of comic con think people who dress up as anime characters).
- Give info snippets on social media of how certain things went down, or have chat sessions where people speculate what could have happened to certain characters. Sort of like a reddit but sponsored by syfy. Also they could do info sessions on how special effects play roles in certain scenes and how those special effects were done (for the tech geeks).
- Finally bring back revamped commercials of the "If" syfy commercials. I added a bootleg janky version onto this email, but something that incorporated everything Syfy wants to be about (or in separate versions) while using their new logo.
Final idea even though it may not be accepted, since a big hoopla was made about Syfy being a slang term for Syphilis, what if Syfy made a commercial about a guy peeing, and you see his back or whatever at a stall, acting like his pee is burning, but what comes out is an alien or some worms (like the ending of Stranger things). Syfy making fun of themselves I think is a good thing, buttttt it can also backfire in a major way.
- My decision-making process was guided by one imperative: would my 15-year-old self think this was the coolest fucking thing they've ever seen?
- Which means one of the most iconic Japanese animation projects of all time, AKIRA. Know your roots.
- Anime fans get their content from streaming platforms or pirating. There's really no way of reclaiming them, since interest in Japanese media grew from piracy in the first place. It's too ingrained in that fan sub-subculture. BUT including anime in the brand line-up reasserts Syfy's place as the speaker for genre/geek entertainment. Connecting it to a prestigious film that even non-otaku love demonstrates a commitment to quality.
- Often imitated across animated and live action media, that sweet sweet bike slide is considered one of the greatest singular moments in animation history. This is speaking the language of fandom, that extra step of insider knowledge.
- Quick edits, smash cuts, and a strong beat immediately grabs attention on social media.
- I saw my opportunity and took it: I fixed the spelling of the brand name.