While I understand the need, I don’t understand the results. There were so many paths they could have taken. Why “SyFy”? I mean I know why. I’ve read the announcements and the news stories but “Imagine Greater” should begin at home with the name.
This was the goal according to CNN:
"We needed a unique and distinct brand name that we can own for the future, that works in the multiplatform, on-demand world," he said, adding that "Sci Fi" isn’t a brand name, it’s "a genre name."
"Syfy," he said, "gives us a unique brand name.
"The last thing we want to do is alienate our core audience," he added. With the new name, shows such as "Galactica" can be exposed to a wider audience, one not scared away by all that "Sci Fi" connotes ("space and aliens and the future," in Howe’s words).
But it is not enough to be “unique.” In branding and rebranding the name needs to be meaningful. “SyFy” is definitely a unique use of characters and I am intrigued by its purposeful aural adhesion to the pronunciation of the original as a method of promoting continuity, but I am not convinced that this is the best way of promoting its brand. The two character sets sound the same (“Sci Fi” and “SyFy”) but does the latter immediately convey the evolution of the brand?
I understand the argument that “Sci Fi” can neither be completely branded or trademarked because it already refers to an entire genre. I also understand that it is inviting only to a specific niche audience. I like the taglifne: Imagine Greater. And I like the promo clip that accompanies it. But “SyFy?” Something just isn’t sitting right.
I may be wrong but English has the luxury at this moment of being among the more recognizable character sets (meaning people across the globe can identify its text though they may not be able to decode the meaning of the word.) I am confident that words like “Imagine,” “Beyond,” “Dream,” and like words would have successfully conjured images that would have honored SyFy’s sci fi past and invited new audiences to watch.
I’ve watched its shows. I saw the premiere of Warehouse 13 and the new episode of Eureka. I’ve been a Eureka fan since the pilot. Warehouse 13 reminded me of the old Friday the 13th TV series (you can find reruns on the Chiller Channel) with a dash of Mulder and Scully. I also watched Gurren Langann and now Mobile Suit Gundam 00 on Ani-Mondays.
And this is probably what is bothering me: Which shows does SyFy believe will attract the new audiences? I believe that the programming is all that different now. Or is it like the name itself? Is the change purely cosmetic? While I do believe that looks matter, what gets audiences to remain is quality and character. I don’t believe superficial changes have lasting impact. I buy into the Shakespeare cliché: "What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
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