You may recall I had a rather extensive rant when I first learned of the SCI FI Channel’s plans to become Syfy (I may start pronouncing this Siffy, though I am assured this nonsense word is phonetically the same as sci-fi).
Well It would be remiss of me not to take another look closer to the launch date, they’ve unveiled the House of Imagination, a promo to demonstrate the new look and feel of the new and better Syfy. Overall impressions? Exactly as feared so far I’m afraid.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually think it’s a lovely ad, I love Goldfrapp, and think it’s well put together, and well crafted. Though something rather obvious bothers me about it. Erm where’s the science fiction? From what I could see I noticed Amanda Tapping, something of a science fiction institution herself, and a rather cartoonish looking CGI dinosaur.
Unfortunately it’s still everything I was worried they were trying to do, it’d be a great advert for a generic channel that doesn’t specialise in science fiction, but merely fiction in general which a lot of other channels do. It actually reminds me very much of some of Dave‘s adverts, the music, the surreal wonderment of young trendy 20 somethings drifting around a house. The comparison to Dave I touched on briefly in the comments on my last article about this – as they satisfactorily completely rebranded their channel and became a much bigger success. Something the SCI FI Channel never actually needed to do, they were a well established successful channel already, Dave was (and is to a degree) a repeats channel for British comedy of various manners, but wanted to give itself it’s own personality as it was just another slice of the UKTV pie originally.
But moving back to the Syfy Imagine Greater promo – there are strong doses of of the surreal and fantastical, and some soft hints of ghosts… Nothing of science fiction, would it have pained themselves to have a little nod to their roots in there? To alleviate us disgruntled silly people, prove us wrong a little bit with a tiny hint that imagining greater didn’t just mean imagining a channel with something for everyone but the science fiction fans? Apparently not.
Imagine Greater itself as a tag-line seems less and less appropriate the more they seem to be shunning science fiction in their approach. The renaming I could learn to tolerate, and the loss of the Saturn-esque identity as long as they didn’t quite so completely re-target themselves at people who have next to no interest in science fiction.
The promo stings showing the old logo being torn/blasted/blown away and replaced with the new Siffy identity are available on YouTube, and again they’re really quite nice and play heavily on the idea of broadening your expectations from Siffy. Though as I said last time, having to tell a science fiction fan to broaden your imagination is rather pointless.
Anyway I hope they do at some point prove my worrying wrong, it wouldn’t take much, just a jokey cheeky flying saucer at some point to nod that all of that heritage isn’t completely out the window. It would have reassured me if they had something a bit more science fiction than a horse with rockets on it in the promo stings.
The rest of the change to Syfy rolls out across July, the launch is on the 7th of July I believe, so I’m sure this won’t be my last ramble on the matter, who knows, maybe they’ll surprise me. I hope they will.