Sci Fi to SyFy: What the Frak Are They Thinking?

Geek Culture

You may already have heard about the Sci Fi Channel’s announcement that, starting on July 7, they will change their name to SyFy. The press release emphasizes that the new name "remains phonetically identical" to the old one, which essentially means that they went the easy route of picking a name that sounds the same but is unique and therefore easy to trademark.

Not only are they changing the name, but they’re adding a new tagline: "Imagine Greater." To my mind, this is just as bad, if not worse, than the name change, because (to me, at least) at first hearing it sounds like they meant to say "Imagine Better" but misspoke. If they’d chosen "Imagine Greater Things" instead, maybe that would’ve sounded better; at least it would make more sense and sound less like marketing gibberish.

I heard somewhere they considered several hundred other new names before settling on this one; if so, I can’t imagine how bad the others must’ve been. And, assuming they ran the change past a focus group or two, did they bother to include even a single geek in them? Because I can’t imagine any geek not breaking out into a rant at the idea.

So, does anyone out there actually like this idea? If so, please let us know, and please explain why, if possible. It’s possible there’s a point of view from which this doesn’t look like a marketing ploy gone horribly awry. But if there is, I don’t see it.

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