Commentary

TV Marketing: Emphasize Positive, Hide Negative -- As Much As You Can

Some say that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Is the same true of TV patriotism?

NBC Universal looked to cover all the bases when it made a highly controversial name change of its cable network, Sci-Fi Channel, to something sounding like an old relative in my family: Sy (as in Seymour) Fy. 

As part of its marketing campaign, NBC Universal bought up the name SyFySucks.com -- which got us thinking about all those other would-be negative Web sites of high-profile TV brands.

We imagine other TV networks do the same thing.

For example, ABCsucks.com, CBSsucks.com, FoxSucks.com, NBCsucks, and ESPNSucks.com, are nowhere to be found. All those domains are owned. However, espn-blows.com is available.

The more general-interest BroadcastTVsucks.com and cableTVsucks.com are available. But televisionsucks.com is taken.

According to the old marketing theory, any publicity is good publicity. But maybe that old yarn applies less these days -- especially when some TV programmers might be slipping under the radar, especially in a more fractionalized universe.

Of course, you can't hide all negative spin -- not in the unlimited world of the web. A lesser-inflammatory NoSyFy.com offers its opinion of what to do about the name change: "We say no to the nonsense..."

SyFyis positions itself as the  ideal spot for sci-fi aficionados who, most of the time, will be your strong users of the Internet.

That's why August's TV Critics Tour in Los Angeles takes on an increasingly different importance in light of the Comic-Com convention in San Diego, also in the summer, where networks increasingly look to seed interest in upcoming fall shows to a young, tech-savvy crowd, and push Internet buzz.

Negative  versus positive buzz? You'll take the positive every time. Current TV marketing/rebranding thinking suggests taking care of the obvious.

 

3 comments about "TV Marketing: Emphasize Positive, Hide Negative -- As Much As You Can ".
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  1. Paul Van winkle from FUNCTION, June 23, 2009 at 3:55 p.m.


    How about advancing "intelligent judgement"? Or is that an oxymoron in television?

    Why did they make this change?

    And can you please have these clever people explain how they can deny and hide the bad judgement to change the name in the first place?

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, June 23, 2009 at 4:58 p.m.
  3. Janis Mccabe from jmod35, June 26, 2009 at 5:50 p.m.

    Fire the CMO and anyone else who sold this or bought into it. How totally ridiculous!

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