News

Syfy Asks Marketing Question: Is It Talent, or Alpha Powers?

7/11/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Syfy’s marketing of
Alphas, its top-priority summer
original-series debut, will
play off the premise that some
people are born with extraordinary
powers — powers that just
might be on display on YouTube
or Facebook.

The network is using “found
footage” videos (some seen on
Alphapowers.com) of people
making amazing pool or pingpong
trick shots, or of hyperdexterous
bartenders, and asking
the question: Is it talent, or is
it Alpha powers? The NBCUniversal-
owned outlet will tailor
relevant messages to be seen
on sister channels NBC during
hit America’s Got Talent, Versus
during the Tour de France and
Telemundo during soccer telecasts,
senior vice president of
brand and strategic marketing
Blake Callaway told The Wire.

On the website, early videos were
created for the campaign, but actual
amateur videos might be linked to
later. “There’s no shortage of amazing
footage” to be found, Callaway
said.

Syfy also said it’s spending more
on Hispanic media for Alphas than
in any other campaign. “Part of it is
just the sheer volume” of males 18-
49 that can be reached with Hispanic
media, Callaway said, and part of
it is the show will introduce a Latina
character (played by Valerie
Cruz) later in its run. Also, actionadventure
movies have had success
skewing marketing buys to Hispanic
audiences, he said.

Syfy is branding Monday nights
this summer as “the most powerful
night of the week,” starting tonight
(July 11), with Alphas debuting
and Warehouse 13 and Eureka returning.
For an Alphas review, see
Content.

Telecom Merger Spawns
Project to ID Lobbyists

Telecom lobbyists
should be on notice
that the Sunlight
Foundation
is
experimenting with
a crowdsourcing
project to identify
lobbyists who
show up at Capitol
Hill hearings and bill markups. There are usually lots
of them, some of whom show up eventually while paying
someone to stand in line and grab a seat.

 Whether seat-filler or wing-tipped persuader, they
could now be under a watchful eye. The foundation
says it teamed with the National Journal, the Capitol
Hill politics and policy daily, to snap photos of the audience
at a May 11 Senate Judiciary hearing on the
proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

It is now trying to get telecom reporters and others
to help identify them, according to an e-mail request for
eagle-eyeballing received by The Wire. (We declined.)

Sunlight plans to continue the project focusing on
the hearing on that deal, assuming there are more.

Communications director Gabriela Schneider said
the open-government nonprofit foundation will gauge
the success of the experiment before “branching out
to other industries and hearings.” Beer wholesalers
and snack food associations, be forewarned.

November

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