Posts Tagged ‘jack-in-the-box’

An Open Letter to Syfy Channel…

November 19, 2009


Do you think we’re stupid?

Sure, history has reduced the general populace of sci-fi fans to a cliche—portrayed as eternal virgins, living in their parents’ basement, leaving a residue of Cheeto’s dust in their wake as they type away on their Alienware computers, arguing about which Dr. Who was the best.

True or not, science fiction fans have never been thought of as stupid.

In fact, odds are, most of them are smarter than the rest of us.

They know how to read.

So why? Why are you dumbing yourself down?

You’re supposed to be better than that.

I know, I know…it isn’t just you—this isn’t completely your fault.

Texting has destroyed the English language far worse than you. It’s true. Not even a QWERTY keyboard can save our lexicon from the clammy grasp of lazy tweens who don’t feel like spelling.

But you’re not helping.

Television has a history of letting idiots make the decisions. Just look at HBO.

Look at some of the reality shows airing on any given channel, any given night.

Why feed the general populace’s complacency? Why not challenge us?

Catering to the lowest common denominator forces the rest of us to regress. We’re being dumbed down because you’re too lazy to lead by example.

You say it’s (re)branding—marketing.

According to your channel’s President, Dave Howe:

“When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it. It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

When a 40-something uses words like “cutting-edge” and “hip” it’s a sure sign that it is anything but.

Remember when Jack in the Box attempted their own ill-fated (re)branding campaign? Remember Monterey Jack’s?

Or Coca-Cola’s feeble attempt at (re)branding and progress by way of New Coke?

Howe also said:

“We’ve done a huge amount of research over the years about changing our name, and we knew that not everyone would welcome it. But we believe our new name, Syfy, gives us the best of both worlds. It builds off of our heritage but still creates a unique and ownable brand name that we can use to separate our shows from everyone else’s and opens our brand to new viewers. We think the long-term effect will be game-changing.”

Game changing? Quite possibly.

Have you ever seen Idiocracy?

On the surface, it’s just a low-brow comedy, rife with fart jokes and fraternity humor.

But it’s more than that.

Mike Judge had himself a Nostradamus moment. His vision of a society dumbed down to near extinction is slowly coming to be.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

…And you. You are helping fulfill his prophecy.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Jack is back in the box, and Coke is classic again.

It’s not too late.