Syfy Sends Buyer on a Major Voyage


One lucky media buyer got something extra special out of Tuesday’s Syfy upfront.

As the presentation wrapped up, Syfy ad sales head Chris Czarkowski announced that Elsa Schlossser had won an around-the-world, upper-class ticket on Virgin Air.

Virgin founder, the maverick billionaire Richard Branson, spoke via video, embracing Syfy’s notion of “igniters” — consumers who are curious, open-minded, creative and optimistic. When Virgin comes out with a new product, “we know igniters will try it first,” Branson said.

Syfy’s pitch is that these igniters can be powerful brand advocates and that the best place to reach these igniters is on the network.

At the presentation at New York’s Museum of Natural History, Syfy president David Howe described Defiance, a project that will not launch until the 2013 season. Four years in the making, Defiance has been developed with Trion as both a TV series and a massively multiplayer online game. Syfy is already discussing opportunities both in the show and in the game for advertisers looking to reach a young gamer audience. Howe called the show a revolution in transmedia experiences and would be part of its Monday lineup of original series.

The network announced its largest-ever original programming slate of 28 projects, including six reality series and eight dramas in development.

Howe said the network also would be introducing Syfy Synch, an app that will bring fans exclusive content and help them share it. The network would also have what he called a 52-week social strategy.

The presentation concluded with a two-song performance by the up-and-coming band Young the Giant, and a party under the giant blue whale featuring creative food from hot chef Marcus Samuelsson — including pretzel balls that were dispensed from holes in an overly aggressive white crate — and booming tunes by DJ Spooky.