Hollywood, CA (Pop Culture Today) 7/9/12
by Alicia Hollinger
The Syfy channel has always had a huge presence at Comic-Con but this year they are outdoing themselves, planning what they call an "all-out assault" in order to give fans an introduction to their new "transmedia experience," Defiance. And they're not kidding. It seems it will be hard to have your eyes open and not see a Syfy logo somewhere in your peripheral vision...
The main target of their campaign is Defiance, a partnership between Syfy and Trion Worlds, which combines a TV series and a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) game, which will debut in April 2013.
Syfy will also present panels for its current original series Alphas, Being Human and Warehouse 13. Instead of their usual Eureka inspired Cafe Diem restaurant takeover of years past, this year attendees will get their first "taste" of Defiance as they transform the Hard Rock Hotel restaurant Maryjane’s into Defiance Café, where fans can “Watch. Play. Eat.” and be completely immersed in the world of the new show and game.
Although they are no longer sponsoring the infamous Saturday night Comic-Con celebrity-studded bash at the Solamar Hotel, they are now sponsoring the Eisner Awards, Comic-Con's version of the Academy Awards. And launching what appears to be the hugest marketing campaign ever... Read on for details.
The question is, will all this marketing work as intended or is it overkill? Comic-Con attendees are very different from, let's say Cannes Film Festival goers who love everything big, splashy, glamorous and in your face. The geek crowd may see right through the marketing ploy and rebel. Or start chanting in unison "Bring back Stargate!" After all, it's Comic-Con, somewhere over the wormhole, we're not in Hollywood anymore Toto...
This year's Syfy’s San Diego Comic-Con 2012 events:
Friday, July 13
DEFIANCE 6:45PM – 7:45PM ROOM 6DE
Syfy and Trion unite television and gaming with "Defiance," which they claim is "the biggest entertainment event of 2013" defying everything known about traditional storytelling. Panelists will include stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray , Mia Kirshner, Executive Producer Kevin Murphy, Nick Beliaeff (SVP, Development, Trion Worlds), Rob Hill (Senior Producer, Trion Worlds) and Mark Stern (President, Syfy Original Content & Co-Head of Content, Universal Cable Productions). Moderated by Los Angeles Times/Hero Complex writer Geoff Boucher.
Saturday, July 14
WAREHOUSE 13 10:00AM – 10:45AM BALLROOM 20
Once again, America’s top-secret, artifact-finding agents have returned to Comic Con. The panel will feature actors Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, and Allison Scagliotti along with Executive Producer Jack Kenny, for a look inside the new season of Syfy’s series Warehouse 13. Moderated by TV Guide magazine’s Damian Holbrook.
ALPHAS 2:00PM - 3:00PM
INDIGO BALLROOM, HILTON BAYFRONT HOTEL
The panel features the stars of Syfy’s Alphas as they discuss the new season premiering Monday, July 23rd. Scheduled to appear are David Strathairn, Malik Yoba, Ryan Cartwright, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada and Laura Mennell. Moderated by Los Angeles Times/Hero Complex writer Geoff Boucher.
BEING HUMAN 3:00PM - 4:00PM
INDIGO BALLROOM, HILTON BAYFRONT HOTEL
Talent Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, and Sam Huntington join Executive Producer Anna Fricke to discuss the forthcoming third season of Syfy’s current series about a vampire, ghost and werewolf – all just trying to be human. Moderated by Drusilla Moorhouse of Zap2It.com.
SYFY IMAGINES GREATER... CARS AND YACHTS AND RED CARPETS, OH MY...
Syfy is making every effort to stand out among the pop culture media frenzy. “Syfy has never launched a media campaign of this magnitude at Comic-Con and we defy fans to miss out on Defiance,” said Michael Engleman, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Global Brand Strategy, Syfy. “Nearly four years in the making, Defiance is a groundbreaking weekly scripted television series and Massively Multiplayer Online game, converging to create a singular, interactive and epic story. Comic-Con is the largest gathering of savvy superfans and they comprise our audience of Igniters. It is the perfect platform to unleash the seismic, multi-pronged messaging behind this extraordinary program.”
Highlights of Syfy’s Defiance campaign include:
· San Diego Airport – Throughout the entire Airport, from arrivals and departures to baggage claim and security, Syfy will present special Defiance elements. This will include branded security bins, video units, spectaculars and wall wraps in Terminals 1 and 2, along with Defiance bags at all HMS retail locations.
· Rental Cars – Defiance messaging will be displayed on nearly 1,500 Hertz Never Lost navigation systems, reaching every consumer while the navigation device loads.
· Defiance Café – Hard Rock Hotel San Diego restaurant Maryjane’s will be transformed into Defiance Café, the official hub for Defiance at Comic-Con inviting attendees to “Watch. Play. Eat.” For the duration of the convention, hungry fans will enjoy all things Defiance - including the opportunity for exclusive gameplay – as they take in set pieces from the show and become immersed in the rich world that will come to life in both the game and show next April. Defiance Café will also be the site of an exclusive, star-studded press event.
· TV Guide Magazine’s Yacht – The TV Guide Magazine yacht is a celebrity destination Thursday through Saturday of the convention and this year offers Defiance experiences from game play to co-branded gift bags.
· G4 – Syfy teams with G4 as a Comic-Con broadcast partner with on the ground Defiance coverage and shared interstitial content.
· WIRED Café - Syfy and Trion put Defiance directly into the hands of celebs and VIP’s with a presence at WIRED’s popular hangout.
· Mobile Billboards – Upper decker buses, to and from the airport as well as around San Diego, will serve as mobile billboards.
· Building Wrap – Syfy and Trion will partner on a massive Defiance building wrap on the Marriot Marquee hotel adjacent to the Convention Center.
· National Print Media – Syfy will have ads for Defiance in special Comic-Con issues of Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide.
· Social Media – The #DiscoverDefiance Sweepstakes will challenge Comic-Con attendees to find Defiance promotions, take a picture and upload it to Facebook or tweet it out via Twitter with #DiscoverDefiance. Participants will be entered for a chance to win a trip to the premier of Defiance in April 2013.
· Facebook – On Sunday, July 15th, Syfy will host its first ever Social Media viewing party on Facebook.com/Defiance and Facebook.com/Syfy. For four hours consumers can watch videos of Defiance panel from Comic-Con, the official Defiance television show trailer, exclusive one-on-one interviews with Defiance cast, crew and developers and Defiance coverage developed exclusively for Syfy by G4.
· The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards – Syfy will sponsor of the 24th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards – the “Oscars” of the comic book industry.
Defiance is in collaboration with Trion Worlds, with the Syfy series and Trion’s multi-platform shooter MMO poised to debut simultaneously. Defiance stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Fionnula Flanagan, Mia Kirshner and Oscar-nominee Graham Greene. Set in the near future, Defiance introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. Forced to co-habitate, the disparate group struggles to build a new society among the devastation. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story. Defiance is executive produced by Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica, Hellcats) and Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica). Kevin Murphy serves as showrunner. Defiance is produced by Universal Cable Productions.