Last night, Syfy premiered their new super hero series Alphas, along with a set of super social apps.
In the week leading up to the series, GetGlue offered a Coming Soon badge which is now “out of print.’ As a reward for checking in weekly, gluers can now earn up to 14 additional badges including one for each character and one for each of their Alpha powers.
Syfy is running an even higher profile promotion with Shazam, the music identification app that now works for TV shows, too. During the show, viewers were prompted to point their iPhones at the TV screen, then activate the Shazam button. The app listens to make sure you’re really watching Alphas, then returns a lists of additional goodies. In this case, it was behind the scenes videos, wallpaper downloads and a sweepstakes link. It also returns an Alphas playlist that lists the songs from the episode along with iTunes download links so you can own them only seconds after exclaiming, “hey, I love that song.”
The Syfy audience is the perfect match for this type of mobile app promotion. The network has slowly been rebranding itself, moving away from strictly science fiction fare and into the realm of creativity and imagination. Half of their shows fall between light scifi and fantasy, while the other half takes on myths, quests and the paranormal. How WWE Smackdown fits in (fantasy?) is a bigger mystery than Bigfoot, but it is a male dominated channel, so there’s that.
More than anything, Syfy’s core audience is made up of tech-loving TV watchers including geek girls like me. Asking the viewers to connect to a new series through an iPhone app is a natural. The question is whether this kind of TV mobile multi-tasking can be used to promote a wide variety of shows on less imaginative networks.