This week the Syfy Channel aired its much-hyped, campy B-rate movie Sharknado, which triggered a social media feeding frenzy that included 318,000 tweets on Twitter (for a laugh check out #sharknado).
As PR professionals we’re intrigued by anything that garners the public’s interest on this level. The obvious appeal of Sharknado is the creative genius behind the idea of combining one of the most feared creatures on earth with one of its most devastating natural disasters. It’s stoner level brilliance mixed with meteorological whim and a touch of Jacques Cousteau. The concept is simply hilarious.
It’s been a rough several years for the public. The deep recession, two costly wars, political infighting, international upheaval, strained race relations, and a general WTF? vibe have taken a toll on the American public. We’re tired of being serious. We’re worn out. We need a break. As all PR experts know, timing in this industry is everything, and the timing for Sharknado could not have been better. Flying sharks attacking Los Angeles as Tara Reid and Ian Ziering defend the human race?
Syfy is a smart brand that understands—the mere name Syfy is cool and its slogan “Imagine Greater” fits perfectly—its customers and respects them. That is why Syfy is not taking the timing of this PR serendipity for granted. So it quickly took to social media, where many fans of Syfy hang out, and asked Twitter followers to name the sequel to Sharknado, which will take place in New York City.
It’s all about metaphors.