The Successes and Pitfalls of Sharknado

The chances are pretty good that the majority of people reading this blog might have missed out on the weird pop culture phenomenon of Sharknado.

(A pause here, to let that title sink in).

sharknadoSharknado  was an original movie that aired of SyFy Channel earlier this year. B all accounts and purposes, the movie should have been a laughing stock, like most of the original movies that SyFy churns out. In the days of video stores, it would have been in the rack with B-movies that people only enjoyed because they were so terrible.

But something special happened with Sharknado. Thanks in part to social media and the surprisingly effective marketing by SyFy, the movie became a hit. People are still talking about it nearly three months after it aired.

So let’s take a look at how SyFy was able to make a terribly cheesy and poorly done movie inot a pop culture phenomenon.

A Simple Message: The blurb for the movie was literally this: “Sharks in a tornado. Sharknado.” While venturing into WTF territory, there’s something simplistically awesome about this.

Live Tweeting: Live tweeting allows the audience to discuss the movie during the movie, powered by hashtags. People have done this with TV shows and live sporting events in the past, but never n the level of tweets during Sharknado. Even well-known celebrities got in on the fun, further bolstering the movie’s fame.

It’s Okay to Be Silly: With a premise like the one in Sharknado, SyFy basically threw out any hope of the film being taken seriously. And, thanks to social media, that became one of its main sticking points. People loved Sharknado because of its absolutely insane premise.

It’s Okay to Go Over the Top: if you’ve seen the movie, you know how crazy and absolutely maniacal some of the action sequences were.  This item plays heavily on the above item of not taking yourself too seriously.

Of course, some argue that a film like Sharknado could actually hurt SyFy, despite the movie’s success. The channel has legitimate programming on it that some critics believe could be hurt by this new branding of ridiculously crazy movies.

What are your thoughts on Sharknado? Genus programing by a channel that often suffers in the ratings or a waste of money and film?

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