Sci-Fi Channel Unmasks Hidden Heroes

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Sci Fi Channel
Sci Fi Channel "HeroMachine"
Admit it: you've fantasized about being a superhero—maybe not recently, but definitely when you were a kid. With the premiere of the Sci Fi Channel's comic book-centric reality series Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, those super-dreams are now one step closer to coming true, as the network has teamed up with Fallon and online entertainment site UGO to create a promotional campaign that lets you finally reveal your spandex-clad alter-ego. Mimicking the mission of the show's contestants, viewers can design their very own superhero from head to toe, using the interactive "HeroMachine" feature at SciFi.com. "The show features contestants that have brought to life certain personality traits within their superhero—and we wanted to allow users to do the same," says Fallon media supervisor Rocky Novak. "This personalization gives them the opportunity to dream about their own superhero, and then bring them to life."

Each superhero's physique and costume can be personalized down to the smallest detail, from hair style to cape color to comfy crime-fighting footwear. "We worked with UGO and licensed a 'superhero machine' they already had in-house," says Sci Fi senior vice president of marketing & creative Adam Stotsky. "UGO took our characters and creative assets and re-skinned the machine for Who Wants to Be Superhero?. Graphic assets like masks and capes are provided to the user to create a superhero in their likeness, and accessories endemic of the show (including items like donuts and cell phones) are also provided to leverage the quirky nature of the series." Once the digital manifestation of the user's inner hero has been completed, all that remains is to come up with an appropriate codename for this new defender of the innocent. Then, it's off to the printer (where a photo of your character and his "hero certificate" can be produced) or the inboxes of friends and family to spread the word of your super-exploits. "The ability to pass this content along to friends was also a must," says Novak. "What fun is a super-identity if you can't tell your friends about it?"

And that's not all. The campaign also boasts a guerrilla component that will be visible throughout New York City and Los Angeles through the first week of August. Specially designed window clings featuring superhero torsos will adorn the restroom mirrors of select bars and restaurants in those two cities, giving patrons a chance to answer the call of truth and justice—even while answering nature's call.
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