truTV: #FunnyCauseItstru Social Clapback

Campaign Summary

truTV wanted to change consumers' outdated perceptions of its brand. The company leveraged influencers to post humorous tweets in response to harsh critics using the hashtag #FunnyCauseItstru. The campaign generated more than 300 million impressions and garnered positive feedback from viewers.


Objective and Context:

Every March, sports fans search for one of four networks carrying NCAA Men’s Basketball first round tournament games (including truTV), then take to Twitter complaining about truTV’s perceived obscurity and irrelevance. truTV’s goal was to counter outdated brand perceptions by transforming these conversations.

Target Audience:

truTV’s core target audience were millennial and gen Z viewers.

Creative Strategy:

For the past five years, truTV has hosted the opening rounds of March Madness. Each year, the brand has been the underlying subject of criticism from its Twitter following. A couple of years ago, truTV created a humorous search/viewer support campaign using the hashtag #HaveUFoundtruTV in response to the harsh reviews. It leveraged dozens of comedy writers and performers to write humorous posts, riff on and respond to users, create videos, and craft meme-ready replies to insults. For 2017, the company wanted to continue to shape brand perception through its messaging on Twitter and launch another campaign that put the spotlight on its content and talent.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Five days prior to tip-off, truTV used influencers to share posts with the hashtag #FunnyCauseItstru. Influencers posted video content and talked in real time about truTV. Every use of #FunnyCauseItstru hashtag included a custom Twitter emoji with the “TV” circle from truTV’s logo. The brand retweeted the funniest while clapping back at criticizers with its own burns, rewritten jokes, hundreds of video content pieces, and thousands of personalized replies.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

truTV set out to be seen, heard, and appreciated. It redirected conversations about its March Madness schedule of games into an opportunity to showcase its comedy content and raise brand perceptions. The campaign generated more than 300 million total impressions and garnered:

  • 75,000 brand mentions across social channels
  • A 48 percent increase in engagement
  • 9 million video views

Real-time responses and engagement both substantially increased as a result of truTV’s March Madness campaign. Sentiment was overwhelmingly positive, and the vast majority of Twitter users appreciated the brand’s comedic responses.

Categories: Cross-Media | Industries: Entertainment, Media, Sports | Objectives: Cross-Media | Awards: Bronze Winner