Well, have you?
The mysterious hashtag #HaveUFoundtruTV began trending on Twitter Tuesday afternoon as a cheeky marketing ploy by the network to help viewers find TruTV in the channel listings before it begins airing NCAA March Madness college basketball games this evening.
The Turner Broadcasting-owned cable channel has been airing these tournament games since 2011, which has prompted a few Twitter users to joke about only needing to pin down TruTV’s channel once a year. The marketing team behind the hashtag have a snarky response for those jokesters:
Comedian Billy Eichner got in on the hashtagging, too, tweeting that his show “Billy on the Street” will be moving to TruTV in his usual expletive-laden manner.
TruTV’s Twitter team, not to be outdone in snappiness, modified Eichner’s original tweet as such:
The campaign began as a preemptive strike against a possible recurrence of anti-TruTV tweets, as had been written by basketball fans in years past. “Every year around NCAA we get this huge onslaught of negativity around the TruTV brand because people are trying to find the games,” said Puja Vohra, SVP of marketing and digital for TruTV.
So this year, Vohra and Co. were armed and ready with a hashtag. “We are acknowledging that people are looking for TruTV. We are self-aware. We’re a fun brand, and we want to have fun with people,” Vohra said.
And people are responding in a big way. “We have blown through our estimates. We are in the tens of millions of the number of people who have seen this campaign,” Vohra said. “It’s been insane. People are in love with it. They’re saying this is what social media should be used for.”
Coverage of the championship on TruTV begins Tuesday evening. For those still struggling, Sports Illustrated compiled a handy list for finding TruTV by location. The network’s website offers further help finding the channel.