Turner's truTV has been making a major comeback over the last several years with a focus on comedy. At the forefront of it's success is the Impractical Jokers. Now in it's 5th season, the hidden-camera, practical joke reality show has built a cult following that has evolved and improved the "candid camera" genre.
In anticipation of the season five premiere truTV hosted a major fan event in NYC and a big social TV campaign around a #JokersWatchAlong viewing party. Found Remote interviewed Puja Vohra, the EVP of Marketing and Digital at truTV about the big launch.
Found Remote: How did you come up with this digital strategy and event?
Puja Vohra: This was idea was born in an internal brainstorm, inspired by other comedians who do surprise shows for their fans. We knew that if we built on that idea and tailored it to Impractical Jokers, we would have an epic and intimate fan event to celebrate the season premiere.
FR: How is it different from past years?
PV: We've never had a live event and a digital pre-show for a season premiere. We’ve eventized this season premiere in both the real world and across digital/social platforms to create a sense of urgency for fans to return after a hiatus, as well as to embrace and encourage the community that supports the show.
FR: What partners are you working with and why?
PV: We’re working with the SVA Theater on this event. The theatre has been home to red carpet Hollywood premieres, awards shows, film festivals, conferences and theatrical events. The size, location, and vibe of this venue makes it a perfect space for our fan watch-along. We’re also incorporating Livestream into the digital pre-show, which we are shooting LIVE from the event. This allows fans everywhere who couldn't be at the event to grab a seat and join in on the fun. Following the Jokers Watch-Along, we’re also giving the fans an uninterrupted look at the first 2 episodes of our 1st scripted series, Those Who Can’t.
FR: How has the show's fanbase grown over the years?
PV: The Jokers fanbase on social media has grown exponentially in the past year in terms of size, reach and engagement. In 2015, for example, there was a 92% increase in social engagement by fans, a 190% increase in social impressions on Facebook, 226% on Twitter, and 514% on Instagram (a relatively new platform for Jokers). Last fall’s Live Punishment special alone generated 150M total social impressions with engagement rates 500-900% higher than average across social platforms.
FR: Anything else?
PV: Jokers fans are so important. And they're so passionate. We were on the Jokers Cruise with them in January and again at their three sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall a few weeks ago. We have lots of stuff planned all year - you'll be hearing about them soon!