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USA Network Tries to Spark a Meme for 'Psych' Premier

  |  October 12, 2011   |  Comments

Fans are asked to pose with pineapples and use the hashtag (what else?) #pineappling to share pics.

psych-pineappleDigital agency 360i and USA Network have teamed up to promote Season Six of comedy/drama Psych, which premieres tonight. To do so, they're tapping into the show's existing online community in a lighthearted way with the help of some fresh fruit.

For the show's "fan appreciation day" on October 6, the network invited 1,000 fans to attend a screening of the first episode with the cast and crew at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York. The episode was also streamed on Facebook for fans who couldn't attend in person.

A rep says almost 25,000 fans entered the lottery to win tickets to the event.

Because a pineapple appears in every episode, USA launched a new meme at the event, #pineappling, in which it encouraged attendees to pose with pineapples and use the hashtag when sharing the images on Twitter. According to 360i, "hundreds" of people have used the hashtag since then. And the Psych Tumblr post that introduced the meme has received more than 400 likes or reblogs.

Sarah Hofstetter, SVP of strategy and emerging media at 360i, says, "Beyond lending consistency to episodes, the pineapples also create interactive experiences by viewers who look forward to spotting them or identifying references to them each week."

Pineappling is a riff on Internet fads like planking (define) and owling (define), which have built communities of their own through simple actions.

"(It) brings (fans) closer to the show by encouraging them to mirror a key Psych theme in a fun, interactive way," Hofstetter said.

360i also encouraged people to use the hashtag #PsychFanDay when discussing the event.

In addition, the show has a new Tumblr blog. On it, USA Network shares video clips, quizzes, photos and other content. Hofstetter says it was created to reach an audience of Psych fans known as "Psych-Os" that are already active within the Tumblr community. They're also active on other networks – the show has more than 2 million Facebook fans and 61,000 followers on Twitter.

There was also a custom location on Foursquare for #PsychFanDay, where attendees could check in, as well as a GetGlue integration. More than 5,000 fans checked in on GetGlue for a Psych Fan Appreciation Day sticker, according to 360i.

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