Trumpy Bear makes a splash on Fox News (and trends on Twitter)

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"Trumpy Bear" is a trending topic on Twitter this morning because various TV viewers spotted an ad for the stuffed animal on Fox News and took to social media to wonder if it was some kind of a joke.

It's not. Or, as Ad Age wrote a little over a year ago ("Trumpy Bear is now backed by a national TV ad campaign") when Trumpy Bear ads first started airing on TV, "if it's a joke, it's an expensive joke." We cited iSpot.tv data showing that the bear, which debuted in infomercial form on YouTube in July 2017, got commercial airtime on, initially, four networks: Animal Planet, Discovery, Grit TV and INSP (the "family entertainment programming" channel owned by Inspiration Ministries). The campaign then expanded to 10 networks, including Outdoor Channel and the American Heroes Channel. "The type of shows it's been airing on—including reruns of 'Cops,' 'Walker, Texas Ranger' and 'Bonanza'—suggests that Trumpy Bear is not meant to be taken as a joke by its targeted TV viewing audience," we wrote.

The latest data from iSpot shows that the Trumpy Bear campaign has aired on and off throughout the year, with an extended dormant period over the summer. Since Nov. 1, it mostly has been airing under the radar (of the media-industrial complex, at least) on the American Heroes Channel, INSP and Velocity. And once again the type of shows selected for the campaign suggests an irony-free target audience; iSpot's list of top shows for the Trumpy Bear ad this month include "Manhunt: Kill or Capture," "Project Nazi: The Blueprints of Evil," "Hitler" and, no kidding, "How the World Ends."

This morning, Aaron Rupar of Vox and other viewers spotted the ad on Fox News:

But Fox News tells HuffPost that it was just a local ad and that Fox News does "not do business with them nationally." Indeed, as of this writing, iSpot hasn't tracked any Trumpy Bear ad airings on Fox News nationally.

You can find out more about Dallas-based Exceptional Products, the self-described "direct response marketing company" behind Trumpy Bear, in Ad Age's previous coverage.

UPDATE: Hoax-debunking site Snopes is recirculating its January post about Trumpy Bear (which cites, in part, Ad Age's Oct. 2017 coverage).

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