This week’s key points:
- The gaming industry is the place to be for marketers with unique opportunities
- Twitch has an ever-rising presence in the digital age
- More and more brands are getting “in” the game
In 1972, Atari changed the trajectory of lives with the riveting game Pong – although some of us may only know it from That 70’s Show. It’s been a while since then, but who would have thought that video games would become so mainstream that they would begin to sneak into conversations normally reserved for discussing TV shows and movies?
The pandemic has influenced every part of our lives, but the gaming industry heavily benefited. More people were not only purchasing video games and consoles, but they were also finding an escape through watching others play video games. Young people who grew up watching Youtubers like KSI, Ninja, and PewDiePie could have seen this coming, as popular live streaming platform Twitch had 26.5 million daily visitors in 2020. The video game industry itself reached $85.86 billion in revenue in 2021 in the United States alone.
YouTube and Twitch are the most popular platforms to watch other people play video games, but what even is the appeal of the whole thing? It’s the same as watching live sports. Although you are not directly participating, the entertainment factor and passion remain.
Especially during the pandemic, Americans were on the hunt for activities that created connections without needing to leave their homes. Twitch allows people to connect, in real time, with people who have the same interests as them. With the rise of these platforms, gaming and community now form an unbreakable bond.
Logging in to the gaming space
The gaming industry provides a plethora of opportunities for advertisers, but it has yet to become a common tactic. Similar to influencers on social media, people who are active on Twitch trust the opinions of streamers. If your brand is considering an influencer tactic, you may want to think about adding Twitch streamers into the mix.
Aside from connecting directly with streamers, there are classic pre-roll opportunities on Twitch. Similar to Hulu, viewers who do not hold Twitch premium subscriptions will be served video ads before launching a stream, as well as throughout a live stream video. Unlike Youtube, viewers must watch the full video with no option to skip the advertisement, which is a great incentive for advertisers. In February 2022, Twitch reached 1.8 billion total watch hours on the platform. The numbers speak for themselves as Twitch and the gaming industry dominate more and more screens.
Play your presence
As we’ve just explored, advertising on video game streaming platforms provides ample opportunity for brands; however, the nature of gaming is to escape reality and create community. The traditional approach of video assets is a great way to ease into the gaming space, but we want to encourage you to go further. Gaming is all about interaction and becoming part of the game.
A great example of brands taking their advertising to the next level is Wendy’s infiltration of the uber-popular Fortnite. In 2019, Wendy’s launched “Keeping Fortnite Fresh”, in which they created their own Fortnite character to destroy all the freezers in Fortnite to reinforce the fact that they do not serve frozen beef. They announced their presence in the game on social media and their Twitch livestream was viewed “more than a quarter of a million times.”
Another tactic to consider is in-game sponsored content. Pokémon Go, an augmented reality mobile game launched in 2016, has unique opportunities for brands. With the nature of the game being that people get outside and hunt for Pokémon, brands are able to become a sponsored location. This is a great way to drive traffic to your business or an event. The game also offers sponsored content and ads. Players are incentivized to watch ads in order to receive special items. These features are excellent promotional tactics and provide a unique way to reach players.
There’s no time like the present to explore new tactics for your brand. With the digital age changing the landscape of how we interact, the gaming industry can no longer be ignored. The metaverse and virtual realities are already finding their way into our lives, so it’s best to join in sooner rather than later.
You know your business, we’re keeping track of new opportunities in the gaming space. Let’s talk.
Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you for the next installment of Media Trends Monday! Have a great week.