The rise of e-sports in our generation somehow made our mothers wrong all along. Being glued to consoles and headphones all day can, in fact, be productive, after all. Names like Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods and Serena Williams now share the spotlight with the likes of Sasha Hostyn, Kuro Takhasomi, and Katherine Gun seeing as ESL and FIFA eWorld Cup now uses the stadiums built for SuperBowl and NBA finals. In fact, a $10 million stadium in Texas is in the works for this purpose, which explains why video gaming is now a widely accepted industry. In effect, brands clamor over gaming influencers that will be sure to bring successful gaming marketing campaigns and drive amazing ROI.
Recent data from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research show that 7 out of 10 Americans are gamers. Indulging in gaming marketing campaigns with influencers give your product great exposure to a wide range of consumers. For example, this article from Forbes shows that 10 gaming influencers alone can get a total reach of 228 million. What a great way to boost your product sales and expand your market network.
In this second post of a 2-part series, we share how brands are knocking it out of the park in partnering with gamers to create brand awareness and generate buzz for their products. Check out the first part of this post by clicking on this link.
Successful Gaming Marketing Campaigns
Let’s take a deeper look into 8 influencers who successfully pulled off gaming marketing campaigns either for their own products or for brands they represent. You will see how brands get creative by fitting non-gaming products perfectly into the gamer’s lifestyle, making it personal. You will also learn how gamers pay it forward by partnering with charities and raise funds as they play.
1. Guava Juice
For many gaming influencers, creating a social or gaming app is not uncommon. In fact, Javon Frazier, EVP for strategy and business development of the online media company Studio 71, said that “…the opportunities are endless. We think it’s not just one type of influencer who can carry social games, the same way our influencers can carry different topics.”
Roi Fabito, aka Guava Juice, is one who focused on bringing in product sales of his own. Six months after opening up his gaming channel on YouTube, he started to go a different direction. He created challenge videos mostly in his bathtub and played games out of the computer. He would fill his bathtub with things like Jell-O, gummy worms, slime, pancake batter, etc., and then film himself while taking a dip. Noticing that people liked it, he began to do more. Not long after, he launched a gaming app called Tub Tapper in partnership with PopReach Inc., and Studio 71. The game basically revolves around building and automating bathtubs and collecting bubbles with a number of side-challenges and quick-play games.
Guava Juice continues to expand his reach by partnering with Target in marketing his new line called Guava Toys, which toys are connected with the app. Apart from that, he also accepts brand partnerships and collaborations related to his niche.
iJustine is one of the many popular female gamers today, known for unboxing newly released tech and gaming gadgets. Because of her engaged following, she has been trusted by brands such as Apple, Nintendo, Microsoft, etc. Besides that, she has partnered with some non-gaming brands for product promotion, such as Starbucks and M&M’s chocolates. The below screenshot shows her attendance to the product launching of M&M’s caramel chocolate. Even a home organization business collaborated in organizing her house, and she posted a video promoting their services. Any brand could really get creative in connecting with gamers like iJustine and implementing a marketing campaign that sells.
Alia Shelesh, aka SSSniperWolf, is one of the top grossing female gaming YouTubers with over 12m subscribers. Shelesh also creates funny reaction and day-in-the-life videos apart from posting videos of her playing games. Call of Duty, Halo, and Fortnite are some of the games that got her a huge following. Brand partnerships soon followed. Fashion brands like Boohoo and Sugar Bear Hair and mobile apps like Tik Tok and PUBG Mobile partnered with her to create unique marketing campaigns related to what she does.
So how does gaming marketing campaigns fit fashion brands? Simple. Gamers need to wear comfortable outfits when gaming, especially when they need to stay on for long hours. This is why most gaming influencers go into selling clothing merchandise as they succeed in getting a good number of following. Read the next one to learn a a good example of that.
Mark Fischbach is the man behind Markiplier, and is known for making funny YouTube gaming content and sketches. He mostly focuses on horror survival type games, like Friday Nights at Freddy’s. The screenshot above shows a combination of his skills: gaming and funny sketch. He recently posted a video in which he was supposed to play a video game while eating pretzel’s, but towards the end forgot about the game altogether and recorded himself eating pretzels for the entire duration of the video. Most of the 1.5m people who watched it talked about going out to buy and eat pretzels that day. Imagine the 1.5m people reached by a single gamer’s video, and the boost it could do to your sales.
Markiplier has partnered with a number of brands for their gaming marketing campaigns. Some of those brands are Axe and the mobile app Best Fiends. Just like Guava Juice, Markiplier expanded his reach beyond gaming by creating a clothing line called Cloak Brand along with a fellow gaming influencer, jacksepticeye. Clothes made by Cloak Brand were designed to fit the gamers’ lifestyle, which is why the first people to buy are their subscribers and followers.
Tiffany Herrera, aka iHasCupQuake, started her YouTube career in 2010. She is known for playing Pokemon Go, Minecraft, The Sims, etc., and for posting husband-vs-wife videos with her husband Mario. In late 2017, Pokemon Go sponsored content creators and influencers to travel to Japan to play the game together, as a part of their marketing campaign called Global Catch Challenge, which Tiffany and Mario participated in.
Some non-gaming brands that have since partnered with Tiffany are Vans, SweeTARTS Candy, and Google Home. She also partnered with Honey Nut Cheerios in raising funds for Feeding America by generating donations through buzzcoins.
With over 700k following both on YouTube and Twitch, Sonja Reid, aka omgitsfirefoxx, surely captures brands’ interest. Sonja studied computer programming back in college but ended up playing video games instead of producing them. She started posting videos on Twitch in 2013 and is famous for playing League of Legends, Minecraft, and Counter Strike. The above screenshot is her live stream of a sponsored post for PUBG Mobile. The post is part of PUBG Mobile’s gaming marketing campaign called Star Challenge, where they screen popular streamers to compete over the video game Battlegrounds in six regions around the globe. Winners of the tournament will get huge cash prizes and exclusive benefits from PUBG Mobile, for instance.
Over the years of gaming, Sonja has also partnered with brands across industries. Some of the big brands she represented are Michelin, Uber Eats, Audi, Intel, and Syfy.
Alastair Aiken, aka Ali-a, gathered his 15m YouTube subscribers by posting vlogs playing Call of Duty. As a result of his popularity, Guinness World Records recognized him as having the most popular Call of Duty channel by views and subscribers in 2015 but this doesn’t mean he doesn’t play other games. He, later on, created a second channel called More Ali-a, with him playing video games like Fortnite, Uncharted and Minecraft. Tech developer brands like Ubisoft, Nokia Mobile, and Amazon Echo have all previously partnered with him for product promotions, and similarly, gaming apps like Mobile Fiends and Scribblenauts also enjoyed his huge audience by partnering with him in sponsored posts.
In addition to marketing other brands, Ali-a ventured in creating his own merchandise and selling them through his website. His products include branded hoodies, shirts, gift cards, and comic books. BBC has also found him influential to the younger generation, and therefore casted him to host a new TV show.
Erin Wayne, aka Aureylian, is one of the many gamers today who likes to give back. She started putting up her YouTube channel in 2011 with videos of her playing games like Minecraft, The Sims, and Mindcrack. Eventually, Twitch hired her to work as a Community Marketing Lead. As an influencer, she joined an online gaming community called Extra-Life, which raises funds for the player’s chosen local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. In playing for charity, gamers go live on their chosen platform (usually Twitch) and collect donations from their viewers that go straight to the charity’s account, and for the four years that Aureylian plays for Extra-Life, she has raised over $13,000.
Here you will see that gaming marketing campaigns fit even non-profit organizations and businesses. Using the engaged audiences of gaming influencers help brands’ message get through.
Wrapping It All Up
The digital world advances at an ever-increasing rate. Brands and gamers need flexibility in marketing products on platforms that best meet consumers’ needs, and bring out desired results. With the right platform, creativity, and tools to measure results, gaming marketing campaigns will work for you.
“How do brands become successful at gaming marketing campaigns?