To promote the launch of its video gaming-focused channel Waypoint, Vice Media hosted a 72-hour gaming marathon on Twitch over this past weekend. Starting Friday at noon, the Waypoint live stream ran on Twitch’s front page and featured gamers, musicians, and other guests playing 72 games over three straight days. Notably, the live stream also included live sketches sponsored by Carl’s Jr. as its brand mascot “Happy Star” interacted with the guests, handed out burgers, and performed funny stunts during breaks.
Although this marks the first time Vice Media tried live advertising on Twitch, Carl’s Jr is no stranger when it comes to sponsoring live broadcasts on Twitch. The quick-service restaurant chain hosted a 2-hour event on Twitch as part of its #UltimateCarePackage campaign, where guests played Call of Duty Black Ops III with in-game brand integrations and ate some Carl’s Jr burgers.
What Brands Should Do
Such experiments show how brands can leverage this type of in-stream branded content to reach the growing number of viewers on eSports streaming sites. In recent years, the competitive gaming industry has grown into a media opportunity that brands should not ignore. Some early-adopting brands, such as Coca-Cola and Geico, have been sponsoring eSports events to reach its young, male-skewing audience. More brands should consider leveraging the massive reach of eSports events to reach consumers via sponsorships or, as in Carl’s Jr.’s case, in-stream content integration.
Header image is a screen capture from Waypoint’s Twitch Livestream