Mike Bembenek (Director of Production at FACEIT – an independent platform for eSports) and Nick Button-Brown (Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee) sat down with us today to discuss how the gaming industry is shifting the spotlight from one of individual expression to that of community. Using a variety of digital platforms and techniques such as Twitch and influencer marketing, these are paving the way for a whole new level of brand to consumer interaction.
Brands have traditionally found it difficult to advertise to gamers (Mike and Nick gave the example of Counter Strike; where Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists battle it out for dominance; does my brand really want to sponsor this type of game?). This, as well as difficulties in attributing conversions to ad placements in-game have usually warned advertisers away.
However, innovative creative techniques exist to reach the gaming audience. Sponsorship of influencers playing popular games increases awareness amongst their community but the sponsorship needs to be handled in a “native” way; for example, the streamer drinking a can of Red Bull energy drink while producing the content but not referring to it at all (the community may then mention it and he/she can then talk about it in a natural way).
With eSports seeing unprecedented growth in terms of prize money and live events and with innovative tech on the horizon (Alexa focused games), now is a fantastic time for brands to opt-in to the world of gaming.