What are the best practices for integrating eSports and gaming into your marketing mix? – Customer Experience > Experience
As the ecosystem has been established, many advertisers have taken over gaming and e-sports, raising the price of admission. Here is the “cheat code” for success!
Sponsoring or referencing video games in their advertising, or promoting their own contests or games, is useless if these initiatives are opportunistic and short-term. In this case, how to enter the game most effectively?
Sponsorship to start
“Sponsorship is a great way to partner with more legitimate players than us in eSports, especially as teams begin to embrace traditional sports-inspired organizations, Stephane Tardivel, director of sponsorship, partnerships and events at Orange, explains that it acts as Karmine Corp’s equipment supplier and provides the team with a connection that allows them to train and play in the best possible conditions. For example, by organizing a tournament directly on our behalf, we ensured that we were humble and did not come with our big jams. You have to know how to build your legitimacy over time, like we do in football today where we are the third most associated brand in this discipline after Adidas and Nike.”
Nicolas Borri, appointed Chief Revenue Officer of French eSports team GameWard in May 2022, took this approach while still Head of Marketing at Kellogg’s France to build their brands. A treasure trove of references to Pringles and players : “Unlike Orange, we’re not one of the traditional sponsors of sports events. We started by influencing the game through our sponsorship of Domingo’s PopCorn show, which averages 50,000 viewers on Twitch per live. We’ve been working with us throughout the quarter. It’s enough to provide a means to achieve their ambitions, which is well received by the public. In 2019, the Pringles brand was not associated with the game at all. In 2020, before we become number 1 in 2021, we have a lot of communication about the game and we were the third brand in the aperitif segment with players ahead of brands like Lays with bigger budgets.
Partner with the right communities
To quickly gain visibility, Orange chose to make moves in one of the most watched games in the world, League of Legends, and notably joined forces with Team Vitality, then Karmine Corp. “In my opinion, the team with the most loyal community in Europe, including the partners, because they know that they allow the team to grow,” Stefan Tardivel says. But connecting with the best comes at a price that not all newcomers can afford. “The interest of these universes for a marketer is to be able to balance his approach. Between a publisher like Riot, a team like Karmine Corp, or an influencer like Kameto or Sardoche, there is a wide range of possible activities, resulting in different audiences depending on the game, even depending on the streamers playing the same game. Everyone has their own community!”, Nicholas Borry explains. If the latter has chosen to sponsor PopCorn, there are many opportunities in this area. “We partnered with the Soary streamer team. It wasn’t a huge investment and we didn’t pay anything, but the reach and engagement rate was good and made us invest more, especially being the exclusive advertiser of the Team’s eSports content”In the summer of 2021, KIA France sponsorship manager Mohammed Al Nimer explained to us.
Choosing between eSports and gaming
A new entrant, faced with an increasing entry ticket to eSports, may choose to reach out to the general public by opting for gaming. But you still have to take a long-term view. “We could continue to sponsor game releases, but there are so many different games and platforms that have their own community… We decided to focus on eSports because it is far from privacy and we reach the 15-24 year olds more effectively,” . Stefan Tardivel explains. An opinion shared by Nicolas Borri, who has exclusively placed the Trésor cornflakes brand in eSports, sponsoring the French 2nd division in European Masters and LoL: “Gaming affects everyone, but generates less employment than eSports. When we partner with Xbox, almost every home console is interested in participating in our activations to win, but participants come to make a profit and quickly forget about the brand. However, there is greater enthusiasm in e-sports.”
While a brand like Dacia manages to attract many players, including professionals, with its gaming operations (see box below), not all of them can go viral, unlike in the eSports scene, as Stéphane Tardivel explains: “eSports is quite a pioneer in this field, in the sense that from the beginning players are also influencers who share a lot on networks. As Prime and Kameto say, the broadcasters behind Karmine Corp: it’s not just sports, it’s entertainment.” Another alternative: create a team of enthusiasts to capture eSports codes. A strategy adopted by Aldi in collaboration with the Sustainability team or by Adidas who launched the Yellow Stripes team in partnership with Team Vitality.
Also read: [Tribune] “And in the game, what are we doing in 2023?”
Create an icon
This is a good way to get into the game vsgain experience on platforms like “Fortnite, Roblox or Minecraftwhich always allows for a lot thanks to its creative modes without having to agree with the game publisher”, Arnaud Robin, Head of Gaming at Swipe Back advises. Also, partner with an influencer to engage their community. This is the bet of Crédit Agricole, which created circuits with ZeratoR in the racing game Trackmania, in particular to teach about road safety, or even Babybel, which introduced a new map in Fortnite during a live broadcast presented by Doigby. For its part, Pringles wanted to innovate last year by creating its own character, Frankie, in the West of Dead game, inviting streamers to try it out live on Twitch. Surprise, an actor personified, Frank landed in the middle of the live to “surprise” the broadcaster, especially his community. “It was a technical demonstration. The operation was well received, but we found that this activation was still very ‘top-down.’ . the achievement on networks will be randomly drawn and maybe Xbox will win. We’re working on UGC and a more horizontal participatory aspect,” Nicholas Borry explains. Orange also commits through the Rush eSports platform: “We offer more authentic and honest content. When Kameto or Squeezie say Orange is the best network, it means more to them than if we were to advertise traditionally with one of them. “Them”, Stefan Tardivel explains.
Accept the right references in your ads
Brands investing in eSports and gaming can place their assets on VoL, social networks or even TV to reach the general public with video game references. Thus, Frank, the Pringles character, appeared in the brand’s advertisements in 2021, while all Trésor advertisements were conceived as parodies of well-known games. But here again, as explained by Mathieu Lacrouts, CEO of the Hurray agency, you have to be careful to respect the players and use the right references. group: “Brands are increasingly referencing games in their advertising because, aside from the buzz around the metaverse, video games have become so ubiquitous that we’re no longer just gamers, but actually everyone!” An interesting ad will include references to these universes while winking at fans, such as Zalando’s “Discover the Mode” ad, which is due out in late 2021 and is quite respectfully inspired by Mario. . In contrast, Coca-Cola’s “One Coke Away” ad, which launched its new brand platform, was somewhat appreciated by esports fans because it featured professional players competing in a fictional video game inspired by non-competitive games. scenes… “You have to be close to what the players are experiencing and not consider gaming and eSports as a whole.”
Dacia has successfully taken over Rocket League
To celebrate the first anniversary of the spring electric model and to raise awareness among young drivers, Dacia is focusing on gaming and in particular fans of Rocket League in April 2022, while also surprising the world’s best eSports teams. is a tournament where participants have to customize their cars by giving them electric attributes. In addition to this tournament, something to please fans who can compete on the “map” created for the event. Over 25,000 downloads, over 500 hours of live streaming on Twitch. “Rocket League is interesting because it’s a game drawn from different worlds and different from a simple driving game with a community, team approach. It’s far from reality, but that’s what’s fun! Also, the number of people watching the competitive scene. It’s as important as the number of players”Arnaud Robin, Head of Gaming at the Swipe Back studio, which developed the transaction with the Weber Shandwick agency, says.
Also read: COMBO! Game Media Network has reached one billion impressions delivered