Better Influencer Marketing

Advertising on Twitch like the best: an assault on frozen beef in Fortnite.

Wendy's logo wearing headphones to represent gamers

Fast food joints like Wendy’s are blowing most businesses out of the water with content marketing. They push boundaries with social media marketing campaigns on a daily basis. Their unique voice and tone on social helps them to nab virality over and over again on social sites like Twitter.

Now, they are turn to Twitch advertising to further engage their customers. In turn, they generate 1.5 billion dollars per year with a global audience. Twitch is the new frontier for leading brands.

How does a real world fast food restaurant with a hatred for frozen beef build an audience on Twitch? By starting a war against a fictional, in-game burger restaurant called Durrr Burger.

Why? Because they hate frozen beef and they want their fans to know it.

To understand what kind of shenanigans Wendy’s is up to and why it matters, we need to understand what Twitch is, what Fortnite is and why Wendy’s cares.

Durrr burgers, a fictional burger joint at a popular video game called fortnite

What is Twitch? The rise and popularity of advertising on Twitch

Twitch is a popular online service for watching and streaming live video. Twitch was founded in 2011 and aquired by Amazon  for $970 million in 2014.

For years Twitch focused almost solely on gaming and e-sports. Now it has grown to having art streams, streams from musicians, sports, special events, cooking, podcasts live streams and more.

2018 was a stellar year for Twitch, growing its average concurrent viewers by 43%. That growth launched them past the average of 1 million viewers at any given moment. 4 Million streamers now go live every month with millions of fans following their streams. Brands have opened their eyes to see opportunity in doing twitch sponsorships. No wonder, Twitch is now one of the highest sources of internet traffic in North America.

A collage of twitch stats: watch time, average user, money raised, partners, affiliates, target audience, platform

What the hell is Fortnite?

Fortnite is the insanely popular game published by Epic games last year. NBC claims the game is making 300 million dollars a month selling in-game goods. In the last 365 days people watched 1,430,272,242 hours of Fortnite content on Twitch.

 A few months after its initial launch, Epic Games dropped “Fortnite Battle Royale”.  100 people square off against each other in a fight for survival — with the last player crowned the winner.

 Since then, celebs like Drake, Marshmallow and Finn Wolfhard have streamed on Twitch. Drawn both by entertainment value, and the sense to seize opportunity, celebrities have loved the Fortnite trend.

 Last year, Fortnite also led to the rise of one of the the internet’s most eye-catching creators. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has been the first Esports athlete published on the cover of ESPN magazine.

He also donated millions to charities via live streams and e-sports events. All the while building an audience of  15,000,000 on Twitch. For reference, the second largest streamer, Shroud, has over six million followers. Twitch ads leverage the followings of these huge creators to drive consumers to action.

So finally, what is Wendy’s doing playing video games for a bunch of nerds?

The number 1 twitch streamer Ninja crushing twitch stats

Ninja

Avg. time live 9.1 hrs/day

Avg. time watched 58,220 hrs/day

Shroud giving an interview on a gaming competition

Shroud

Avg. time live 8.3 hrs/day

Avg. time watched 44,151 hrs/day

Whats behind Wendy’s love for advertising on Twitch?

Leveraging the popularity of gaming culture to drive massive amounts of attention.

Wendy’s has stirred invaluable brand engagement through partnerships with streamers. Even further outside of the box is that they have actually started streaming gameplay themselves. 

A great example of this was Wendy’s hijacking  Fortnite’s food fight game mode. In food fight, players pledge allegiance to either pizzas or burgers. In a fight against frozen beef, Wendy’s opted for Team Pizza.

While they live-stream, a team engages with viewers, moderating comments and generating buzz. Known for being playful and opinionated, they crack jokes and throw punches at competitors like Mcdonald’s.

This catches eyeballs. So much so, it creeps into the chats of other popular streamers on Twitch and drives crazy engagement.

Wendy’s channel leapt from 0 to 20,000 followers after their first stream. In that single stream event alone, they landed 43,500 comments in Twitch’s live chat Chat. For comparison, their very active Twitter account receives about 3,000 tweets a day.

We’ve been very intentional about making sure we are not turning into an overly branded experience. We wanted to bring the Wendy’s personality and the way we engage on social into gaming. Twitch is a very social gaming platform, so it was a natural fit for us.

Kurt Kane, chief concept and marketing officer, Wendy’s

To further bolster the effects, they continued to reference the stream shenanigans via Twitter. The content and messaging is always a bit edgy, out of the box and playful. Tying together a recurring theme of being anti-frozen beef, it speaks to their obsession over the quality of their product. Even in a Fortnite Twitch stream, Wendy’s can drive people to buy real life hamburgers.

Twitch advertising with influencers

To prove Wendy’s commitment to the Twitch advertising play, let’s look outside of Fortnite.

Super Smash Brothers is another popular game. In Smash, players can battle as their favourite Nintendo characters.

On the heels of Nintendo releasing the latest edition, streamers like Nairo announced sponsorships. With who? None other than Wendy’s, again one step ahead of the social media marketing curve. Nairo was spotting munching Wendy’s on stream while discussing the game with a cult-like fanbase.

This isn’t an accidental success but  a strategic step forward for the brand. Wendy’s, Old spice, Aididas, Nike, Redbull and more non-gaming brands are seeing value and taking the lead in Twitch sponsorships.

Considering the push to advertise on Twitch by major brands, we hope smaller and growing companies will take note.  This new environment makes it a great opportunity for brands looking to get ahead of the curve. The best opportunities are when the majority haven’t adopted a channel and clever companies can take the winnings. Influencer marketing and advertising on Twitch are a perfect example of this.

twitch influencer NAIROMK on an esports competition

NAIROMK

Avg. time live 6.8 hrs/day

Avg. time watched 1,694 hrs/day

Why is Wendy’s streaming the destruction of in-game Fortnite freezers on Twitch?

Because they see opportunity where others don’t.

Most brands shy away from things which have not been adopted by the majority around them. Some brands reap the benefits of seeing the value of being different. Wendy’s attempts the latter on a regular basis and reaps the rewards. Being the first to take Twitch ads to this level is a great example.

Especially in their content marketing. Wendy’s can see that content is king, and on social it’s all driven by voice and tone. They have  built a viral content stream on Twitter. According to social blade, they average 13,000 retweets and have amassed a twitter following of a highly engaged 3M followers. This has motivated the brand to venture further into organic social media growth via producing great content.

What can brands learn from Wendy’s campaign and other examples of Twitch sponsorships?

Standing out on social media is what drives engagement, loyalty, and keeps brands top of mind in 2019. Twitch sponsorships.

Twitch is a place to reach the elusive young male audience. While Instagram hosts a female audience, Twitch is the opposite. The most active audience on Twitch is young adult men.

What enables your customer base to find you and trust you, is to be relatable, present and  surprisingly entertaining. The content marketing bar is still not set high, and it doesn’t take much to stand out. It’s all in execution. 

Advertising on Twitch is only beginning, get ahead of the game and reap the rewards.

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