Twitch, once an unassuming livestreaming service for gamers, has grown to become the most dominant broadcasting platform for video games in the world over the last seven years. With 15 million daily active users, Twitch’s audience watches an average of 95 minutes of live broadcasts a day—fertile ground for companies seeking to expand their marketing strategies away from the other major social media platforms.
While Twitch has typically been used by companies to advertise gaming brands and products to its engaged user base, such has its popularity increased that brands outside gaming are more frequently looking to tap into its lucrative audience.
With 81.5% of viewers male and 55% between the ages of 18-34, Twitch’s audience represents a clear target for any marketers attempting to reach a demographic of young males. This has led mainstream brands, such as KFC, to view the platform as a valuable resource for their campaigns. TwitchCon 2018 also introduced new non-gaming brands into the Twitch arena, like Nissin Cup Noodles, Nerf, and Doritos.
Viewers on Twitch tend to form closer-knit communities than their counterparts on other networks. As a platform, Twitch allows uninhibited, real-time access to streamers while they play games—in contrast to the often highly produced content that audiences are familiar with on YouTube or Instagram. The authentic nature of Twitch’s platform and its top broadcasters (known as Partners) is its key selling point. Their audiences are more engaged, more loyal, and willing to invest in products played by streamers.
Looking to capitalize on this, Hershey’s marketing sought to partner with Twitch streamers to promote their new Reese’s Pieces chocolate bar. The company has employed social media influencers in the past, but typically through more conventional channels such as Facebook or Twitter.
During its campaign, Hershey’s appealed to a female demographic by using a wedding-themed promotion for its new product. Following the example of other major brands which have used Twitch, using influencers from the streaming site marks an attempt to reach out to its younger male viewership beyond YouTube, whose streaming service has been lagging behind recently.
With TwitchCon 2018—Twitch’s annual convention celebrating everything Twitch—at the end of October, it made perfect sense for Hershey’s marketing to leverage their influencer support at the event, taking advantage of the large, concentrated audience at the event and following online.
Just like Hershey’s and Reese’s Pieces, there’s nothing better than when the best get together. Catch @Ninja (https://t.co/VgKWpm7JnN) and @DrLupoOnTwitch (https://t.co/46lQGqDS9l) streaming live on @Twitch today at 4pm ET. #TwitchCon pic.twitter.com/EihpWkl5j9
— HERSHEY’S (@Hersheys) October 23, 2018
For Hershey’s first foray into influencer marketing through livestreaming, they snatched two of Twitch’s biggest stars, Ninja and Dr. Lupo. Using Twitch, the biggest streaming platform in the world, was a conscious decision—while there are other increasingly competitive options entering the livestreaming market, a large brand like Hershey’s is keen to associate with the most popular influencers on one of the biggest social media platforms.
— DrLupo (@DrLupo) October 23, 2018
Their strategy principally involved using the duo to promote the Hershey’s Reese’s Pieces mashup through a collaborative livestream and continuing the campaign with cross-platform promotion through their secondary channels on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter in the run-up to TwitchCon 2018.
At 27 and 31 years old and a combined Twitch following of nearly 15 million, Ninja and Dr. Lupo are young and enjoy enormous support from the community. They also engage a collective average of just under 70,000 concurrent viewers—that is to say, viewers of a stream at any one time.
Ninja and Dr. Lupo are streamers who are largely inoffensive, more engaged, and command more loyalty with their audiences. These qualities make them perfect candidates to target the key demographic of young males Hershey’s attempts to reach in their campaign.
Related Post: Twitch Vs. YouTube: Who Will Prevail?
Combined Ninja and Dr. Lupo
For their collaborative stream, Ninja and Dr. Lupo endorsed the product in a mostly unobtrusive fashion, stopping infrequently to talk about it and show the chocolate to their audience. In addition to this, they utilized a small on-screen graphic to appear far more frequently to promote the campaign. The stream was light-hearted in nature, as expected, featuring them playing the game Fortnite. They streamed together for 12 hours, with Ninja achieving a maximum concurrent viewership of 83,447 and Dr. Lupo bringing in a max of 14,315—above average performances for both streamers.
Through their secondary channels, Ninja and Dr. Lupo continued the campaign, though in a much more low-key fashion. Ninja posted just one update on his Instagram promoting the Hershey’s marketing campaign, informing his fans of a meet-and-greet at TwitchCon. The post simply features an image of the Hershey’s booth at the event, and the same post can be found, word for word, on Dr. Lupo’s Instagram. With authenticity key in influencer marketing, it may come as no surprise that with 239,000 likes and comments, the engagement rate for this post was a mediocre 2.1%.
In addition to the identical posts uploaded to each of the streamer’s channels, Dr. Lupo posted another update featuring just the chocolate bar in the frame and a short humorous message about the product and the stream. With 77,000 likes and comments and an engagement rate of 3.5%, the post performed best despite the little effort required to produce it.
Disclaimer: This case study is Mediakix’s interpretation of a third-party marketing campaign. Mediakix is not officially affiliated nor makes a claim to have executed or have been involved with any of the brands and/or campaigns mentioned.