This is how we helped brands embrace gamers at TwitchCon

Invaders News

Last weekend, 15,000 of the nearly 11 million gamers in the Netherlands came together in Ahoy for TwitchCon. The successful event hosted by the livestream platform Twitch, which has grown significantly thanks to the gaming community. As a brand, TwitchCon is where you can truly connect with your audience. The Invaders helped McDonald's, Zilveren Kruis, Dutch Police and Hellmann’s to do so.

Gaming is the fastest-growing entertainment industry in the world. The number of players and playtime is increasing rapidly. Games are now an integral part of our lives. Whether you're playing a quick game of Wordfeud at the bus stop or spending evenings playing Call of Duty online, there's a gamer in most of us.

There's a Gamer in all of us

At The Invaders, we believe that the passion of all these gamers offers brands an excellent opportunity to connect with a hard-to-reach audience. However, it took a long time for marketers to be convinced of this. Why? Misconceptions about gaming as a platform, outdated stereotypes about gamers, and unfounded fears about 'brand safety,' which don't seem to apply to cinema advertising.

TwitchCon 2024 shows that these times are finally over. Ahoy was filled with a cross-section of the Dutch population. It wasn't just cosplayers (gamers dressed as their in-game heroes) and groups of young boys living on energy drinks, but also families, athletes, young professionals, and married couples.

Brands Discover TwitchCon

European marketers are starting to realize this too. More and more brands are interested in exploring game culture, which was also clearly visible at TwitchCon. It's no longer just the game publishers, media, and hardware suppliers finding their way to TwitchCon. This year, The Invaders helped four 'non-gaming' organizations to convey their message through game culture at TwitchCon.

"Gamers are absolutely open to branded content, provided you add something to their gaming or viewing experience."

Together with McDonald's, we created a prominent stand centered around a highly valued aspect of game culture: easter eggs (hidden messages in games). We helped Zilveren Kruis promote protecting your skin against the sun by using a well-known gaming element: the shield bar. And we assisted Hellmann’s in launching their battle-buffet Fortnite island.

But also government agencies, like the police, want to show that they understand game culture and embrace gamers. Therefore, we used the link between their work and that of Twitch moderators (the people who keep the Twitch community safe) to roll out a new recruitment campaign. The launch took place at TwitchCon, but you will undoubtedly hear more about this tribute to the mods this summer.

'Knowledge of Game Culture is Essential'

Helping McDonald's, Zilveren Kruis, Dutch Police, and Hellmann’s to embrace gamers at TwitchCon is at the core of what we do at The Invaders. Creative director Kevin Loos states: "We've been working since 2015 to help brands seize the opportunities in the gaming world. It's the only thing we do because we believe in hyperspecialization. Knowledge of game culture is essential to be successful in this domain. Gamers are absolutely open to branded content, provided you add something to their gaming or viewing experience. If you don't, the community will let you know immediately. You can't get more direct feedback as a brand."

It's no surprise that big brands and their agencies are now tapping into this. "The numbers are undeniable. Not only the number of players, but also the results of (international) campaigns in the gaming domain. And it goes beyond the games themselves. As a brand, you tap into a culture. It starts in gaming, but you scale it through content across all traditional channels. This means that as specialists, we also collaborate with other specialists. Sometimes it's a game publisher or platform. But we also work strategically with media agencies. Or, as in the case of McDonald's, we work perfectly with their lead agency TBWA," says Kevin Loos.

From TwitchCon to Cannes Lions

That gaming has become a mature channel is not only visible on the show floor of Ahoy during TwitchCon. Since last year, gaming has finally had its own category at the Cannes Lions, where there was already a significant increase in the number of entries this year. After more than 50 years of video game history, the game for brands is finally on.

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