Pringles brings video game zombie to life in Twitch livestream

Dive Brief:

  • Pringles this week sponsored a livestream by gaming influencer Leahviathan in which she played video game “West of Dead” and lured a zombie character out of the game by opening a can of the snack, per details emailed to Marketing Dive.
  • The livestreamed stunt featured “Frank the Gaming Zombie,” a video game character that Pringles introduced this month in a series of video spots that show Frank learning to be more social. Frank also will take over the Twitter accounts of Pringles in the U.K. and of Raw Fury, developer of the Western-themed shooter “West of Dead,” to interact with gamers in Europe. Frank will return to the game on Feb. 10 and become a permanent character who meets players in its “opening saloon.”
  • The Kellogg-owned snack brand mixed gaming, advertising and immersive entertainment in a novel campaign that looks to tap into the growing popularity of Twitch livestreams among younger consumers, which has surged during the pandemic. Pringles worked with creative agency Grey and Microsoft’s Xbox gaming unit on the campaign, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Pringles’ livestreamed stunt on Twitch was a humorous way to extend its latest campaign aimed at younger consumers who are most likely to play video games and fuel their gaming sessions with snacks. The sponsored livestream was a clever way to extend the introduction of “Frank the Gaming Zombie” from its video spots into a real-life activation. The livestream with Leahviathan generated more than 780,000 views in its first couple of days, and spurred multiple comments with her viewers on Twitch, the livestreaming platform owned by Amazon. As Pringles continues to provide updates about Frank on Twitter, the brand is inviting ongoing engagement with consumers.

The multichannel campaign replicates the action of one of the brand’s TV spots on Twitch, reinforcing the campaign imagery across platforms. One of the spots shows Frank crawling out of a TV screen after a gamer opens a can of Pringles and shares them with the zombie, a scenario that was recreated in Leahviathan’s livestream.

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Pringles’ zombie campaign is another effort to reach gamers, more than a year after the brand introduced a novelty gaming headset, developed in conjunction with agency Grey New York. The goofy device had a swivel arm to feed Pringles’ same-shaped snacks into a wearer’s mouth, and included influencer partnerships and Twitch ads. In the U.S., Pringles last month refreshed its packaging for the first time in 20 years with a streamlined look and simpler design for mascot Mr. Pringle. For the holidays, the brand highlighted its tubular packaging and distinct shape in a campaign developed by Grey London.

The latest campaign comes amid a global surge in time spent playing video games as homebound consumers look for entertainment. The U.K. has enacted strict lockdowns in the past few months to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which likely has led more people to play video games and watch livestreams. Twitch’s global viewership has surged in the past this year among those homebound audiences. The platform hit a record of 2.91 million average weekly viewers this month, a 114% jump from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Twitchtracker. Those yearly comparisons are likely to narrow in late March as the pandemic reaches its first anniversary.

The Kellogg Co., which owns brands like Eggo waffles and Pop-Tarts in addition to Pringles, reported organic net sales rose 4.5% in the third quarter to $3.3 billion, partly because of higher demand for snacks. The company is expected to report results for the holiday quarter next month, which will provide more insights into whether it maintained sales momentum coming into 2021.

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