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The Drum Awards Awards Case Studies Pringles

Twitch on how it helped Pringles pop into the gaming space

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By Awards Analyst, writer

November 4, 2021 | 6 min read

Twitch won the ‘Interactive entertainment’, ‘Most innovative use of new social platforms’ and ‘Best use of a content marketing platform’ categories at The Drum Awards for Content 2021 with its campaign for Pringles. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveals the secrets of this successful project...

Pringles Zombie 'Frank'.

A Pringles-loving zombie cowboy called Frank was created for the campaign.

The challenge

If there’s one thing that goes well with gaming, it’s snacking, and crisps just so happen to be gamers’ number one snack of choice. If that wasn’t enough of an incentive for Pringles to jump into the gaming space, they also had the additional killer insight that Gamers prefer snacks that leave less grease on their hands. This helps with the all important controller grip. For Pringles, as a snack of the less greasy variety, it was a huge opportunity and one they couldn’t ignore.

Pringles took the opportunity head on with an ambitious objective: to align and associate the salty snack with gaming to ultimately become the number one snack brand among gamers.

With gamers solidified as their target audience, Pringles had their work cut out. Gamers are notoriously hard to reach with branded content. They shy away from bog-standard campaigns that don’t speak to them directly and are highly aware and critical of brands that shoe-horn their way into the space inauthentically. On the other hand, brands that get it right with ‘new and cool’ experiences are in for an engaged and excitable audience, whose loyalty lasts a lifetime. This formed Pringles second objective: to reach gamers in an authentic and exciting manner.

The strategy

Keeping these two objectives in mind, Pringles knew they had to go big, so they co-created a brand-new gaming inspired mascot: a Pringles-loving zombie cowboy called Frank. Hailing from the game ‘West of Dead’ (WoD), Frank had replaced his taste for flesh with a passion for Pringles.

Pringles needed help introducing Frank to the gaming community in a natural and engaging way. The challenge here was cut-through. With the gaming world already full of so many iconic characters - Sonic the Hedgehog, Lara Croft, Mario, Halo’s Masterchief - how could Frank stand out and resonate with this consumer?

Enter Twitch!

Twitch is the world’s leading live-streaming service and home to the largest community of gamers. Twitch is about unexpected fun, and community connection; Pringles is about bringing people together. This made Twitch the perfect place to take Frank from 6ft deep to stratospheric stardom!

On Twitch our streamers and viewers are familiar and comfortable with branded streams, but for Frank’s resurrection, we needed to take this a step further. We knew that to successfully launch Frank into the gaming world, it had to be done in a headline grabbing way, and once he was launched he was going to need a plan of action. Our strategy was based on doing something different, something show-stopping and something completely unheard of.

Pringles screenshot

The campaign

We decided to eliminate the barrier between the online world and the real world: for the first time ever, we broke a video game character out of a game, out of a screen and into a streamers room. The idea being that Frank would burst out of WoD, attracted by the pop of a Pringles can and this would all happen live during one of our top influencer’s streams.

The Twitch activation took four months of careful planning and corroboration between agencies, Pringles and our streamers. During this time we worked with Leah, one of Twitch’s most engaging streamers and seven other popular European Twitch streamers, preparing them for Frank’s live breakout.

Ahead of the breakout, we built suspense among the gaming community by promoting the livestream on Twitch’s homepage. Viewers know to look there for the biggest and best streams of the day meaning we could draw in a large crowd. The viewers tuning in were under the impression that it was going to be a simple sponsored product stream. They had no idea what was in store...

Frank shocked everyone when he burst out of popular Twitch Streamer Leah’s livestream attracted by the pop of a Pringles can, but the pair quickly became friends. For two hours they played games, interacted with the audience and engaged the chat before he went on a European tour visiting other streamers.

With his newfound fame, Frank went on to capture the attention of gamers daily for three months by featuring in Twitch Premium Pre-roll ads with the message ‘Pop, Play, Eat’.

The results

Frank may now be safely back in-game, but he certainly left a lasting impression!

The ambition was to authentically launch Frank into the world of gaming and build the association of Pringles amongst the gaming audience. Ultimately Pringles wanted to become gamers’ number one snack of choice.

Leah’s UK stream was one of the top 10 most watched streams that night with:

  • 781,877 views;
  • 590,962 uniques;
  • 3,138,367 minutes watches (6 yrs);
  • 25,309 average users who remained in the session for 2hrs.
  • 4,070 chat messages.

In the UK, association of Pringles being a good fit on Twitch rose to 66.8% (+13.5%).

42% of the exposed audience agree that Pringles is their snack of choice when streaming/gaming showing an upward trend.

91.5% of those that saw the ad associate the creative message 'Pop, Play, Eat!' with Pringles (+13.6%). This means 9 in 10 of those in the UK having seen the ad associate this phrase with Pringles.

All 8 streams saw a total of 1.9M Views, 1.4M Uniques, 111,940 Chat Messages and 9.9M mins watched (that’s almost 19 years!)

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Content 2021. Click here to find out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

The Drum Awards Awards Case Studies Pringles

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Launched in 2011, Twitch is an interactive livestreaming service and global community that comes together every day to create unique, live, and unpredictable experiences...

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