News and lifestyle publisher Vice has just unveiled Waypoint, a dedicated site to the world of gaming. To celebrate, Vice hosted a “72 games in 72 hours” marathon over Twitch, during which it tried something a bit unorthodox courtesy of Carl’s Jr.—live advertising.
Rather than use traditional pre-, mid- or post-roll advertising, Waypoint’s “big hello to the world” acted out skits live on the air featuring “Happy Star,” the mascot for Hardy’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants. This was the first time live ads have been produced in a Twitch stream. Happy Star was seen doing odd things around the Vice offices, much to the delight of viewers who even shared on-the-spot fan art during the event.
“Everyone was truly surprised at how positive the instant feedback was,” Brandon LaChance, director of advertising for CKE Restaurants, told Adweek after the stream.
Although this is the first time the fast food restaurant chain has featured live advertisements, it is no stranger to the appeal of gaming livestreams. Last October, Carl’s Jr. hosted a two-hour event on Twitch as part of its #UltimateCarePackage campaign, where guests played Call of Duty Black Ops III and ate Carl’s Jr. burgers.
With ad-blocking on the rise, Twitch and other outlets are forced to get creative for the millennial audience—a high-spending, enthusiastic and story-driven demographic that is rather short on attention span.
To combat this, Twitch is rolling out a native ad platform that ignores automatic ad-skipping software. CKE Restaurants, who owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardy’s, calls their demographic “young, hungry guys,” so partnering with the brand that appeals to this audience is organic.
Live advertising offered the brand real-time interaction and metrics associated with the livestream—something fast food chains have been playing with on Facebook Live.
Now that the livestream is over, Carl’s Jr. and Hardy’s will take the popular Happy Star segments and edit them into short-form content for further distribution on other platforms.