Trend Set: Global Brands Center Customer Needs In New Campaigns

Ayzenberg trend-watcher Ashley Otah explores the ways in which some of the world’s biggest brands are centering the experiences and needs of customers, building community and promoting inclusivity.


About one in six people worldwide experience significant disability. And yet, the representation of people with disabilities in advertising and beyond remains abysmal. Ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Apple’s latest campaign, “The Greatest,” centers the experiences of disabled people, showcasing their daily lives, talents, celebrations and more, including how Apple technology assists them in accomplishing tasks. The video exemplifies a broader effort from the technology industry to embrace inclusion. Although there is a long way to go, the ad underscores the strides made to expand accessibility for all.


The end of the year heralds the arrival of many things—holiday gatherings, friendly outings and even snow, for some—but it also signals the arrival of Spotify Wrapped. With new features to analyze users’ “Listening Personality” and other usage metrics, the yearly drop keeps audiences on their toes and coming back for more. Its shareability, personalization and community-building attributes are just a few things that boost the success of Spotify Wrapped. Users’ desire to look inward while connecting outwardly is exemplified by the campaign, and although it would be quite a feat to duplicate or defeat, Spotify’s ability to build community provides a lesson all brands can learn from.


Everything is tastier in Texas—and McDonald’s knows that. The company recently launched a new test restaurant in the Lone Star State designed for the diner on the go. Customers will be able to order ahead and pick up their orders at a dedicated conveyor, skipping the drive-thru lane. The restaurant also features a pick-up room for delivery drivers to retrieve orders and kiosks where customers can place orders to go. This new endeavor shows McDonald’s understanding of consumers’ changing behaviors. Understanding and reshaping the customer experience in a rapidly evolving landscape can elevate brands above the rest.

Trend Set: Brands Go All Out For The World Cup

Ayzenberg trendsetter Ashley Otah examines some of the ways brands are leaning on nostalgia, going global and trending on our timelines ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.


Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, McDonald’s launches its latest campaign, “Wanna Go To McDonald’s?” in over 75 countries. Win or lose, rain or shine, McDonald’s seems to be the common thread and the only answer for those going through the ups and downs of the worldwide championship. The campaign shows the connection between places near and far and how they share one thing in common at the root of it all. Although difficult to pull off, the brand’s largest campaign shows unity goes a long way. Whatever you call the Golden Arches, the campaign highlights that going global isn’t just a hot trend, it’s the way of the future.

Ted Lasso

The fictional soccer coach from the hit Apple TV+ show takes to the big leagues to show support for the United States Men’s National Soccer Team with a slew of billboards showing words of support in the hometowns of players and coaches. Written in Ted Lasso’s voice, the out-of-home campaign appears more than fitting. The endeavor is an excellent example of leaning into your audience and niche while staying true to the product and industry.


Footballverse,” Nike’s newest campaign, brings together the past and present like no other. The star-studded four-minute spot features a cast of world-class footballers plucked from different points in time going head-to-head duking it out on the pitch. In addition, the ad cultivates a space for new beginnings—an attribute that goes beyond the world of goals, fans and flags. With a nod to the future of football, Nike shows that anything is limitless. Takes Home Six Clio Awards For Xbox, Minecraft, Apex Legends And Rocket League Work

Nightcap and Ayzenberg Group, as part of, won in multiple categories at this year’s Clio Entertainment Awards. The organization took home one gold, two silver and three bronze Clio Entertainment awards, given in recognition of excellence, creativity and innovation in advertising, design and communications across a variety of mediums. This is the second year in a row that the network has been honored with multiple Clio awards.

Co-Chief Creative Officers at Matt Bretz and Gary Goodman pointed to a dedication to using data to understand trends and fandom—as well as the support of longtime partners—as underlying factors behind this year’s winning entries.

“For the first half of my career, I did pretty well going with my gut because that was all we had,” Goodman said. “I see the even higher rate of success we’ve had at this year’s Clios as a reflection of the power of our data science to tell us what’s on trend, in combination with great clients like Xbox.”

Ayzenberg Group won gold and silver in the voiceover and gameplay trailer categories, respectively, for the Minecraft on PC Game Pass campaign. And in the visual identity category, Ayzenberg Group took home the silver for the Xbox Design Lab campaign and bronze for Xbox’s 20th anniversary promotion.

“One of our strengths is integrated storytelling which, of course, demands excellence at every touchpoint where fans meet brands,” Bretz said. “So it’s especially gratifying to have wins across the visual identity, social media and trailer categories for Xbox.”

Nightcap, whose tagline is “Work That Thinks,” took home bronze Clios for social media and CG work on game titles Apex Legends Mobile and Rocket League Sideswipe.

“I’m so proud of our team at Nightcap for these two Clio wins,” said Scott Cookson, EVP and executive creative director at Ayzenberg Group. “Their endless passion for the work and tireless drive to be the best in the industry is inspiring.”

Nightcap Director of Strategy Rebecca Baroukh also spoke on the announcement. “These wins are not only a testament to our strong collaborative relationship with our partners but also our incredible team,” Baroukh said. “They have worked tirelessly over the last year to create thoughtful work that clearly resonates with our audiences and Clio’s judges alike!”

Those partners and key people include, but are not limited, to Mojang Studios, Xbox Marcom and the PC Game Pass team, Psyonix, Respawn Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Fergus Lynch, Sam Brody, Craig McNary, Abhi Shah, Jessica Freeman, Omar Smith, Egil Gloersen, Lauren Schuur, Emily Orrson, Tom Stone, Maggie Adams, Ryan Zhao, Tim Coombs, Coco Luk, Josh Munsee and Tripleclix.




Trend Set: Gaming, Melody Ehsani And YouTube Shorts

Ayzenberg trendsetter Ashley Otah takes a look at new research that shows most of us are gamers, among other major trends this week.


Gaming—it’s for everyone. In new research from Activision Blizzard Media, 66 percent of those surveyed said they had played video games with others either online or in person. In addition, 62 percent of participants said they opted to play video games with others because it’s fun to share the experience with someone else. Lastly, 84 percent of gamers play mobile titles at least once a week, primarily because of accessibility. The key is to carve out space for brands to harness this power to fuel interaction and engagement. As gaming culture continues to boom, it helps connect people, drive communities and create positive conversations globally. 

Beats By Dre x Melody Ehsani

In a new collaboration, Beats by Dre and fashion designer Melody Ehsani transport viewers into a new world with powerful animation. The film’s mix of music and flair encapsulates what it means to be yourself while taking steps to elevate the game. The result highlights how bringing a new spin on a classic can take brands to a new level. 

YouTube Shorts

YouTube is taking Shorts to the big screen. What does that mean? Users will be able to watch the short-form videos on their smart TV, gaming console or other streaming devices. This pivot is similar to that of its counterpart, TikTok, which helped the platform reach wider audiences. The at-home viewing experience adds another dimension to the easily surfable platforms. This move showcases a mixing of mediums and, if tailored just right, can bring new life into booming ideas. 

Why Multiplayer Game ‘Hell Is Others’ May Signal A Pivot In Brand Storytelling

Hell is Others, a new online multiplayer release by A List Games and Italy-based game studios Strelka Games and Yonder, represents a shift in brand storytelling focusing on the mechanics of user engagement through the eyes of the consumer.

Hell Is Others Is A 2D PvP Multiplayer Game For The Bingeable Content Era

Released on Oct. 20 on Steam™, Hell is Others offers players 60 hours of storytelling—that’s longer than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the notoriously challenging Dark Souls. The game, which is a player-versus-player (PvP) shooter adventure, seems tailor-made for the “Stranger Things” and “Severanceera, as the most fantastical elements of the story are somehow relatable not simply because of character development, but because the themes—centering on an uncertain yet all-consuming work experience that seems to never end—are all too familiar. Despite its length, the storytelling is taut, engaging and addictive, with a balance between horror and character development that makes it feel less like lore and more like a string of can’t-miss episodes.

Like The Legend of Zelda, Hell is Others presents a story with a traditional hero’s journey at its core, but that journey has been translated into a multi-layered allegory of modernity à la Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times.” There is a main character bearing a name suspiciously similar to that of Adam Smith, considered the founding father of modern capitalism, and of course, the title Hell is Others appears to be a sly nod to existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre’s play “No Exit,” about hell as an existence trapped in an endless cycle of repetition, forced into a cramped space with others unable to exit.

In the game, users play as Adam Smithson, a character isolated in a cramped apartment who must descend into the city to scavenge for resources to feed his sole charge, a plant that lives on blood and produces an unusual fruit—bullets that fit more than 50 weapons. In Century City, where Adam Smithson lives, blood is currency, fuel and sustenance, and in the fight for blood, Smithson engages with other players and fights monsters who seek to destroy him or steal the blood and weapons that he and his plant need to survive.

Hell is Others is a passion project for many of us,” said Strelka Games CEO Pietro De Grandi. “Each monster was handcrafted, each moment of the story was written to create a deep and intense emotional reaction, and each pixel was lovingly placed to create the world for our audience.”

The game is unique for other reasons beyond its dystopian semiotics; its marketing campaign focused on user experience from the consumer’s point of view with a strategy focused on TikTok.

A Brand Storytelling Shift: From The “Voice Of The Customer” To The “Eye Of The Consumer”

Brands often say they incorporate the “voice of the customer” (VoC) in developing new products and directing long-term marketing strategies. In the world of gaming, a subtle shift has occurred toward marketing games not just as continuing or nascent franchises but as experiences. That means translating VoC into the language of experience—what fans want to see and feel when they play a game. Hell is Others took this a step further and used TikTok as a vehicle to promote ‘Let’s Plays’ that focused on the mechanics of user engagement—what the game felt like and why those experiences were unique and binge-worthy.

“We managed to exploit many small game mechanics that are interesting and attention-grabbing, such as watering plants with blood and displaying the heartbeat of other players, said De Grandi. “We really leaned in hard on the surreal nature of Hell is Others. The juxtaposition of a crazy monster and upbeat music tends to do well with our audience. Further, the game is littered with pop-culture references, which we try to highlight in many of our videos.”

The Hell is Others TikTok page, which currently has over 1.8 million likes, has gameplay videos with as many as 3.2 million views.

According to De Grandi, TikTok was a perfect channel to showcase the game’s storytelling and the physics of gameplay.

“Unlike other, more curated campaigns and channels, TikTok is very organic,” De Grandi said. “More strongly branded content that may work on YouTube fails on TikTok. So, we really have to speak with the voice of our consumer.” The game, produced by Strelka Games and Yonder, was released by A List Games, a live-service game publisher.

PAX West: The Art Of Pitching Your Game

Matt Turnbull, executive producer at Xbox Game Studios Publishing will be headlining the workshop Pitch Perfect: The Art Of Pitching Your Game, at PAX West.

Read on for a preview and some pre-panel recommendations.

Pitching Your Game In An Uncertain Market—It Can Be Done 

According to game publishing veteran Matt Turnbull, it’s possible to get a game publisher to take you—and your yet-to-be-published game seriously. But it requires a well-planned elevator pitch that focuses on the essentials—why your game is one-of-a-kind and a potential asset, rather than a gamble, for a game publisher. 

According to the workshop’s blurb, “selling your ideas isn’t a trick, it’s not a manipulation – it’s about communication and collaboration.” Turnbull promises to decode game publishers’ criteria for choosing “the one” as well as how indie developers can most efficiently communicate that value in terms that will resonate with publishers.

Get Panel-Prepared

Watch: PAX streams here, while in-person attendees can attend the workshop today from 6:00 – 7:00PM PST at the Sasquatch Theatre (Sheraton, Level 2).

Listen: Steve Fowler of A List Games discusses the importance of honesty in building connections with audiences and the major players in the gaming ecosystem.

Read: More A List Games content in Game Publishing 101 – discover what drives publishers and the industry.

What Marketers Can Learn From SVOD’s Rise

Years ago, when “cord-cutting” was a new phenomenon, networks, brands and marketers struggled to understand if streaming video on demand (SVOD) could ever really supplant “regular” television as America’s favorite source of entertainment. Now, not only has SVOD outpaced over-the-air networks but consumers’ taste has evolved in response. The result? The elevation of user experience from an aspect of a streaming channel’s overall value to consumers to a key differentiator. Not only is the same network TV content available through multiple channels, but much of the same original content produced by streaming channels is available on multiple platforms. That makes multiple streaming subscriptions hard to justify for some consumers—and some of the biggest SVOD brands, like Netflix, have experienced bracing losses. What’s the difference between SVOD winners and losers? An old idea—the same one that launched and sustained the ‘golden age’ of television for decades: great content and ads that were relevant, well-placed and engaging.

The Data

A new report by Infillion, “The Consumer-Defined Future of Streaming is Here,” reveals some encouraging news for marketers seeking to advertise with SVOD platforms. While 38 percent of consumers in the Infillion survey “always or usually” avoid ads, a majority (62 percent) reported that they at least “sometimes” watched ads. Of this number, 34 percent of views “always or usually” watch ads.

For the majority of those who pay attention to ads, most are usually multitasking (61 percent) or talking to friends or family (54 percent). That means that while consumers are distracted during commercial breaks– they aren’t inaccessible to marketers’ brand messaging—and most do not mute ads (only 39 percent do). Just as SVOD challenged TV networks for consumers’ attention, brand marketers can reach consumers on SVOD by understanding how consumers, empowered by a range of content choices, decide where to assign their attention.

Consumers Don’t Mind Ads—Really

According to the Infillion report, while 63 percent of consumers say “ads while streaming are invasive,” 50 percent agree with the statement “ads tailored to you and your interests are good,” and almost the same number believe that “ads online accurately reflect my interests.” 

Viewers Are Open To Ads From Unfamiliar Brands

Another 70 percent state that they prefer to see ads from a range of brands, not just ones targeted to them. That means the right content, shown at the right time, can reach even the most discerning consumers—viewers who are paying for the privilege to select their content. 

Be Smart About Ad Frequency And Relevance

As the opportunities for brand marketers to advertise on SVOD channels evolve, marketers should ensure that the content that they share and the frequency that they place ads reflects consumers’ new ability to find the same content in multiple locations: too many ads or too many irrelevant ads may cause them to seek their favorite shows on other networks. 

Start Planning That (Relevant) Campaign

The good news: 62 percent of consumers think that relevant ads are worth watching, according to the Infillion report. Launches Nightcap, A Full-Service Gaming And Entertainment Agency To Manage Global 360, Social, And GTM Campaigns 

The global gaming audience now represents one-third of the world’s population: 3 billion people. [1] New agency Nightcap, launched by, plans to help innovative brands identify new marketplace opportunities and develop bespoke products to meet the diversity of needs presented by this global, multicultural audience.

For Max Ornstein, Senior Director of Client Services, that starts with developing a culturally inspired strategy born of data-driven insights on what ignites consumers’ passions for products and experiences.

“At Nightcap, we understand that the global gaming audience is one of the most diverse and highly coveted customer bases, and we take our expertise in reaching them and apply that to everything we do,” stated Ornstein. “We make it our mission to understand why people talk about what matters to them. This allows us to organically and authentically engage with the most relevant audience segments to achieve our partners’ goals.”

Nightcap is composed of veteran gamers, technologists, creatives, strategists, and analysts, all steeped in cutting-edge marketing trends and brand development with years of working with the world’s leading gaming and entertainment brands. Nightcap’s recent campaign wins include Ubisoft, Epic Games, Amazon, Electronic Arts, and Activision.

According to Rebecca Baroukh, Nightcap’s Director of Strategy, the company makes “Work That Thinks” – integrated, data-driven solutions that respond to and evolve per consumer needs and client objectives. 

“Strategy sits at the core of everything that we do. We believe that every choice that we make needs to have a clear answer to the age-old question of ‘why.’ Whether it’s something as creative as a trailer or as tactical as a go-to-market plan, we’ve got an insight to back it up!”

From research to the campaign positioning, from GTM planning to the creation of social assets, key art and video to media placement and influencer activations, Nightcap can integrate new solutions at any level, Baroukh states. 

Nightcap is backed by As Matt Bretz, Chief Creative Officer, explains:

“Nightcap shares the DNA of all business units that inclines us to listen first. Gauge the conversation. The sentiment. Only then decide what to create and how to share it. So our work is led by its audience. Sought by them. And shared by them. Nightcap’s defining personality trait is “work that thinks.” If you have a new product or a challenging product or a niche audience you need to cultivate, Nightcap will create bespoke solutions you won’t find anywhere else in the industry.”

Nightcap is led by Max Ornstein (Senior Director of Client Services), Daniel Krechmer (Group Creative Director), Rebecca Baroukh (Director of Strategy), Abhaya Hess (Director of Project Management) and supported by a team of more than 24 creatives and support staff.

For business inquiries, please contact

Streamer Sponsors Bring Immersive Activations To Comic-Con 2022

Everything old is new again, especially if you’re a member of Gen Z—just ask Kate Bush, who is enjoying a career refresh due to Stranger Things. Content brands are again showing up at conferences and pulling out all the stops for visitors with experiential activations.

While the pandemic kept fans away from San Diego’s Comic-Con for two years, it maintained virtual events. Yet this year’s roster of supporters is vastly different from last year’s virtual event.

Save for Showtime, the industry’s biggest streaming channels were not listed as brand sponsors. This year, streaming services are facing the challenge of standing out in a world awash in lookalike content, and Gen Z, one of the most attractive consumer demographics, holding $360 billion in disposable income, watch as much long-form content online as short-form according to recent research. That’s led some of the world’s most recognizable content brands to partner with the most famous nerd culture conference: Comic-Con.

Legacy streamers and channels with multi-format fan favorites are marquee sponsors of San Diego’s Comic-Con

Streamers and new Comic-Con 2022 sponsors like Prime, Hulu and ABC must fight for a piece of a hyper-competitive market while tangling with the likes of TikTok and YouTube for Gen Z’s attention. Streamers like Hulu must make their platforms seem worth paying for in a landscape that offers popular forever free, Gen Z-targeted alternatives like Paramount’s Pluto TV. Pluto TV provides access to popular TV shows and movies on-demand via dedicated “super fan” channels that run a single show 24/7; that’s a critical detail. As much as 66% of Gen Z still uses a TV set to watch their favorite shows each day, 96% subscribe to at least one streaming service and 76% of households reported in one study that they own a smart TV. That means traditional channels like ABC with a strong digital presence and legacy streamers like Hulu (home of global anime megahit Attack on Titan) have a chance to craft a new, self-replenishing audience from 13-24s. Digital natives are content super consumers; they are not likely to abandon their favorite superheroes and Anime characters once they grow up and are out of college. It also means a new layer of competition for streamers: Gen Z is as likely to binge-watch anime on one of Pluto TV’s dedicated channels as they are to turn to a paid streaming channel.   

A yearly pilgrimage for influencers and nerd culture superfans, Comic-Con is where channels with the most substantial offerings (and the most to lose) are A/B testing innovative marketing strategies, including social watching through private label platforms. For example, Amazon Prime is livestreaming a cast Q&A session for its upcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on YouTube, while Marvel is doing so directly from its website in addition to YouTube, Facebook and Twitch. Livestreams are useful for streaming content brands because it ramps up on-site engagement, ensuring that visitors, already fans, will activate their own social networks during the event. Bringing non-attendees to livestreams makes it easier for targeted ads to work as they should — driving casual viewers to the platforms to discover related content.

Comic-Con, superfans and IRL social watching

Gen Z, just like any other demographic, has distinct characteristics that make them appealing to advertisers. For example, back in 2017, Hulu asserted that Gen Z would define the future of television in an internally published whitepaper. It found that:

  • 70% of Gen Z respondents equate “watching TV” with watching via an online source.
  • Gen Z is less likely to actively avoid watching advertising and over 50% said they don’t mind or even enjoy watching TV ads.
  • 60% of Gen Z respondents prefer to “binge” a show, watching multiple episodes at a time – compared to just 40% of Gen X.
  • Gen Z is motivated by a need to be “in the know” about TV to be part of the social conversation. 20% have posted about a show… without actually watching it.

Now that all demographics tend to binge-watch and consumers can find the same shows and movies on numerous platforms, networks like Apple TV and Peacock TV are looking for new ways to inspire brand loyalty. 

These brands likely see appealing to Comic-Con attendees as key to building their reputation as a source for unique, superfan-worthy content organically and important as they roll out new engagement tools like series-specific AR apps. That’s especially true for prestige drama networks like Apple TV+, which brought the cast of its hit Severance to the San Diego conference.

Like Attack on Titan, Severance is a cross-over content phenomenon that appeals to the young Gen Z fans, Millennials, and older Gen X parents who tend to form the bulk of Apple TV+’s subscribers.

In the case of HBO, 20% of its subscribers are devoted to a single program, which drives their engagement. While that’s a minority of viewers, these superfans can be powerful influencers within their social circle, especially when it comes to drawing friends and family to subscribe to a streaming service: ‘It’s worth it’ means a lot more when it comes from a loved one or friend.

For Apple TV+, however, the stakes may be just as high as for HBO Max in terms of reaching younger demographics. The much newer streamer is close to approaching HBO Max’s global market share (7%) at 5.6%. That makes immersive brand activations an important marketing opportunity for the streaming service to gain an advantage with new audiences.

Apple TV+’s immersive fan experience for the show, Welcome to Lumon, takes visitors through a maze of orientation scenes drawn from the drama’s Emmy-winning season. Designed to introduce non-viewers to the series while inspiring fans to post to Apple TV+’s social channels, #welcometolumon does double duty for Apple TV: Raising awareness of an often overlooked streaming service while introducing its strongest drama to a new generation of viewers who might not otherwise search for a dystopian office drama.

An old-school spin on social media

Shifting demographics to include the next generation of young adults currently requires streamers getting everyone watching together via a watch party or sharing content where users are the stars via social media. 

Enter immersive social media: it means pulling consumers into branded content, literally. It’s an idea that has been embraced by the granddaddy of them all, Marvel, which is streaming live from Comic-Con on Marvel.comYouTubeTwitterFacebookTwitch, and Whatnot. Marvel is streaming but also connecting with fans onsite while building anticipation for live reveals of the upcoming MCU slate and immersive exhibits.

While that’s not a huge shift in Marvel’s marketing strategy, it reflects how the home of the world’s most lucrative youth-targeted content next to Disney is willing to remind its audience (and platforms) that streaming networks rely on the studios for binge-able content.

For example, HBO’s House of the Dragon immersive experience featured seven themed stages allowing fans to walk through a virtual set. In addition, attendees could download a preview of HBO’s new augmented reality app, DracARys, which lets users hatch and interact virtually with an AI-powered dragon in real life. Watch the video here.

Game of Thrones activation at Comic-Con 2022.
Picture: HBO/Twitter

The Takeaway:

As networks and streamers present new ways to engage conference attendees online and onsite, they also create gram-worthy content that influencers and mere mortals would share. The in-person angle is an old-school way of creating brand ambassadors – but in the age of Instagram and TikTok, cool immersive experiences can go much further to drive consumer awareness and online engagement. With immersive marketing, the sales funnel can be entered anywhere – and brands like Marvel and HBO are happy to spend millions to bring consumers along for the ride. 

Stream Hatchet Report: Brands In Gaming And Esports

To help marketers understand the most effective way of attracting audiences on gaming platforms, Stream Hatchet’s latest report, Brands in Gaming and Esports, analyzed the presence of nearly 2,000 brands in video game streaming across the top 500 channels on Twitch. 

The most popular campaign activations used by brands in esports and livestreaming, it found, include esports tournaments, team organizations where brands utilize jersey patches to capture impressions or create sponsored content around the team and in-game activations where brands are creating characters or virtual versions of their product. 

Key takeaways include:

  • Advertising in livestreaming and esports is quickly growing yet still provides advertisers with somewhat untapped potential to reach the elusive 18- to 34-year-old demographic.
  • The best livestreaming campaigns are those in which the advertisements are creative and engaging, so making connections with content creators around authentic activations is key to earning the trust of gamers and gaming fans.
  • As opposed to simply adding a logo where livestream viewers will see it, brands should work with livestream influencers to activate on their social media platforms and have them use the product live whenever possible.
  • Chatbots offer context to viewers who are interested in learning more about a product. Utilizing QR codes, surveys and banners can usher potential customers to the right pages.

Hours watched of sponsored video game streams grew 211 percent over the last two years. There were 1.2 million sponsored streams in 2021 and 571 minutes watched. Additionally, 2.34 percent of Twitch’s hours watched were of sponsored streams. There were 153 million sponsored streams in Q1 2022 and 130 million in Q2 2022. 

As livestreaming and esports have grown, brands have started to take notice and as a result, the number of content creators sponsored by brands has increased substantially since Q1 2020, the report found. 

Given gamers and streamers use computers and peripherals to play games, electronic hardware brands have become active advertisers in the livestreaming space. The top categories on Twitch by logo presence in Q1 2022 were electronic hardware (8.8 percent) with 3,000 appearances, followed by apparel (7.3 percent) with 2,500 appearances, household goods (4.3 percent) with 1,500 appearances, beverages (4.2 percent) with 1,400 appearances and automotive (3.3 percent) with 1,100 appearances.

The top categories on Twitch by chat engagement tell a somewhat different story of the top brand categories on the platform in Q1 2022. Electronic hardware (22.4 percent) maintains its position in first place with 20.3 million mentions, marketplace (18.7 percent) with 17 million mentions, web browser (7.3 percent) with 6.6 million mentions, beverages (6 percent) with 5.5 million mentions and payments (4.4 percent) with 4 million mentions.

Gamers and streamers often resort to fast food during long nights in front of their computers. Brands like KFC and Wendy’s have activated with gamers in the past, creating in-game characters and events, and the former even building its own console. During Q1 2022, McDonald’s led the way with 1.3 million mentions, KFC with 878,000 mentions, Subway with 381,000 mentions, Wendy’s with 360,000 mentions and Burger King with 151,000 mentions.

Long hours of gaming and streaming require constant fuel. For gamers and streamers, that means a consistent supply of snacks. In Q1 2022, Doritos (42 percent) held the top spot as the most-mentioned brand with 458,000 mentions, followed by Cheetos with 273,000 mentions, Pringles with 212,000 mentions, Cheez-it with 53,000 mentions and Ruffles with 40,000 mentions. 

Doritos stood out with a mix of highly produced esports tournaments and the creation of a custom chip emote that streaming fans are able to use when talking about snacks. According to Stream Hatchet, there’s still plenty of room in livestreaming’s snack category for more brands to activate and nurture greater brand affinity.

The automotive industry also increased its gaming presence dramatically over the last few years. Many of the more prominent streamers have used their new incomes to purchase luxury vehicles that they discuss with fans on the platform. Esports teams and creators have also partnered with car brands for promotions around upcoming events.  

Along with fast food and snacks, comfortable clothing ensures gamers and streamers can be online for several hours per day. Sportswear brands have recognized and capitalized on this, positioning their logos onscreen for livestreaming audiences around the world to notice. Some brands have even embarked on creative collaborations such as Cloud9’s lifestyle clothing line with Puma. The brands mentioned most on Twitch in Q1 2022 were Nike (45.5 percent), Adidas (23.4 percent) and Puma (15 percent).

In the last year and a half, NFTs were increasingly discussed on Twitter with 290 million mentions. Coinbase partnered with esports league Blast Premier to engage with Counter-Strike players and fans, a collaboration that saw 141 minutes of exposure time and 676 million impressions. 

Sponsoring streamers to promote a new game or chapter release is a surefire way to increase awareness on livestreaming platforms, according to Stream Hatchet. The top three in-game event streamers, the report found, were: Nickmercs (57,815 hours watched), Swagg (48,642 hours watched) and JusKerrs (21,417 hours watched). 

Call of Duty aimed to drive engagement for its Warzone game by releasing a King Kong vs. Godzilla crossover event on Twitch. From May 11 to May 18, 2022, “Godzilla” was mentioned on Twitch over 30,000 times, while “King Kong” was mentioned 17,800 times.