Twitch my Brand

Franck Vinchon
4 min readMar 30, 2021

Make-up, music, news and even politics right now. Online platforms that used to be niche are reinventing themselves due to their rising traffic. Twitch is surely one of the most amazing stories of the last ‘disastrous’ year — together with a bunch of other platforms like Netflix or Club House. And more brands are beginning to test out Twitch — but the platform remains an intrigue to decipher slowly.

For years, only brands linked to gaming and their communities — Twitch’s most popular niche — have spent time on the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform. Headphone companies like Hyper X and energy drink makers like Red Bull created popular campaigns. But that hesitation is fading, and Twitch’s recent growth is behind accelerating brand interest. The number of monthly broadcasters on Twitch almost doubled in 2020, from 3.6 million to 6.9 million. Not to mention, it’s clear that non-gaming communities have gained significant traction And visibility. New companies and brands — including those that might not conventionally associate themselves with gaming— are realizing they may be able to reach customers on the platform.

The case study of the make-up brand Elf was in most poresentation I received when Twitch was mentioned. The company created some content with the streamer LoserFruit, who, with the help of an Elf makeup artist, used the company’s products to recreate her Fortnite character’s look in real life. That stream netted over 100,00 views — at least as claimed by the company — mostly touching a predominantly Gen Z audience.

Since then, LoserFruit has been using her channel to “promote self-care and self-expression, while integrating her favorite Elf products.” Its massive built-in audience aside, finding a niche within Twitch is an intriguing prospect — especially for e-commerce brands, because Twitch is owned by Amazon. Twitch is also well equipped for satisfying the late-night-snack marketing needs. Wendy’s rolled out a campaign where the company partnered with Uber Eats to make late-night food deliveries to Twitch users much easier — including interesting discounts and promotions.

“Of all of the platforms that we look at, Twitch is really one of the most interesting, and it’s the most complicated as well,” said Jamin Warren, founder of gaming-focused consultancy Twofivesix. Companies can sponsor a stream with an existing Twitch influencer, launch their own branded accounts, create a branded reaction emoticon called an emote. Warren said he’s heard from a growing number of brands that “want to do something really big on Twitch.” Yet the tactics that work on other social platforms tend to ring hollow on Twitch. Brands come onto Twitch, create their own channel and then make content that’s out of step with the rest of the platform. Because so much of the appeal of streaming is tied to the personality of the streamer, brands that have their own channels need to put forward employees who are authentic, identifiable streamers to run the accounts. One of the main concerns about Twitch is that it is a hard medium for brands to control. Multi-hour livestreams are by nature impossible to script, and the best content relies on spontaneity — we had the same conversations last week about KPIs on Club House. Some brands are going to want to protect themselves from these live environments going wrong. While preserving the sense of spontaneity is important, Power said that a lot happens behind the scenes to make a brand collaboration on Twitch possible. We damn think also of other platforms like Discord and Club House to challenge the brands in the way they engage people as well as calculating their ROI

Companies that didn’t think through their promotions on Twitch have at times gotten into trouble. In 2018, for instance, KFC created a fried chicken emote that was quickly weaponized against Black Twitch streamers. Other Twitch campaigns have been criticized for taking advantage of streamers. Last year, Burger King secretly iused Twitch’s tipping function to put $5 toward popular streamers. With each tip Burger King was able to include a message that automatically played aloud during the stream — essentially getting its marketing pitch in front of thousands of viewers. The $5 tip was orders of magnitude below the amount that the streamers would have earned through a formal Burger King sponsorship - you can find a lot of articles giving you tips to integrate your brand to the Twitch world. Our advice is to think twice even if you think you nailed it.

The number of brands using Twitch remains small when you consider the reach of Twitch overall. Yet that will continue to change as both the platform itself diversifies its user base, as well as Amazon invests in it more. I talked to an Amazon exec few months ago and he was saying to me that nobody knew what to do with it. Recently, after not touching the platform since it acquired it in 2014, Amazon integrated Twitch to its larger Amazon Advertising umbrella, in a potential signal of more to come. Bolstering its live streaming video platform Twitch, Amazon has intro-duced Twitch Prime. This membership-based service entitles members to exclusive discounts on pre-orders and newly released games; a rotating selection of free digital games and in-game loot, and a premium experi-ence. I believe that they will take time to investigate further when you see the potential for monetization.

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Franck Vinchon

Founder Neon42, sports & entertainment-inspired marketing, brands and innovation consulting. Multi-awarded. Show runner, music addict, story maker, hardcore fan