- Amazon promoted the second season of its Prime Video series "The Grand Tour" with an interactive event live-streamed via Twitch on Dec. 2, per news shared with Marketing Dive.
- Made with the help of the production company Tool of North America, the "Battle Cars" experience featured a life-sized, Battleship-esque game board built in a Los Angeles quarry, with squares rigged with tiers of explosives that cars were dropped on to blow up. Sections of the board represented different geographic regions, each commanded by two Twitch influencers from countries like the U.S., U.K. and Mexico competing against each other.
- Viewers could participate in the game by joining teams and selecting tiles displayed on the stream. The release said that this was the largest custom extension produced for a Twitch broadcast to date. The promotion attracted around 50,000 viewers in its first two hours and an estimated 3.3 million viewers total. Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million three years ago.
Amazon's stunt for the second season of "The Grand Tour" shows the Seattle-based company tying together two of its properties — Prime Video and Twitch — in a novel fashion. Twitch is a popular destination for video game enthusiasts who go to the site to watch their friends and influencers stream themselves playing games, competing in e-sports or generally goofing around in real-time. The Battle Cars experience, however, shows how the platform's strengths can extend to brands more broadly that are looking to experiment with interactive video marketing.
For Amazon, it drew interest and eyeballs to Prime Video, which is an over-the-top streaming service that competes with the likes of Netflix and offers original movies and popular TV series like "The Grand Tour." This isn't the first time Amazon has broken the traditional marketing mold for the show. In November last year, it integrated a trivia game into its Alexa-Powered Echo smart speakers that unlocked exclusive video content from the first season.
These campaigns, which blend different technologies from across Amazon's suite of properties, including voice and live streaming, come as the company starts to emerge as a more considerable force in digital advertising. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that three of the world's largest ad holding groups, WPP, Publicis and Omnicom, are planning to ramp up Amazon spending next year to potentially reach $800 million, collectively.
As Amazon continues to try to innovate its marketing, both for its own products and for other advertisers, its competitors might become more aggressive. Google earlier this week pulled its video platform YouTube from Amazon Echo Show and Fire TV devices, citing terms of services violations. YouTube has been battered by brand safety concerns and other controversies this year that have led some to speculate that its popular content creators — many of whom double as influencers for brands — might migrate to other video providers like Twitch.