- Procter & Gamble men's grooming brand Gillette announced a partnership with livestreaming video platform Twitch for the Gillette Gaming Alliance, a team of 11 Twitch streamers from different countries who will create content for the brand, according to a press release.
- The alliance will support a "Bits for Blades" promotion, giving fans the chance to earn Twitch Bits, a virtual currency used to financially support streamers, by purchasing Gillette products displayed and discussed by alliance team members. Viewers can click on a Gillette-branded banner to purchase products on Amazon or another third-party vendor and earn at least 250 Twitch Bits.
- The Gillette Gaming Alliance will host a fan experience at TwitchCon Europe in Berlin in April. The event will include Gillette giveaways, meet-and-greets with alliance members and Twitch personalities and other activities.
The news points to how major brands can team up with Amazon — which owns Twitch and will fulfill some of the orders placed through the promotion — for unique marketing experiences. Gillette is hoping to tap into the growing gaming and esports market as it strives to reach more consumers on digital platforms and compete with direct-to-consumer men's grooming brands, which are encroaching on legacy brands. Gamers often don't mind ads and are more likely to buy products being advertised in games when the ads are relevant.
With the Gillette Gaming Alliance, the brand likely hopes to broaden its reach and connect with Amazon-owned Twitch users. The platform boasts more than 15 million unique visitors, who spend more than 90 minutes watching live games on the site each day, according to Twitch. Offering Twitch Bits, the platform's virtual currency that continues to expand, in exchange for purchase could help Gillette drive purchases and build loyalty with the next generation of customers.
The partnership with Twitch comes as more brands are eyeing esports as a way to engage younger consumers. More than half of Gen Z males spend more time following nontraditional sports, according to a study by Whistle Sports. Sixty-nine percent welcome brands in nontraditional sports, and 57% think it's important for companies to sponsor, advertise and support their favorite sports.
Gillette's Twitch partnership aligns with parent company P&G's efforts to innovate across digital platforms. P&G saw a 4% increase in organic sales for grooming, including a 10% in the U.S. for Q1 2019, which is linked to the growth of Gillette and its online Gillette Shave Club.
The campaign follows Gillette's controversial "We Believe" ad, which addressed toxic masculinity. The brand had racked up 1.1 million mentions across blogs, forums, news sites and social media in the first 24 hours of its launch in January, marking a 214.9% increase in mentions compared to the previous 24-hour period. The campaign mainly targeted the 19-24 age group, and sentiment about the ad on social media was mostly negative.