- Pringles introduced a novelty gaming headset that includes a swivel arm that automatically feeds the brand's stackable potato chips into a wearer's mouth, according to news shared with Marketing Dive. The concept, developed with agency Grey New York, intends to help gamers avoid distractions during intense matches.
- The Kellogg-owned brand debuted the "Hunger Hammer" headphones as part of a partnership with "Gears 5," the third-person shooter published by Xbox Game Studios. Pringles has hired gaming influencers Criken, DexBonus and Strippin to test the headphones on Twitch while playing "Gears 5" over the next few weeks. As part of the collaboration with "Gears 5," each can of Pringles has a code to unlock a three-day boost in the game.
- Pringles is running ads on Twitch to promote the "Gears 5" partnership, part of a strategy that will see the brand more than double its spending on esports this year. Grey New York created the Hunger Hammer headphones prototypes with a 3D printer, per the release.
Pringles' chip-dispensing headphones are an off-beat way to get the company's branding in front of Twitch viewers as they watch their favorite streamers play "Gears 5," the sixth installment in the videogame franchise "Gears of War."
By focusing on a product category that's endemic to the gaming space — tech-enabled headphones — Pringles could better resonate with its target consumers. Other marketers that do not have long-standing ties to gaming have adopted a similar approach. Miller Lite in June released the "Cantroller," a functional gaming controller that doubled as a 12-ounce can of beer. The brewer similarly promoted the Bluetooth-enabled, rechargeable hardware on Twitch.
With a campaign on Amazon-owned Twitch, Pringles aims to reach an audience of younger consumers who are more likely to watch streaming videos than broadcast TV. More than half (55%) of Twitch's audience is 18 to 34 years old, while 82% of its users are male, according to Comscore data cited in Influencer Marketing Hub.
That makeup overlaps with Gen Zers, 74% of whom say they often snack between meals, per a study by the Institute of Food Technologies. Younger audiences are generally more likely to be fans of the fast-growing esports industry, whose revenue was forecast to jump 27% to $1.1 billion this year as viewership increases 15% to 453.8 million worldwide, researcher Newzoo estimates. Gamers are also open to seeing advertising, with 53% of mobile gamers saying ads helped them get updates about products they want, compared with 42% of non-gamers, Newzoo's research found.
Pringles is among the snack brands that are either sponsoring esports events or collaborating with Twitch streamers to reach target audiences. PepsiCo's Mtn Dew and Doritos labels in September sponsored a livestreamed event that built on the publicity for the release of Activision Blizzard's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare." Red Bull in March teamed up with professional gamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, who later switched his streaming channel to Microsoft's Mixer from Twitch, on a campaign that included limited-edition cans and a fan contest. Frito-Lay's Doritos also partnered with Twitch to host a game event, called the Doritos Bowl, with top streamers, including Ninja, who also provided play-by-play commentary in a co-stream of the NFL's "Thursday Night Football."