Fans and gamers can tune in to Twitch and YouTube later this week to watch top Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific streamers reveal Heinz Hidden Spots in the game and enjoy a burger break as they explore the new map.
Working with Gut Agency, Heinz is making its debut among a growing audience of mostly young people who spend roughly eight hours and 27 minutes each week playing games by connecting with them where they are -- inside the game.
The move by Heinz is the latest example of a CPG brand trying to market to gamers by meeting their snacking-related needs. Research shows that eating while playing video games is popular. With this in mind, Heinz is encouraging gamers to take a break to eat -- a healthier approach than mindlessly eating and playing at the same time -- and making it easy for them to do so without being penalized.
Finding hidden spots in games is one way players seek safety, sneak in a bathroom break or eat, per Heinz. "Eighty percent of gamers eat and drink while playing, but it's much harder to do this in multiplayer games like Call of Duty, where an ill-timed break can cost you the match," Ashleigh Gibson, brand director at Heinz, said in an emailed statement.
As gaming has evolved from a niche hobby to a dominant driver of pop culture, mainstream brands have shifted gears to engage esports creators and their audiences who are often averse to traditional ads. In addition to developing activations designed to interest players, many brands targeting millennials and Gen Z users have also added gaming to their broader marketing plans.
Engaging around culture, more broadly, is a heightened priority for QSR and CPG brands, with gaming a key focus of these efforts. For example, Hot Pockets joined Gen Z gamer culture through Twitch Bits and a coupon push than drove six times higher conversion rates than past efforts, helping the brand gain relevancy with key young cohorts.