6 min to read

Videogame Marketing: The place where brands can reach Gen Z

Source: Unsplash.

Videogames, all of us have played at least once in our life! 

It started in October of 1958 when Physicist William Higinbotham created Pong, the first videogame ever

After more than a half-century of evolution, video games are an industry that sells trillions of copies worldwide, and experts expect it to be a $94 billion industry by 2024. 

From Super Nintendo to Nintendo Switch, we are currently in the 9th generation of consoles; and talking about generations we have to address the one that video games affected the most: Generation Z.

Millennials and Generation X have played video games, there is no denial of this, but the fact is that the youngest generation practically was born with a Joystick controller in their hands. 

By the time this generation started - 1997- 2013 according to this article - consoles like Nintendo 64, Playstation 1, and Sega Dreamcast were the trend for young people. And so you could imagine these baby Zers that looked at their older Millenial or Gen X brothers playing these games, their eyes shined with all the 3D graphics, and suddenly, they wanted to immerse themselves in this virtual reality.

An article from GamingonPhone says that 81% of Gen Zers considered themselves gamers, higher than millennials with 71% and 60% of generation X. 

Besides, since the Covid-19 pandemic young people limited their outdoor activities, forcing them to play more video games to keep their minds distracted.

Fortnite players spend 6 to 7 hours having fun in the game, but playing is not the only thing they do. 

But playing isn't the only thing gamers do, as they spent tons of money on this, making the company Epic Games earn 2.4 Billion in 2018 (We'll explain how to advertise on Fortnite later)

The Virtual world is turning into a new channel for marketers, and because of this, brands like Wendy's, Nike, and even Amazon itself decided to enter into this "game." 

Want to find out how you can reach Gen Zers in games like Fortnite or Minecraft?

Well, press the "start button" to learn everything about it!

Why video games are a good channel for marketers?

Video games are popular among Gen Zers, even more than Netflix, Disney+, and social media together.

We see this trend in a Deloitte survey of 2,000 participants where 26% expressed that they prefer gaming to other in-home entertainment activities like listening to music with 14%, 12% for internet browsing, and only 10% said they would rather watch a movie or TV show at home. Seems like Hollywood is in big trouble with new generations...

In the words of Jana Arbanas, vice chairman and U.S. telecom, media, and entertainment leader at Deloitte.

“Gen Z would much rather spend time gaming, listening to music or using social media, that was a really stark contrast that we saw relative to the shift that’s happening and how Gen Z will impact this industry sector longer term.”

If these trends prevail among the youngest, the only option for brands is to adapt and get closer to this virtual world to empathize and connect with the new generations.

Source: YouTube.

How can brands advertise in Videogames?

Video game marketing can be disorienting for those dedicated to digital marketing since the typical strategies such as SEO or PPC are not at hand. And although in-game ads are not available - only for mobile games - big players in the industry like Amazon have not hesitated to innovate in the niche with the arrival of their video game Crucible, a contender that wanted to compete with Fortnite but has not succeeded.

Likewise, we can see how social networks lose popularity among young people. In the 2000s, Millenials moved from MySpace to Facebook, and today Gen Zers went from Facebook to streaming platforms like Twitch.

This gaming and streaming platform became so popular that once again Amazon decided to own it so they stay relevant for newer generations.

Source: YouTube.

Now, if there are no ads, no PPC, and no other traditional marketing tools, what can we do? Well, there are three key ones:

  1. Pursuing partnerships or sponsorships with gaming events 
  2. Facilitating or enabling gaming behavior
  3. Team up with gaming influencers
  4. Offering NFTs of your brand

Now, let's go deeper into the trends and study how some famous brands have managed their videogame marketing.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats made a team up with Fortnite player Tyler Ninja’ Blevins to promote a 25% discount to their fans using the Code NINJANOMS, and the results were so great that it only lasted 1 day, when it was supposed to last from September 23 to 25.

Being able worldwide, the promotion was presented in the form of a challenge for Tyler Ninja, where for every kill he took in Fortnite, he would win fans 1% off of their Uber Eats orders. Nevertheless, the promotion had a time limit where Ninka could only take part in it from the moment he ordered Quizno's through the app until the food arrived.

Luckily for Uber Eats, the discount saw a quick end due to its overwhelming success and reached its maximum amount of redemptions in one day.

During this time the gaming influencer achieved a 25% discount for fans all over the world, and the promotion reached its full potential.

Source: YouTube.


Fast food restaurants are close to the younger generation since at that time in life you can eat as much junk as you want without worrying so much about your health.

Jokes aside, Wendy's marketing strategy is something that marketers can consider a masterpiece as it was viral, concise, and gained recognition even from competitors.

In the Fortnite game, a battle between Team Burger and Team Pizza was taking place. So far so good, but as soon as Wendy's team found out that Team Burger was keeping their burgers in refrigerators, this was unacceptable, and they declared official war on Team Burger.

In this way, the company created its Avatar similar to Wendy's mascot, a red-haired girl with two pigtails, and began their fight with the destruction of all the refrigerators in the game.

Team Pizza had gained a fierce warrior, and many more players joined the fray when Wendy's summoned them to Twitch to support her in her quest to reclaim burgers.

The brand achieved 7,400 new followers and 43,500 comments, all without spending a single dollar. The campaign called "Keeping Fortnite Fresh”  recognition through social networks by competitors such as KFC, but the most important thing is having won the Social & Influencer Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, narrowly beating out Nike's " Dream Crazy”.

Source: YouTube.

How can you reach Gen Z in Fortnite?

As we saw, Fortnite is practically the new hub for the entire generation Z, so the question arises as to how we can get into this virtual world to advertise our brand.

Entering a new channel could bring a lot of questions to our minds, but if we study the actual strategies and how some brands have done it, we may be one step closer to getting into this new virtual reality.

Create a new Game Mode

People in Hollywood are aware of the Fortnite trend, and because of this, they team up with the game to launch a new game mode previous to Avengers: Endgame premiere.

Players could be in the heroes or villains team, and start a complete war against both teams.

But this hasn't been the only cross-over Fortnite has made, the brand is full of pop culture characters from DC and other TV shows that get into a new game mode to make the experience funnier for players, and make great alliances with entertainment brands all over the world.

Source: YouTube.

Create a new Skin

The NFL wanted sports fans to express their love for teams in this game, so they created team outfits that characters could wear in Fortnite. Once players buy it they can customize it so they can select the number, team, and gender of their players. Plus, the NFL created dances, gestures, and game tools.

Nike also created their skin with its Jordan collaboration. But these are only the most famous cases, take a look at how many brands have created their skins for this game.

Source: YouTube.

Team Up with a Fortnite influencer

State Farm, an insurance company, did team up with sponsored  Fortnite pro-Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo. Variety tells us that DrLupo made a name himself by raising over $1.3 million for St Jude's Research Hospital with his live streams.

The influencer was the first sponsored esports player, and their marketing director said, “His philanthropic efforts and massive fanbase make him an ideal partner as we continue to amplify our eSports programming and efforts with the gaming community.”

As part of the campaign gamers and streamers could see State Farm's branding on his live-streamed content which included replays, integrations, base content, and social posts that aligned with State Farm's name, a good cause driven by a Fortnite player that young consumers can relate to.

Final thoughts

The new generations were born in a world where technology is first-hand, and video games have formed a central part of their entertainment.

So what should we do as brands looking to reach new generations?

Well, the thing is simple: Adapt or GAME OVER!

Video game platforms continue to evolve, and just like social media, we will eventually start to massively advertise in these virtual worlds. The idea is to keep an open mind for when this arrives and to know how to adapt to these new trends.

Among the most significant current games, we have seen is Fortnite, a battle royale on which huge brands like Nike are betting to reach generation Z.

In Codedesign we keep you informed with current trends in addition to being your greatest allies when advertising your brand.  You could work with us, the leading digital marketing agency to assist you in getting more customers.

CodeDesign is a leading:

Digital agency,  

Amazon marketing agency, and

- Magento Developer

Feel free to contact us to see an unprecedented growth of your business.

Add comment