The platform, Twitch, has an exciting twist. Its content creators are live, and you never know how things are going to proceed. Their audience can donate money to their favorite channel. However, the primary source of income of most Twitch Streamers is sponsorship. And, Burger King, accuse Twitch Streamers, bypassed that by advertising what would generally cost them an arm and a leg, at $5.
On August 18th, Ogilvy tweeted a video with the caption ‘Burger King turned Twitch’s donation feature into a marketing campaign.’ What happened there was, some Twitch Streamers use the text-to-speech feature to read out messages from fans. Burger King took advantage of that and donated $5 alongside leaving comments about Burger King Products.
Title: The King of Stream
Client: Burger King
Burger King turned Twitch's donation feature into a marketing campaign.
— Ogilvy (@Ogilvy) August 18, 2020
To this, Twitch Streamers responded with bafflement, surprise, and anger.
“When it first happened, I thought it was a joke,” said Ross O’Donovan, who runs a Twitch channel, RubberNinja. He has hundreds of thousands of followers.
“We generally follow protocol when it comes to doing advertisements. You have to disclose that it’s an ad to your viewers. “It costs a lot more than $5 for a company to partner with a streamer, so it’s just very scummy to circumvent that whole thing and do it through a donation.
We work hard to try to keep our audiences entertained and to have our streams hijacked like that is just unethical. It’s not fair, and I hope they use this as a study to show marketing students in the future what is OK and what is not OK, because this wasn’t.”
Not just RubberNinja, other streamers were also very upset because usually, the companies have to go through ad agencies. The streamers talk to the agency and then make a deal. Another thing that upset them was that when they do an advertisement, they tell their viewers beforehand. And because of this, they went as far as calling Burger King stunt, guerrilla warfare.
WAIT.. THIS HAPPENED TO ME. What the hell. I guess they didn’t want to use my clips because I said “Oh I worked for you guys in Australia at Hungry Jacks.. Putting frozen pink waffles in a broiler for hours on end. Hated it.”.. LMAO https://t.co/fowASxUcyf
— Ross O’Donovan (@RubberNinja) August 20, 2020
Ben “CohhCarnage,” Cassell said on Twitter, “This is shallow class. Is it taking advantage of a system meant to support these streamers, utilizing it for big-name companies that could easily afford to do it properly and then bragging about it? Predatory marketing. Cool.”
This is exceptionally low class.
Taking advantage of a system meant to support these streamers, utilizing it for big-name companies that could easily afford to do it properly and then bragging about it?
Predatory marketing. Cool.
— Cohh Carnage (@CohhCarnage) August 19, 2020
“This is absolutely unprofessional and unethical,” Nati “ZombiUnicorn” Casanova said on Twitter. “I don’t know how anyone approved this idea. You should have consulted professional streamers before launching this initiative.”
This is absolutely unprofessional and unethical.
I don’t know how anyone approved this idea, you should have consulted professional streamers before launching this initiative.
— Nati Casanova Ⓥ BLM (@TheZombiUnicorn) August 19, 2020
“It happens to me like once a month or so; a company will donate money or gift subs just to advertise,” longtime Twitch partner AnneMunition said on Twitter. “I really despise when companies take advantage of my live content in order to push their ads without clearing it with me first or offering what I should be paid for the marketing, which is more than $5, I’m pretty sure.”
Tyler answered below but it happens to me like once a month or so; a company will donate money or gift subs just to advertise.
— Anne Munition (@AnneMunition) August 20, 2020
AnneMunition was not featured in Ogilvy/DAVID’s video, but others, like Tyler “TeePee” Polchow, were. After fans recognized him in the ad, Polchow said that it was, indeed, him and that the company never made a direct request for him to participate in an ad campaign.
“Just a random dono,” he said on Twitter. “Think they did it a couple more times, and then I stopped it from happening because it was weird.”
Just a random dono. Think they did it a couple more times and then I stopped it from happening because it was weird
— Tyler Polchow (@TylerTeeP) August 19, 2020
To what degree is this ethical or not we do not know. However, Twitch streamers were indeed pissed at Burger King.
Stay tuned to Brandsynario for more news and updates!