Marketing fail: Burger King under fire for ‘exploitative’ and ‘predatory’ Twitch stunt

Aug 25, 2020 | Content marketing, CPG, Marketing through gaming, Mobile, Online advertising, Online video

Marketing fail: Burger King under fire for ‘exploitative’ and ‘predatory’ Twitch stunt
Burger King has sparked criticism for running an ad campaign that hijacked a fan messaging bot on Twitch and turned it into a cheap ad platform to reach gamers.

A bot on Twitch reads out messages from fans during a stream. In exchange for a small donation, fans can ask their favourite streamers questions or comment on how they’re playing.

Burger King, though, has been using it to advertise its latest offers, getting exposure that would have cost thousands of pounds for as little as £2.50.

New York ad agency Ogilvy sent donations of $5 or less to streamers that use a text-to-speech bot to deliver viewer messages.

While this setup is usually used by gamers who want to deliver a personal message for a small fee, the agency used it to promote various Burger King offers, with the slogans automatically read out over the livestream.

The agency compiled a video of various streamer reactions and shared via Twitter.

Each streamer displays confusion or frustration, with one stating: “Listen, are you gonna sponsor me or not?” The streamers do later thank Burger King for the $5 donations.

However, many big name streamers were unhappy with the stunt, accusing the fast food chain of being “scummy” and exploitative.

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