For many brands, gaming is still an experimental marketing channel — but Gillette is all-in on the sector going into the new year.
Gillette is in the midst of a push into the gaming community, in large part via a marketing campaign the shaving brand has dubbed “Hit Reset with Gillette.” The campaign includes collaborations with a network of gaming streamers and influencers, a sponsorship of Twitch’s Twitch Rivals content series and a partnership with November’s Esports Awards.
“It was a fantastic partnership all in all, and I’m really looking forward to growing it in 2024, as they are doing more and more in the gaming space,” said Esports Awards head of brand engagement Lee Cramp.
At the moment, non-endemic brands such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola still view gaming as an experimental channel, rather than a tentpole of their broader marketing strategies. On the other hand, Gillette believes that gaming is a natural breeding ground for its male audience, and the company plans to increase its spending in the space in 2024.
To learn why Gillette is bullish on gaming during a time when other brands are still wary of dipping their toes into the water, Digiday spoke to Daniel Ordoñez, vp of Gillette Global Brand Franchise at Proctor & Gamble, for an annotated Q&A.
This conversation has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
On the target audience of Gillette’s gaming push:
Daniel Ordoñez: “I work mostly for the male side of our business, so I basically lead the Gillette brand globally, but the Gillette brand for men. Gaming is so relevant, especially for our younger audience — the brands that you use when you first shave are usually the brands that will stay with you forever. So making sure that we are with what we call the point of market entry is super important, and gaming is a great way to connect with our younger space.”
Digiday: Ordoñez’s answer makes it clear why Gillette might feel more confident playing in the gaming space than other non-endemic brands with less of a natural connection to the gaming audience. Common misconceptions about the gaming audience notwithstanding, gaming communities are often filled with men, and almost every man has to buy a razor at some point.
On Gillette’s investment in gaming going into 2024:
Daniel Ordoñez: “Yes, actually, we are increasing our investment. This fiscal year, we’re investing more; the next fiscal year, we will probably invest more. So I see this as one of the portions within our brand plan that will continue to grow, and I see a really promising future.
Part of our total media budget in the market will go to gaming. Twitch is a good example; we will invest in Twitch.”
Digiday: Although Gillette plans to increase its spending in gaming in 2024, Ordoñez’s answer shows how even brands that have embraced gaming are not necessarily approaching it as a pillar of their marketing strategy or a budget in its own right, treating it instead as one aspect of broader digital media budgets.
On how Gillette measures the success of its gaming campaigns:
Daniel Ordoñez: “It’s interesting, because the reality is that this is not already standardized. If you asked me how you measure a TV ad, I’ll give you the recipe for success; on this one, I think we are creating it as we go. But in the end, the intent is to ensure that more people are aware about our brand, more people are engaged with our brand. Success means being aware, being engaged, and in the end, driving purchases.”
Digiday: In spite of Gillette’s general confidence in gaming as a marketing channel, Ordoñez freely acknowledged the current difficulty of measuring the impact of ads and marketing activations in the space. For now, Gillette appears to be focusing on relatively intangible metrics such as awareness and brand lift, but as always, driving sales is the ultimate goal.
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