If there is one global powerhouse currently in the world of gaming, it is undisputedly Fortnite. With over 200 million registered players as of December 2018, Fortnite is not going anywhere anytime soon and brands are not ignoring this.
Though Fortnite does not do in game advertisements they have used their own content as a form of promoting partner brands. One of their more recent cases of this was their partnership with the NFL in which players could purchase a kit of their favorite American football team that their in-game character could wear. The partnership was a hit and thousands of players were running around in full football gear in the game.
It is not a shock that after such success many brands have now aimed a portion of their marketing towards integrating themselves into the game in a way that benefits both the brand and the game itself as to not annoy players with a flood of advertisements thrown at them.
US fast food chain Wendy’s recently took their own turn at advertising themselves using the video game, hoping it would serve as a brand awareness piece. During the November “Food Fight” event in which two teams of players tried to attack the other team’s base while defending their own, teams had to choose bases formed by the game’s fictitious restaurant mascots – named Durr Burger and Pizza Pit.
Wendy’s promoted attacking the Durr Burger base as a means to aim this towards other fast-food chains who use frozen burgers – unlike them, said the brand. Doing this during a live-stream they not only promoted themselves using the game but doing so in a cost-free way as well, in this case.
Football club West Ham United, too, profited from the game when they ran promotional events using Fortnite, especially using their up and coming star player Declan Rice, who is a Fortnite fan himself, as a way of activation.
On the topic of athletes, dozens of high-profile athletes across every major sport in the world have shown signs of being influenced by the game. World Cup winner, Antoine Griezmann’s celebration is a Fortnite dance, while dozens of NBA and NFL stars actively stream themselves playing the game.
Many brands have aimed their marketing away from in-game advertising like the NFL used and towards a more personal method of branding in the form of Fortnite streamers. The main platform that streamers use is Twitch a live streaming platform and subsidiary of Amazon. One of the most famous Fortnite streamers, Ninja, signed a lucrative deal with Red bull to promote them during his streams.
The many avenues which companies can take to promote themselves using the game are further evidence that Fortnite has a long future ahead as a form of entertainment and a further marketing stream for brands across the globe.
Author: Ross Harrison (Intern)