Pringles, an American-based snack brand, partnered with IGN, a video game and entertainment media website, in July 2023 to put together an exclusive hall of fame for the highest community-rated video game titles.
This article explores key aspects of the partnership to help digital marketers understand gaming marketing practice.
What are Pringles Icons?
For years IGN has allowed its audience to rate the video games they are playing – the same way users submit ratings for consumer products online.
The Pringles partnership took that system to another level by inducting the highest rated games into an exclusive hall of fame – the Pringles Icons.
The highest rated scores are awarded a bronze, silver, or gold Pringles Icon to signify they are in the hall of fame. Pringles Icons also appear across IGN digital hubs such as:
- Every game page on IGN.com and the IGN Playlist app
- The Pringles Icons Awards Hub – a bespoke microsite
- IGN social media accounts on X (Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram
In other words, Pringles activated its IGN partnership across several digital channels (web, social and mobile). Now, let’s explore why it also qualifies as gaming marketing.
What is a gaming campaign?
While getting your brand and/or message in front of a hard-to-reach audience is a key upper-funnel tactic. As demonstrated in the Gaming Marketing Made Simple course, effective gaming campaigns are relevant to how gaming audiences experience video games.
Relevance is about tapping into an existing or creating a new part of a game experience. Where, to be clear, any part of a game experience is called a touchpoint.
Along those lines, audiences experience gaming on a multitude of channels.
- In-game experience: Immersion in gameplay
- Around-game experience: Behaviors outside a digital game’s virtual world but closely related to gameplay
- Away-from-game experience: Gaming-themed mainstream products, events, etc.
Such that, submitting and viewing ratings for a game title on IGN is, in fact, just as much a gaming behavior as playing the same game titles.
Likewise, Pringles Icons is more than just a branded asset. It is an authentic part of the around game experience e.g., a touchpoint.
The effective use of touchpoints separates Pringles Icon from a traditional digital campaign which would have simply bought digital ad space on IGN or sponsored content, for example.
That’s because Pringles Icons are a unique part of how IGN’s audience experience video games beyond gameplay – as opposed to the tackled on digital ad placement for Night Swim, shown above.
What is the gaming community?
When it comes to gaming, the term community is often brought up. In fact, IGN specifically mentioned community-rated games in its Pringles Icons announcement.
In this case, IGN’s community is the conceptual space in which audiences experience around-game behaviors on digital channels. So, even though it is not associated with a specific game title or game genre, IGN still qualifies as a game community.
Where Pringles Icons conceptually blends the brand into the IGN community – which is commonly referred to as, “joining the gaming community.” Since all game communities are part of the wider global gaming community.
However, Pringles is not targeting the gaming community, nor can any campaign target a specific game community. Instead, target gaming audiences are actual populations, which fall within the conceptual boundaries of a game community, associated with specific channels.
That means the over 4 million followers of IGN’s TikTok account are a gaming audience within the IGN community. Visitors to IGN.com are also a gaming audience belonging to the same community. Likewise, both channels were part of Pringles activation strategy.
The conceptual nature of game communities is also why gaming marketing practice is not tied to specific channels. Since, depending on the size and type of the game community in question, its gaming audiences can be found on any channel.
As a result, digital marketers can leverage anything from content to social to SEO when it comes to developing and executing effective gaming strategies.
Also, stay posted for more learning content across our channels!