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    Hot Pockets leans into gaming community with creator contest

    • Nestle brand Hot Pockets has partnered with tech companies Elgato and Corsair to tap into the gaming community with its One20 platform and creator contest, according to a press release.
    • Creators can enter the One20 Contest by uploading a two-minute video to Twitter using the hashtag #One20Contest. Over the next year, 12 winners will be named — one per month — and will receive tech and gaming prizes. Hot Pockets has pledged over $100,000 to reward the winners, each of whom will also become its brand ambassadors.
    • The contest is part of the brand’s efforts to adopt a consumer-centric approach and signifies the growing popularity of marketing to the gaming community.

    Hot Pockets’ One20 platform and contest is a clear nod to the evolving interest by brands to appeal to the gaming community — the not-so-niche market projected to surpass 3 billion people this year — while also tapping into creator-led tactics and the growing influencer marketing space.

    Positioned to elevate creator voices, the One20 contest will have a monthly entry period where all gamers interested can tweet a two-minute video of them talking about what they do. Videos will later be reviewed by a panel of judges which includes professional esports commentator and host Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez. Of the entrants, 30 will be named finalists each entry period based on creativeness and personality, among other factors. The poll will then be narrowed down to 10 people, with the gaming community ultimately voting to name one winner.

    Those who win will receive a suite of gaming products including a facecam and ring light and a Corsair gaming laptop and headset. They will also receive a year’s supply of Hot Pockets and a limited-edition microfreezer, among other branded merchandise, and will become brand ambassadors for the company — an additional push that will further expose its name in the gaming space. By launching its own creator platform, Hot Pockets also has the opportunity to retrieve key consumer data for future efforts.

    While many brands have more recently made their entry into the gaming world, Hot Pockets has long attempted to befriend the community as a way to win-over younger consumers, the primary gamer demographic, after noticing its parent-focused marketing approach was threatening the brand’s shot at longevity. In 2020, it launched the Hot Pockets for Bits program in collaboration with Amazon’s Twitch streaming platform, a campaign that played off of “Twitch Bits,” or virtual tips that viewers can gift their favorite creators. The program’s duration was cut in half from six weeks to three following overwhelming success, having sold nearly 12 million bits and garnering a sponsored stream watch-time equivalent to 115 years.

    Hot Pockets’ latest move follows similar activations from other brands, including Denny’s, which recently partnered with Complexity Gaming to promote diversity in gaming via Twitch streams with “pancake drop” prize giveaways. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes brand mascot Tony the Tiger also entered the gaming space, partnering with Twitch’s Brand Partnership Studio to transform into an interactive VTuber. Broader efforts have also been made, like Coca-Cola Creations’ Zero Sugar-Byte flavor, which attempts to play off of Fortnite hype by being “pixel flavored.”

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