How Electronics Company Penetrated Gaming Market by Pranking YouTube Influencers

Summary

In order to penetrate the gaming market with its line of gaming laptops, Lenovo teamed up with Gonzo Media and created a prank video on YouTube with YouTube influencers. The campaign generated 54,600 engagements across the campaign elements, thus living up to the KPIs.

Publisher/Agency: Gonzo Media

Campaign: Lenovo – Are You Good Enough?

Brand: Lenovo

Country: Denmark

While Lenovo is no stranger to the tech community, the brand Lenovo was not associated with gaming, and thus reached out to Gonzo Media with a task.

Mission

The electronics company Lenovo wanted to penetrate the gaming market in Denmark with its line of gaming laptops, the Lenovo Legion series.

While Lenovo is no stranger to the tech community, the brand Lenovo was not associated with gaming, and thus reached out to Gonzo Media with a task: entering the brand Lenovo in the minds of young, Danish gamers.

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The objective was to make an engaging campaign and to introduce the newest gaming laptop from Lenovo Legion to the target audience.

It was therefore paramount that the campaign activities were equally focused on brand activation and brand awareness. Thus, Gonzo Media and Lenovo developed a concept, which operated within the known parameters of popular trends among the YouTube gaming influencers – a prank – but with a meaningful arche which establishes Lenovo as a relevant actor in the gaming community.

KPIs

Lenovo only measures engagement. Consequently, a high reach is nice to have, but not a KPI. Therefore, it was a requirement that the campaign activities struck a chord in the gaming community.

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In this campaign, the KPIs for engagement – i.e. comments, likes, shares, etc. – were based on the presumed activity on the YouTube influencer posts as well as on page activity for Lenovo and the gaming community IZIPIZI.

The defined KPI for the project was 54,500 engagements in Denmark.

The young gamers are the YouTube generation, faithfully following their favourite YouTube influencers for gaming news and tips rather than the traditional gaming media.

Target audience

For this campaign, Gonzo Media wanted to make an impact on the young gamers.

The young gamers are the YouTube generation, faithfully following their favourite YouTube influencers for gaming news and tips rather than the traditional gaming media.

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This target group is also notoriously hard to connect with because they are digital natives. They surround themselves with brands, but they set high demands to the brands they take in and they easily distinguish between non-commercial and branded collabs. They appreciate branded content but only if the content is relevant, engaging and entertaining. And they demand transparency and authenticity from companies.

If you want to sell computers to millennials, you need to strike a chord with them, not just promote a product.

Strategic approach

So how do you make an entrance and engage with the millennial audience in the closed gaming circles in Denmark? Well – you forget about the brand and think about the audience.

From a strategic point of view, it was important for Gonzo Media and Lenovo to make a lasting impression. If you want to sell computers to millennials, you need to strike a chord with them, not just promote a product.

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Gonzo Media wanted the target group to identify and relate to the campaign activities. Therefore, it was important that Lenovo interacted with them at eye level and in a language they know and love. And last but not least, it needed to matter.

Strategic insight

Gamers are competitive people. That goes without saying. But over the last few years, the bullying in online gaming has become an increasingly serious problem.

Studies from Ditch The Label – the world’s largest anti-bullying support hub – finds that more than 1 in 2 gamers has experienced bullying in an online game. A whole 57% have been bullied and just as many have experienced hate speech. In addition, more than 64% have been trolled – malicious intimidation where one wants to intentionally annoy and obstruct.

In other words, the toxic tone ruins the experience. “Raging”, as it is called, means that many completely opt out of online games because of the tone and according to Ditch The Label’s survey, 46% have either left a game or considered it as a result of bullying.

The campaign was therefore based on the insight that there is a need for a reminder for the young gamers to behave and fight against bullying.

Strategic priorities

In terms of reaching the target group in a relevant and natural way, Gonzo Media and Lenovo planned the content around formats, which are recognizable and popular in the target group. Consequently, they chose the “prank” format, which is among the most popular kinds of content on YouTube and a relatable format for all young gamers.

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Additionally, it was important to collaborate with some of the most influential YouTube gamers to cover the largest part of the Danish gaming community.

Finally, it was a priority to produce the content in a way, which fit the “flow” on YouTube. This means that a professionally produced and styled video – while visually beautiful – fits poorly with the informal, direct, jump-cutting style the viewers know from YouTube.

And what better way to show that “rage” is a problem in gaming than show it by testing the tempers of some of the most popular gaming YouTubers in Denmark.

Creative Idea

To recap: Lenovo and Gonzo Media wanted to tell the young gamers: talk nicely. To remember to not just be good gamers, but also a good person, making gaming a cool experience for all parties. And what better way to show that “rage” is a problem in gaming than show it by testing the tempers of some of the most popular gaming YouTubers in Denmark.

Therefore, Gonzo Media and Lenovo decided to prank five popular YouTube influencers under the heading “Are you good enough?” – referring as much to gaming skills as to good behaviour.

The prank was the central element in a cross-platform campaign: involving on the day a complicated setup where the YouTubers were pranked – and simultaneously (and unknown to them) the prank was live-streamed on Twitch and YouTube on the platforms of the 2 most popular gaming live streams in Denmark – PixelTV and IZIPIZI.

In the prank, the gaming influencers were introduced to a young fan, Anna, and told they were playing CounterStrike against her because she had won a competition. In reality, she was an actor and they were really playing against the Danish counterstrike champion, sitting in a next door room.

The prank not only gave the YouTubers a surprise, although they behaved well despite the unexpected resistance.

Struggling to keep composure, the YouTubers were soundly defeated by the professional gamer – resulting in immediate excuses from the sore losers of mouse problems, arm injuries, bad lighting etc.

Not until after feeling cheated out of a prize did the YouTubers learn of the prank, when they were introduced to their secret opponent in a live stream show, where the hosts – in addition to commenting on the matches – were talking to the contestants about the toxic tone in gaming.

The prank not only gave the YouTubers a surprise, although they behaved well despite the unexpected resistance. It was also an opportunity to discuss the toxic tone of gaming that they have regularly been exposed to.

The video in itself was a YouTube product through and through, and immediately well-received by the young Danish gamers.

After the event, the, therefore, posted native posts on each of their YouTube and Instagram profiles, talking about how raging and bullying is a problem in gaming, sharing their personal stories and encouraging the viewers to share their own stories in the comments. The viewers commenting with their own stories also participated in a competition for one of the new Lenovo laptops.

However, the prank was not only live-streamed, it was also filmed. And to capture the unique and lively style of YouTube, Gonzo Media hired three professional YouTubers to be the film crew and edit the video afterwards.

This means the style of the video fits perfectly with the flow known from YouTube. Moreover, the voice-over for the video was done by probably the most popular YouTuber in Denmark.

This meant that the video in itself was a YouTube product through and through, and immediately well-received by the young Danish gamers.

Platforms

IZIPIZI YouTube prank video.

5 YouTube Influencer videos — The activities on YouTube were supported by the Instagram accounts of the 5 YouTube influencers, the Twitch accounts of IZIPIZI and PixelTV and the Facebook pages of Lenovo Denmark and IZIPIZI.

Content distribution and promotion efforts

Each of the YouTube influencers posted their own videos and Instagram posts about the campaign, racking up high organic engagement on both platforms.

Additionally, the prank video quickly went viral. It organically entered top 20 on the Trending list on YouTube in Denmark. In particular, because all of the YouTubers and many of their popular peers commented on the prank and the funny result below the video, thus driving traffic organically.

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The video was posted on Lenovo’s Danish Facebook page as well as the IZIPIZI Facebook page, and on YouTube. This covered a larger organic part of the target group.

While the video went viral on YouTube, the campaign added boosting on Facebook, and subsequently, Gonzo Media also added TrueView boosting on YouTube to reach a larger part of the YouTube audience.

Size of team involved

10+

The YouTubers own videoes received more than 22,000 comments from followers sharing their own stories to participate in the competition.

Results

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But one thing is a matter of statistics. Another is the impact in the target group. Many fans praised the video as one of the funniest group pranks in a long time and commended Lenovo for taking this brave approach.

It also generated an active discussion in the comments below the YouTube videos about the problem of bullying in gaming, thus achieving Lenovo’s goal of engaging the target group to join the legion and fight against online bullying.


This case study is part of a collection of award-winning native advertising examples studies from Native Advertising Awards presented by The Native Advertising Institute.

We aim to acknowledge and reward great native advertising and promote inspiring, effective and creative work that helps organizations worldwide achieve their goals and tell great brand stories in a non-disruptive way.

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