It is increasingly well recognised that Generation Z - with the fast-following Generation Alpha - will drive social and cultural change over the next 15 years. This audience, which is being termed “Generation Twitch”, spans an audience which has only ever known a digital world and has always been connected. Digital environments like Twitch are their playground.
Twitch’s global research into the signs, symbols and communication methods has identified five behavioural shifts among these generations which must be understood and reflected for anyone looking to successfully reach this valuable audience.
These behaviours indicate a change from curated, exclusive content that encourages a relatively passive experience for viewers, to a more fluid, raw, inclusive experience where viewers – wherever they are and whatever their financial or social background – are very much participants and collaborators rather than spectators.
A host of brands across Europe have already started to embrace these five new behaviours – authentic; fluid; inclusive; collaborative; and purposeful – and, in partnership with leading Twitch streamers, have created immersive, interactive, fun and hugely successful campaigns.
Authentic: showcasing real life through music, fun and energy
Twitch’s global research has shown that Generation Twitch wants more raw and natural experiences, rather than curated content.
Twitch collaborated with Deutsche Telekom to showcase the brand’s MagentaMobil Young smartphone deals. They gamified a series of “mundane, everyday situations” – including a motorboat on a canal, a road junction and a lake full of ducks – and the community had to guess what happened next to win rewards. It was all filmed on a 5G-ready Xiaomi Mi Lite 5G smartphone.
One of the keys to the success of this campaign was the audience engagement and the authenticity of the content. The host and streamer, Fishc0p, even came up with a spontaneous “Telekom 5G song” that the community loved.
The campaign, which exceeded Twitch’s benchmarks for viewership, reach and minutes watched, also showcased Twitch’s booming Just Chatting category, a stream that prioritises communication and conversation.
• 6.8k+ Maximum concurrent users (CCU) .
• 313k+ Minutes watched
• 1.7k+ Chat messages
Fluid: when glitz and glamour met gaming
We’re moving towards more fluid, interactive, spontaneous experiences as technology blurs the lines between the virtual and real worlds.
Promoting its Black Opium Extreme fragrance, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté wanted to make “women feel bold, with no limits” and to “make luxury accessible”. So it teamed up with three popular streamers across different territories: Honeypuu (Germany), Taliamar (UK) and Biyín (Spain).
The streams were turned into a playground where influencers had to complete a series of Black Opium Extreme challenges that required skill, creativity and determination. Each time they succeeded, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté popped up in chat to reward them and their community with gift subscriptions as prizes. This real-time digital intervention allowed for seamless interaction, demonstrating how live content is fluid by nature.
• 42,000 Black Opium Extreme branded emotes
• 465k Unique viewers
• 3.7m Minutes of content
Inclusive: entertainment for all
There's a shift towards embracing diversity – it doesn't matter where in the world you are or how much money you have, everyone can participate in culture and entertainment.
As young people drift away from traditional broadcast platforms, ITV wanted to draw Gen Z viewers to its on-demand service, ITV Hub, by producing a one-off immersive, inclusive experience based around its 2021 “Drama vs Reality” campaign. Anyone, anywhere could join the event.
A one-off live stream event hosted by Twitch streamer and voice of Love Island Iain Stirling featured popular, diverse streamers Ebonix, Leah, InTheLittleWood and Koji, battling through custom-branded challenges based around key ITV programming, all for their team.
The audience had to declare their loyalty to #TeamReality or #TeamDrama and engaged in the experience through authentic conversations and talent interaction.
By facilitating an inclusive environment where anyone, anywhere, could join in, ITV was giving back to the audience and engaging with them in a meaningful way, while meeting its brand awareness goals.
• 118,000 Viewers during the livestream
• 16,000 Clicks to ITV Hub
• 20% Increase in unaided brand awareness for ITV Hub
•33% Increase in association of the Drama Vs. Reality campaign messaging.
Collaborative: playing the in-game
HoYoverse, the publisher of open-world role playing game Genshin Impact wanted to publicise a new update that vastly expanded the playable areas within the game. In partnership with HoYoverse, Twitch brought the game’s beloved mascot, a non-playable character (NPC) called Paimon, into the live streams of Genshin Impact players across the world.
Paimon offers a gamer within Genshin Impact suggestions that enhance their knowledge and experience, and Twitch wanted the character to play a similar role within a live stream. With a custom Twitch extension, streamers and viewers were able to work together to unlock rewards within the game and also familiarise themselves with its new content.
On Twitch, the community had to collaboratively work together to play the Paimon game and unlock digital codes for everyone that could be redeemed in game. The campaign, which won The Wires Best Gaming User Acquisition, showed the power of collaboration between Twitch and in-game experience.
• 10.9M Total Minutes Watched .
• 104K Chat Messages
• 436K Unique in-game code redemptions
• 600M+ Uses of :HungryPaimon: emote to date
Purposeful: the importance of privacy
Today’s audiences expect brands to both have a purpose and recognise the things that are important to them.. Stream sniping is the bane of many a streamer’s life. This is where a gamer takes advantage of a streamer’s video feed for competitive advantage in-game, such as figuring out their location or watching them play and using a counter-strategy.
WhatsApp wanted to help solve this problem while also highlighting its gold-standard end-to-end encryption (E2EE) methods to 18-34 year olds. The brand worked with two Twitch streamers to promote the app’s additional privacy features.
The E2EE was used to hide key pieces of information in-stream – such as maps and loot – so stream snipers couldn’t take advantage. These overlays were deployed during the most vulnerable points of gameplay, ensuring that snipers couldn’t ruin the experience for everyone watching. The purposeful activation helped to solve a genuine problem for the streamers and therefore resulted in an uplift across a number of metrics.
• +38% Uplift in message association
• +7.8% Uplift in brand favourability
•+9.8% Uplift in usage intent
(Source: Kantar Brand Lift. Twitch X WhatsApp E2EE. UK. Q3 22)
Deutsche Telekom, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, ITV, HoYoverse and WhatsApp are just five examples of brands that have embraced the behaviours of Generation Twitch with successful results to show for it.
Do you want a better understanding of how your brand can capture the attention of the most powerful generation yet? Download Generation Twitch: Leading Culture Change for insights and inspiration.