These Brands Capitalized on Gaming with Award-Winning Campaigns

By Morgan Strawn

Forget baseball. These days, the national pastime might better be identified as gaming. As a 2022 dentsu consumer sentiment study put it, "Gaming's growth has been exponential and it is expected to continue," elaborating that "almost 9 in 10 U.S. consumers game."

Nor do such figures represent an exclusively American phenomenon: 67 percent of the population in countries as diverse as Spain, the U.K., and China play video games, according to the YouGov study Global Gaming and Esports. And marketers have certainly taken notice of the opportunities that gaming audiences offer, as is demonstrated by recent winners of the Internationalist's Innovation in Media Awards.

These winning campaigns show how advertisers can take advantage of both the gravity that games exert on attentive eyeballs and the ecosystem of influencers that has developed alongside the gaming industry. What's more, games can even be capitalized on to advance the altruistic missions of CSR programs.

For the details of these award-winning campaigns, readers can peruse the summaries below, or click on the embedded links to read the full case studies.

Frank's RedHot Uses Intrinsic In-Game Ads to Engage Gamers

Frank's RedHot promoted its Frank's Buffalo Boneless Chicken Bites by targeting male and female gamers between ages 25 and 54 across the U.S. who gamed on mobile devices. In undertaking this campaign, the brand developed ads that avoided interrupting the gameplay of the targeted users.

As opposed to in-game advertising that might pause the game to show an ad, intrinsic in-game advertising is shown during the actual gameplay and doesn't disrupt the experience of the game. Delivering over 16 million impressions, the campaign successfully drove an efficient $4.99 CPM at 100 percent viewability, coming in 20 percent below the company's $6.00 benchmark.

Domino's Let an Inexperienced Gaming Influencer Create Its Newest Pizza

With the goal of earning greater market share in the Spanish market by connecting with society's most active pizza eaters — young people — Domino's tasked a Spanish gaming influencer popular on Twitch who had no culinary background with creating his own pizza recipe.

The brand live-streamed the entire culinary process and then sold the resulting recipe in stores. The effort garnered more than 461,000 viewers on Twitch, over 1.4 million views on YouTube, and 1.2 million views across Twitter and Instagram.

Hyundai Enters the Metaverse

To promote interest in some of its electric cars and other boundary-pushing vehicles, Hyundai partnered with Roblox to create a Minecraft-like game in the metaverse. The company calls the game: The Hyundai Mobility Adventure (HMA) — a metaverse space featuring Hyundai Motor's advanced products and future mobility solutions.

HMA is a role-playing game that allows players to drive around in Hyundai vehicles and participate in various events that are located around the virtual town. Users can customize their avatar, get new cars, take in the sights, and drive around with their friends. Players can drive various models, from the new Hyundai Nexo, IONIQ 5, and the Tucson all the way to the exciting S-A1 Air Taxi — a four-seater air taxi that is going to be produced with Uber that will take passengers 60 miles per charge at speeds of 180 mph.

Ally Uses Gaming to Promote Middle Schoolers' Financial Literacy

To promote financial literacy among middle schoolers, Ally Financial created an interactive world within the popular Minecraft game. This game within the game was called Fintropolis. Thanks in part to collaborations with gaming influencers, Ally made Fintropolis internet-famous — generating 11.6 million impressions and views via its partners — and delivered financial education at scale and in a way perhaps never seen before. Indeed, Fintropolis has been downloaded 2.7 million times and has been adopted as part of the curriculum in over 7,000 schools.


Gaming isn't the only topic that the Internationalist's Innovation in Media Awards shine a spotlight on; they recognize marketing efforts that demonstrate excellence in a wide variety of marketing techniques, including print, social media, search marketing, and purpose marketing, to name but a few. To browse the full library of Innovation in Media case studies, just click here.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Morgan Strawn is a senior manager of editorial and content development at ANA.