Twitch: streamers furious at Burger King

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Getty Images / Ross O’Donovan

Legend
Ross O’Donovan’s Twitch stream was targeted by a Burger King campaign


This is the feud we never expected: Twitch Streamers vs Burger King.

And, just like a flame-grilled burger, it heats up.

It all has to do with an advertising campaign the fast food chain launched that streamers accused of being “shoddy” and exploitative.

They talk about it a lot online.

Burger King, on the other hand, remains silent – and did not respond to our requests for reporting.

It all revolves around a bot on Twitch that reads fan messages during a stream.

It is designed so that viewers, in return for a small donation, can ask their favorite streamers questions or comment on the way they play.

Burger King, however, uses it to advertise its latest deals.

This means he got an exhibition that would have cost thousands of pounds for as little as £ 2.50.

‘It’s not OK’

“When it happened, I thought it was a joke,” Ross O’Donovan told Radio 1 Newsbeat.

He has hundreds of thousands of followers on his RubberNinja Twitch channel.

Ross was live earlier this year when a user called King of Stream donated $ 5 (£ 3.80), but – instead of a typical fan post – the bot started reading the offers from Burger King.

“We usually follow protocol when it comes to doing advertisements. You have to disclose that this is an advertisement to your viewers, ”says Ross.

“It costs a lot more than $ 5 for a business to partner with a streamer, so it’s very lousy to bypass all of that and do it with a donation. “

Burger King has since released a promotional video, via advertising company Ogilvy, that shows the same happening to other streamers whose faces have been blurred and voices altered.

In the video, the company says it turned “donations into ads” by making “streamers and viewers hungry.”

But Ross says the campaign is a slap in the face for streamers, who rely on genuine sponsorship deals for a living.

“We are working very hard to try to entertain our audience and to hijack our streams in this way is just unethical.

“This is not fair and I hope they will use this as a study to show prospective marketing students what is right and what is not, because it certainly was not. “

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Take a quick scroll on Twitter and you can find plenty of other big-name streamers who are unhappy.

“A lot of streamers are really upset about this because normally businesses go through an ad agency, you talk to them and you make a deal,” Ross adds.

“Then, most importantly, you tell your viewers that you are advertising.

“So for Burger King, essentially doing guerrilla warfare puts us in a weird situation because we don’t reveal to our viewers that it’s an ad – because we didn’t know. ”

We reached out to Burger King, Ogilvy, and Twitch for comment, but none of them responded to us until after posting.

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