This article was first published in the June edition of Media Pulse – Omnicom Media Group’s monthly highlights on relevant media insights, intelligence and trends.
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How do you get 100 million video gamers to think about deodorant (insert “gamer” jokes herehere and here)? Start by infiltrating their turf.

The fresh-smellin’ folks at Old Spice did just that; becoming the first non-game content on Twitch.tv. The website, home to the largest video community for gamers, hosted three-day-long live-streaming event that mixed odd scenarios, user interaction and brand marketing. It’s basically a real-life version of Twitch Plays Pokemon, where the site’s users control gameplay. The result was something that barely smelled like a commercial for the new Old Spice Fresher Collection and engaged the site’s massive 13-to-34 year old (largely male) demo in a previously unexplored way.

The content is typical of Old Spice’s history of marketing goofiness (“Hello, ladies”).

Instead of streaming live video gameplay (as the site is super-popular for doing) it was home to the gamified, Old Spice Nature Adventure. The live event, featuring sports-style play-by-play and color commentary, ran about 10 hours a day and promised viewers they “control the action.“ Here, chat room users could interact with the Old Spice “Nature Man”—a camera-wearing, limit-pushing, nature freak—to control scenarios and give instructions (like shower an unsuspecting park ranger with ketchup or wrestle a grizzly bear* (*no real bears were harmed in the making of this game).

Over the course of the 3-day event, the content was live-streamed (kinda necessary for interaction, right?) and made available as recorded content. A map of the nature zone offered links to highlights, like “Nature Man finds the Pizza Tree”.

Sure, this might all sound like a colossal waste of a productive person’s time, but it’s also an example of how a site like Twitch can do marketing right: offering way more than just a quirky commercial that you could block or fast forward through. And because it’s not just a static, pre-produced video there is the “what could happen next” factor that keeps people watching. Plus, it’s totally entertaining—especially its demo. Besides, interactive, silly and buzz-worthy videos are what Twitch viewers respond best to when watching their favorite streamers.

And brands, like Old Spice, are hoping to have a similar effect.