Skip to content

ABC TV's Gruen takes aim at advertising on Twitch and games

Popular ABC TV show Gruen gets stuck into how brands are trying to advertise games and on Twitch.

Chris Button
Chris Button
1 min read
ABC TV's Gruen takes aim at advertising on Twitch and games

A stable of ABC's programming for years, Gruen has long taken aim at advertisers' tricks of the trade — now they've got gaming in their sights.

Last night's episode featured a discussion about how advertisers and brands are attempting to employ video games as part of their business strategies, with varying levels of success.

Host Wil Anderson, alongside regular panellists Todd Sampson and Russel Howcroft, was joined by guests Christina Aventi of ad agency BMF Australia, and advertising consultant Karen Ferry, where they covered gaming at around the 23:48 mark of the episode.

Among the topics covered was the difference in market positioning Nintendo adopts as opposed to Sony and Microsoft. While ads for the PS5 focused on cutting-edge, highly realistic games, Nintendo shows family interaction and nostalgia through Super Mario.

Howcroft found the latter approach utterly confounding, which was tempered somewhat after he revealed Nintendo rejected an advertising pitch from his agency back in 1997 — not bitter at all!

While many of the conclusions drawn from the panel about several different advertising practices in the games industry won't be revelatory to enthusiasts, it was refreshing to see an intelligent — and light-hearted — examination of how games-adjacent advertising works.

Arguably the most interesting aspects of the Gruen discussion revolved around how advertisers are approaching a demographic that eschews traditional media.

For example, Burger King sponsored a low-tier soccer team mainly so they would feature in FIFA 2021, which follows a poorly-received Twitch campaign.

The Gruen team also enjoyed poking fun at Honda using Twitch to reveal a new car — which to be fair, we all should.

Twitch has a history of using advertising in a way that seems to always be unpopular with users, so it's nice to see some of the bizarre practices mentioned by mainstream media.

Check out the latest episode of Gruen on ABC iview, it's pretty good viewing, regardless of your interest in games.


Chris Button

Chris is an award-nominated writer based in Adelaide who specialises in covering video games and technology. He loves Donkey Kong Country, sport, and cats. The Last Jedi is the best one, no questions

Related Posts

Immersive Gamebox review: a genuinely fun alternative to movies or arcades

The photos look weird, but they just don't do it justice. Immersive Gamebox is a nice new option for some interactive fun in the heart of Sydney.

Immersive Gamebox review: a genuinely fun alternative to movies or arcades

Xbox adds vaporous new styles to its custom controller Design Lab

Electric, Fire, Cyber, Dream, Nocturnal, and Stormcloud. Can you guess which colour is which in the new Vapour style range on the Xbox Design Lab?

Six controllers with six different new Vapour style finishes.

What's the Venn diagram of Destiny and Mass Effect fans?

Destiny 2 is having some fun with a Mass Effect crossover event, letting players nab some armor sets inspired by some of our fave friends from the Normandy Crew. Titans can get a Commander Shepard style N7 set, for Hunters there's a Garrus style Vakarian set, and Warlocks