Soft drinks brands are battling for the hearts - and trigger fingers - of UK game players.
Coke Zero is launching a marketing push aimed at videogame fans, while Global Brands energy drink Kick is being rolled out to 250 Asda stores following a string of gaming-related tie-ins.
In the US, PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew is regarded as the soft drink of choice for hardcore gamers, but no brand has yet secured such a position in the UK.
Coke Zero, which has previously conducted sampling activity at gaming events, is now ramping up its gamer-focused activity with an on-pack promotion. From 14 November, 330ml and 500ml packs of the brand will give consumers the chance to win a PlayStation 3 and a PlayStation Move motion controller every day for four weeks by inputting an on-pack code online.
The core audience of Coke Zero was 20 to 29-year-old males, who were also the core gaming audience, said CCE trade communications manager Selena Taylor. “Coke Zero is crafting an occasion that will put it front of mind for gamers,” she added.
Energy drink Kick has also been wooing the gaming crowd with a £2.5m marketing push designed to align the brand with videogaming, which owner Global Brands described as a “huge yet relatively untapped market”.
Activity has included gaming event sponsorship and on-pack promotions with game releases - most recently a tie-in with Batman Arkham City, giving consumers the chance to enter a competition by scanning in a QR code. The strategy had helped the brand secure a listing with Asda,” said Global Brands MD Simon Green.
“The gaming industry is bigger than the movie business, but until now has remained relatively unexploited in terms of marketing and energy drinks brands,” he added.
PepsiCo brought the Mountain Dew brand to the UK last years as Mountain Dew Energy but has not, as yet, specifically targeted gamers.