E-sports are intense affairs, and few e-sports get more intense than Super Smash Bros., the latest iteration of which is the chaotic four-player beat-em-up headed for the Nintendo Switch on December 7th. An unfortunate consequence of all this action is the impact it has on a gamer’s scent. It’s time for personal care products to enter the fray.

A recent viral tweet from a tournament organiser asked gamers to pay special attention to their personal hygiene at the event. While slightly humorous, the tweet has struck a chord, and highlights a fun sponsorship opportunity for any brave brands with a youth-focused message.

Super Smash Bros games in particular have something of a bad reputation for producing pungent players at its events. The fast-paced, high-emotion competition makes its players sweat through heat and adrenalin, in this case so much that it endangers the event’s own sustainability.

With the community preparing for the new release, chances are the demand for personal care products at these events will also be incredibly high. However, one thing you may at one such event is how few personal care brands are targeting the occasion. There’s no reason this should remain the case when there is a large, in-built audience demanding freedom from their own bodily by-products.

E-sports advertising: a growing opportunity

E-sports are increasingly big, high-value events; Goldman Sachs valued e-sports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market to grow to $1 billion by the end of 2019. E-sports prizes have grown as large as $24.8 million (Dota 2). Sponsorship at these events are primarily driven by tech companies that are already associated with gaming culture, such as Intel and Comcast, as well caffeinated drinks such as Red Bull, Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola.

So what should personal care brands entering this space take note of? The audience is young, passionate, male-dominated and digitally focused. This group doesn’t really care for traditional advertising channels and they hate to be patronised. So how should personal care brands position themselves in their space?

Here are four avenues to consider:

  • Time-scarcity in this millennial and gen-z arena is key. Large groups, gaming together out of the home, mean that any brand wanting to target this space should make an effort to create smaller and more convenient packaging.
  • Gaming is a very brand-rich environment. Position brands through limited editions, e.g. packaging designs based on Smash Bros characters. Who wouldn’t want a “Dry Bowser”-themed deodorant at a tournament?
  • The experience of the brand is key. A brand could increase humour and enjoyment at the event by making their products a fun part of the victory dance of the winning players.
  • Delivering immediate value remains a key need. Brands should emphasise treating and encouraging gamers to not hold back when they treat themselves. This group spends hundreds of dollars on gaming chairs and relatively minor tweaks to graphics cards – and this attitude could well transfer over to personal care.

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