Photo credit: 100 Thieves
As 2022 draws to a close, Esports Insider has once again scoured the archives to detail the industry’s most creative esports promotional campaigns.
After lists were made for 2019, 2020 and 2021, this year saw some of the biggest mainstream marketing campaigns. From one-off collaborations to long-term projects, eSports has further integrated into the sports, fashion and music industries, resulting in compelling and outstanding commercials.
Here are some of the best and most creative esports ad campaigns of 2022, presented in no particular order.
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Lil Nas X takes over as President of League of Legends
Perhaps the most mainstream partnership on this list was for one of esports’ mainstream events. LiL Nas X’s collaboration with Riot Games for the 2022 League of Legends World Championship went beyond a typical “ambassador” activation, as highlighted in the video in which the rapper was cast in the fictional role of “President.”
Alongside the sketch videos, LiL Nas X created the Worlds 2022 anthem that was performed at the event and the event helped create a League of Legends character skin. Other honorable mentions that took place during Worlds 2022 include Tiffany’s creation of a new trophy for the event and Mercedes’ simple but effective World Cup promotion.
Tenz x Finalmouse: Welcome to my kingdom
This year esports went through a period of diversification. Esports organizations formed music record labels and gamers branched out into bespoke brands.
One of the biggest promotional campaigns by a gamer was TenZ’s collaboration with Finalmouse to launch Starlight Pro. Accompanied by a nifty promotional video, the mouse product sold out in a matter of hours, truly showing the brand strength of professional gamers.
FaZe Clan x Snoop Dogg: FaZe Snoop
While FaZe Clan’s public listing wasn’t a huge success in hindsight as the esports organization’s shares continue to fall, it’s undeniable that FaZe’s collaboration with Snoop Dogg helped propel FaZe to the forefront of mainstream media bring to.
While he officially announced himself as a FaZe member through the animated video, their collaboration reached new heights when Snoop Dogg performed at the SuperBowl halftime show with a FaZe brand chain. The aim of the campaign was to promote FaZe worldwide through its newest high-profile member – which it did successfully.
FACEIT x Gucci: The Bellhop | Gucci Gaming Academy
In terms of style, production and execution, FACEIT’s promotion with Gucci is second to none. So it’s not surprising that the video ad itself won the Esports Awards Creative Piece of the Year.
The Gucci Gaming Academy is a program designed to support the development of emerging gaming talent in the industry. Instead of the usual formula of high-octane gameplay footage, however, this ad’s subtle approach is refreshing and beautifully executed.
League of Legends x Paramount+: Players
League of Legends Mockumentary by Paramount+ Players not only marketed the League of Legends LCS; It brought attention to the league’s event broadcast teams, players and staff, and likely brought new eyes to the title.
As Esports Insider revealed earlier this year, over 150 brands and logos have appeared on the show over nine episodes. As a result, the show – which is available free for a limited time – showcased a number of brands associated with esports organizations, creating one of the most valuable brand exposure deals in esports.
Team Liquid: Wave of One
Given Team Liquid’s prominence in esports, which has resulted in multiple rosters for a number of titles, the organization sought to tie their individual teams and fandoms together under one roof.
In addition to its visually stunning video and series of photoshoot campaigns, Wave of One used trackable factors in its campaign to ensure fans of all Team Liquid rosters can follow its story. This includes telling the simple tale of good and evil, using “anime-style” delivery, and providing Easter eggs for its esports fans.
100 Thieves x Attack on Titan
Merchandise collaborations and anime collaborations aren’t very uncommon in the industry at this point. However, when two titans from each sector collide, it’s hard not to mention.
Not only did 100 Thieves and Attack on Titan deliver on the merch front, but the accompanying video (and behind-the-scenes video) is stunning.
Pushing the Game Changers of VALORANT
2022 has been a developmental year for VALORANT as the title appears to be becoming – or consolidating – a Tier 1 esport. With franchising approaching in 2023, Riot Games’ Game Changers program has to be commended, especially given how much time and effort has gone into promoting the initiative.
FATALE: Coming for the Crown is one of many high-quality promotional videos showcasing VALORANT’s growing and thriving female esports scene.
Rivalry: The Prime Minister’s Video Game
Photo credit: rivalry
Rivalry’s marketing campaign announcing the launch of Esportsbook in Australia is perhaps one of the most unique promotional ventures released by an esports gambling company. The company created a simple but effective video game called PM Fighter ahead of Australia’s general election to market its debut in the region.
While the game isn’t anything special, unique activations go well beyond some hyped promo videos by providing an interactive experience that promotes a company.
Dolce and Gabbana X Mkers: GoodGame
Dolce and Gabbana’s collaboration with Italian esports organization Mkers is one of this year’s most underrated ad campaigns. GoodGame is a video series created in collaboration with both companies, documenting various players in esports organizations.
Perhaps the most refreshing thing about this collaboration is that it doesn’t feel like a Dolce and Gabbana commercial. Instead, two brands are collaborating to provide insight into the industry.
Tom has been part of the Esports Insider team since October 2020 and is currently the platform’s editor. When he’s not playing Football Manager, he enjoys covering the mobile esports scene and the betting industry.