Stay in the Game

Pringles | Stay in the Game

In a groundbreaking move in 2021, Pringles smashed through the boundaries of reality and unleashed Frank The Zombie, a flesh-craving undead creature, straight from the realm of video games and into our world. This spine-chilling companion quickly became the dream for gamers everywhere, defying all expectations and blurring the lines between what's real and what's make-believe.

But Pringles wasn't content with stopping there. They had a whole new dimension to unveil in 2022 - the world of video games themselves. Imagine being offered a paid job as a Non-Playable Character (NPC) in a virtual universe where you don't even have to lift a finger! It was a mind-blowing concept that pushed the boundaries of what's possible, catapulting Pringles to the forefront of innovation and adventure.

From occasional crisp to everyday snack: Pringles takes the gaming world by storm!

Pringles has always been the go-to snack for special occasions, but we knew it was time for a change. We wanted Pringles to become an everyday treat, enjoyed by gamers all around the world.

And let’s face it, gaming and snacking go hand in hand. In fact, 71% of gamers regularly munch on snacks while playing. And what’s their snack of choice? You guessed it, Pringles! Our research showed that gamers loved our less messy chips because they didn’t interfere with their controller grip.

So, in 2021, Pringles embarked on a gaming journey like no other. We introduced Frank the Zombie, a gaming character who broke free from the digital world and entered the real one. But we knew that if we wanted to win over gamers, we needed more than just a fling. 

Pringles: Now Hiring 

2022 was just as depressing as the lockdown. According to a government study by ONS, young people were just as anxious, depressed and dissatisfied with life as they were during the height of the pandemic. The biggest reason for this was uncertainty about their future with the ongoing coverage of “The Great Resignation” and depressing stories about the economy.

Our big idea was to give someone a job. But not just any old job; the easiest job in the world, and we did it in the passion they love the most, in a video game.

The Pringles Vending Machine Refiller was born, a non-playable character in a popular game. The lucky winner would get paid £20,000 to do nothing but hang out in the game forever. Sounds like a dream job, right? 

Creating the most fun interview process ever

We needed to make people aware, make them excited, make them tell us why it should be them and ultimately get them to help us spread the word through their own content.

JOB DESCRIPTION - the most mundane job in the most mundane game - partnering with Xbox and Dovetail Games, we identified an opportunity within Train Sim World. We created a mundane job in a relatively mundane game, but with a passionate player base, this was perfect to bring the humour of the activation to life.

APPLY WITHIN – the first thing we had to do was advertise the job and get people to apply. We partnered with Xbox and leveraged Train Sim World to create a buzz. The campaign started with real-world experiential and out-of-home initiatives before seamlessly transitioning into the virtual realm. Strategic advertisements within popular gaming titles across the Yahoo! gaming network and a series of films featuring disgruntled NPCs supported the recruitment drive.

We targeted gamers with recruitment ads on social, posted fake job opportunities on LinkedIn and even recruited Laura Kate Dale (a passionate Train Sim-fluencer) to stimulate her community.

At its core, the campaign blurred the lines between reality and the virtual world, empowering humans in the face of increasing technological advancement. By ‘stealing’ a job from robots, Pringles emphasised its relevance in a world dominated by artificial intelligence. 

After receiving countless amazing pitches and seeing some impressive video game mock-ups (and even homemade Pringles vending machines!), we finally found our winner.

YOU’RE HIRED! – that’s when the real fun began. We worked with Dovetail Games to create a lifelike avatar of our winner. Mark, underwent a live transformation on Twitch, thereby permanently becoming an NPC within the game. Players could now spot Mark stocking up the Pringles Vending Machine within the game or see his name proudly displayed as “Employee of the Month” on platforms around the game. 

The Results were off the Charts!

We delivered a world-first, creating a “paid NPC job in a video game” and ended the year as Gamers favourite snack increasing Brand Love with Gamers by 6% points (Source: Kantar).

The campaign amassed 30.8m impressions and captivated Twitch users, who collectively dedicated 2.8m minutes to witnessing the transformation of the chosen individual into an NPC.

In the UK, the campaign delivered a +28.9% point shift in unaided brand awareness against exposed gaming audiences and a +25.2% point shift in message association, with 38% surveyed seeing Pringles as their snack of choice (Source: Kantar).

And with Gaming now a bigger driver than football and Christmas to brand growth, we drove sales by +8.9% growth (Source: Kellogg’s).

Pringles and gaming turned out to be a match made in snacking heaven. So, grab a can of Pringles, fire up your favourite game, and stay in the game with us!

Aisling O’Hara

"We continue to strive for innovation in the gaming space and to elevate the gaming experience for our consumers. This campaign through creative thinking at each stage, brilliant collaboration across all partners and a lot of hard work has really helped Pringles to level up in execution and sales yet again in 2022!"

Aisling O’Hara EU Marketing Manager, Pringles
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