Advertising agency Ogilvy and fast food chain Burger King have been criticized for exploiting text-to-speech donations on streamers to publish adverts.
Ogilvy had been using the Text-to-Speech that normally accompanies donations on streaming platforms to push advertisements. The agency published a montage on Twitter showing off this tactic in a video titled “The King of Stream.”
The video features multiple streamers who have all been subject to Ogilvy’s ad campaign which donates the amount of money equitable to the offered deal. For instance, an advert for a $5 meal at Burger King was accompanied by a $5 donation.
It is worth mentioning that all streamers had their faces blurred out, and it is unconfirmed whether Ogilvy had even notified the streamers of their participation in the video. Judging by the comments made by some streamers on Twitter, this does not appear to be the case.
Despite how innocuous the ads are meant to be portrayed, not all viewers or streamers agree with the method. One streamer even asked “Listen, are you gonna sponsor me or not?” in response to a $5 Burger King donation.
Usually donations have been for personal fans to donate to their favorite viewers, and corporate sponsors reach out to streamers to promote them on YouTube, Twitch, and other platforms.
The donations-as-ads system that Ogilvy promotes circumvents this relationship, and allows brands to pay the ad agency who then passes on only a fraction of the sponsorship to the streamers themselves via donations instead of formal corporate sponsorship.
The response on Twitter to Ogilvy’s ad campaign has been overwhelmingly negative, with streamers and fans criticizing the video. Streamer Cohh Carnage called it “predatory” and “exceptionally low class.”
Streamer Ross O’Donovan (a.k.a. RubberNinja) revealed that this had happened to him. “I guess they didn’t want to use my clips because I said ‘Oh I worked for you guys in Australia at Hungry Jacks.. Putting frozen pink waffles in a broiler for hours on end. Hated it.’.. LMAO.”
The ads themselves may possibly violate Twitch’s Terms of Service, which states in the third part of the ninth rule that users may not:
“iii. send junk mail or spam to users of the Twitch Services, including without limitation unsolicited advertising, promotional materials, or other solicitation material; bulk mailing of commercial advertising, chain mail, informational announcements, charity requests, petitions for signatures, or any of the preceding things related to promotional giveaways (such as raffles and contests); and other similar activities;”
We will keep you informed as we learn more.
Image: Blitz Games