The gaming audience has become an increasingly attractive target to marketers. Fast food advertisers, not surprisingly, are deeply embedded in the space, with brands such as Wendy’s and now Burger King developing inventive ways to speak to the demographic. And now, pharmaceuticals are jumping in.
Over-the-counter headache medicine Excedrin, a GSK Consumer Health brand, is talking directly to gamers in a new campaign centered on a “Healing Academy.” Created out of Weber Shandwick, it features a series of animated ads starring a crew of game characters demonstrating how Excedrin is the “ultimate ally” for players.
The campaign is based on research Excedrin conducted on gamers, which found that 71% of them are worried about headaches related to prolonged gaming, and yet the majority still continue to play through the pain. That’s exacerbated by the fact that 92% of gamers report they’ve been gaming more during the pandemic, so the chances of getting headaches are even greater.
As part of the effort, Excedrin also teamed up with Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, a professional gamer and the founder and CEO of 100 Thieves, a gaming organization and lifestyle brand. Nadeshot will help educate gamers on the importance of addressing their headaches and how the pain affects their gameplay. “I’ve experienced headaches while gaming for many years, but it’s not something that’s widely discussed within the gaming world,” Nadeshot said in a statement. “Instead, many of us brush it off or ‘tough it out’ to keep playing. The truth is, headaches can take you out of the game and have an impact on performance—and no one wants that."
The education initiative includes a 6-step mindfulness routine featuring tips for gamers to integrate into their routine to help them play better while managing the risk of headaches. They steps include pausing their games and focusing their eyes away from the screen, hand massages to avoid controller cramps as well as music and deep-breathing breaks.
“Even seemingly ‘small things’ like increased screen time, eye strain and muscular tension can lead to headaches,” said Dr. Elizabeth Seng, a clinical psychologist and Excedrin’s head pain expert. “The mindfulness routine developed by Excedrin can help gamers navigate triggers so they can manage the risk of headaches.”