As the upstart “Twitch Plays” genre grows in popularity, brands are discovering it as marketing gold. In the latest twist on Twitch chat-controlled video games, snack brand Totino’s invited four streamers to play games while sitting on a couch controlled by viewers.
The “Bucking Couch Bowl,” as Totino’s dubbed its Twitch stream, combined video games with mechanical bull rides. As the four participating streamers–iiJeriichoii, Summit1G, TimTheTatman, and GoldGlove–competed in games like Rocket League and Super Smash Bros, the couch they sat on rocked violently. Within the stream’s chat window, viewers could choose from four commands–spin, vibrate, tilt, and recline–in order to select the direction in which the couch would move. Before the end of the three-hour broadcast, the streamers were thrown from their seats, and as you might expect, their gaming skills declined in hilarious fashion.
From Totino’s point of view, the Bucking Couch Bowl (which took place on Super Bowl Sunday, hence the name) is brilliant marketing. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the brand known for its pizza rolls has been peddling the slogan “Live Free. Couch Hard.” A video game competition conducted atop an ill-tempered couch fits that message perfectly.
The streamers, on the other hand, may have felt a little sore on Monday morning. For them, however, a few bruises are surely an acceptable price to pay in exchange for the lucrative rewards of a brand deal.