Gen-Z, Millennial Male Media Opps: GameStop positions itself to shift from brick-and-mortar to online based business
GameStop has been showing signs that it is preparing to transition from a traditional retail operation to focus on eCommerce. Following all of the attention the company received after traders shorted its stock, it put together a special committee to evaluate its objectives, digital capabilities, organizational footprint and personnel. We do not normally write about CFO's, but the company is reportedly searching for a financial head that has technology and eCommerce experience. This should help the company remain relevant as video game sales are commonly completed via online transactions. Readers, this shift could lead to new marketing strategies and possible agency appointments.
According to iSpot, GameStop spent around $2.1m on national TV ads in 2020, just half (50%) of the $4.2m spent in 2019. In 2020, it placed ads during programming such as "Ridiculousness," "South Park," "American Dad," Friends" and "The Big Bang Theory." It has not aired any ads in this channel so far this year.
Per Pathmatics, GameStop earned 290.3m impressions YTD through desktop display ads (38%), Facebook ads (22%), Instagram ads (21%), desktop video ads (18%), Twitter ads (1%) and mobile display ads (1%). It placed the majority (98%) of these ads site direct onto sites such as facebook.com, instagram.com, youtube.com, fandom.com and dragonage.wikia.com. It placed the remainder (2%) through a variety of indirect channels onto sites such as fandom.com, gameinformer.com, yahoo.com, sheknows.com and craked.com. GameStop spent around $2.7m on digital display ads YTD, a massive increase from $366.8k spent in this channel during the same time period of 2020. Full-year spend increased 21% from $9.6m in 2019 to $11.6m in 2020.
Sellers-- GameStop mainly targets male Gen-Z and millennial gamers through digital display and national TV ads. It has been increasing digital spend while decreasing national TV spend. This will likely continue considering it seems to be shifting towards an online business model. The company typically spends 100% of TV ad dollars in December during the holidays. It also invests in OOH, print, radio and local broadcast TV ads, per Kantar. Sellers should contact this company offering digital ad space and then again ahead of Q4 to offer national TV ad space.
Agency & martech readers-- I believe the only agency GameStop currently works with is LDWW Group (PR). There may be opportunities to pick up some of this company's business in the future as it changes its business model. Start reaching out to be top-of-mind. Those that have experience with rebrands or helping a company go through this type of transition will likely have an upper-hand.