©2019 by Curtis Kingrea.


The Ask

How can Zippo become a part of the rapidly growing e-sports world?


The Problem…well, problems

When we began researching e-sports we found that, like gaming, it’s on the rise. However, the first issue we found was that game crossover viewership was minimal (e.g. gamers watching Fortnite tournaments are NOT watching League of Legends or Smash Bro tournaments). To make matters worse, Zippo would need to speak to and speak differently to each type of audience, which can get complicated and costly. And lastly, Zippo is a non-endemic brand trying to enter the e-sports world. Because of this, gamers think they are just another non-gaming brand trying to sell them stuff just because the industry is ripe.

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Advantage, Opportunity, and the Re-framed Ask

Being featured in over 2000 movies, TV shows, and music videos Zippo has become pretty synonymous with fire. Luckily for Zippo, fires are found in practically every video game. After this realization, and further research on the industry, we found that targeting the gaming community at large would present a wider target and give them something ownable in the gaming space. So we reframed the ask; instead, we asked, "how can Zippo become a part of the rapidly growing gaming word?"

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The Research

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Fires in life

Through interviews, we sought to find out what fire meant in everyday life. Some said they sit around bonfires to relax. Others noted they light candles at the dinner table to create a romantic evening dinner. And while smoking is declining, our respondents who smoke said that smoking a cigarette is a break from daily stressors. Using this feedback we thought of other moments we use fire, like birthdays. We all take a moment to make a wish before we blow the candles out on our birthday cakes. Ultimately, fires represent moments of pause.

Fires in games

After this realization we interviewed some gamers to see what fires in games meant to them. In games like Fornite, fires allow them to regain health. They stand there for 10 seconds to regain it and don’t always regain it all; they know when lighting a Fortnite fire they have to do more with less going forward. In games like Horizon, fires act as save or respawn points, and every gamer knows when you save a game, or it autosaves, shit is about to hit the fan. Fires also light the way in games; whether it’s a dark stormy night or pitch black cave, something always lurks in the darkness. While it sounds seemingly different, fires act as moments of pause for gamers as well; it's an unconscious reminder to mentally prepare before the battle.



Fires signify moments of pause regardless of whether it is an actual fire or digital fire.

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What can Zippo solve for gamers?

After scouring countless forums, like Blizzard and League of Legends, we found that cold hands are a big issue for gamers; they are all talking about how to combat it. Have you heard the saying getting cold feet before a wedding? Well, just like in gaming, when anxiety, and thus adrenaline increase, our fight or flight instinct kicks in. The warmth in our extremities moves to our core to protect our vital organs. And this is a problem. A recent study found that gamers with warm hands can react 21% faster. So warm hands are important to gamers being their best. Luckily for Zippo they already make hand warmers for the outdoors adventurer. Creating an association between digital fires and the Zippo hand warmers would be paramount for Zippo to authentically enter into the gaming space.

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The Strategy

We need to make Zippo hand warmers synonymous with digital fires so that gamers know to mentally and physically:

Prepare for battle.


The Team

Evanne Allen (Strategist)
Curtis Kingrea (Strategist)