GlaxoSmithKline's Excedrin teams with video game influencers to target screen-time headaches

Gamers are playing more than ever during the pandemic—and getting more headaches.

More than 90% of people who play video games reported spending more time playing this past year, and 71% are also concerned about the headaches related to longer screen times, according to new research from GSK Consumer Healthcare.

GSK’s Excedrin brand wants to help with a new and simple mindfulness routine it created with experts and tested with gamers who reported better energy, longer play time and fewer headaches when using it.

The “Excedrin Gamer Routine” available on a custom website includes tips such as taking eye breaks, using deep breathing and starting with a positive mindset.

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Excedrin is teaming up with well-known gamers on social media, focused on the popular livestream gaming platform Twitch, to spread the word about the headache help. GSK says Excedrin is the first pharma brand to “lean into gaming on Twitch through a custom program.”

Leading the Excedrin game ambassadors on Twitch is professional gamer and headache sufferer Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, the founder of 100 Thieves gaming company which Fortune ranked at No. 5 on its list of most valuable ESports companies in 2020.

Nadeshot, who uses Excedrin, talks about the medicine and the six-step mindfulness routine on Twitch during branded live play sessions as well as on his other social media channels. Excedrin’s group of ambassadors includes 11 other Twitch influencers including Aphromoo, Bnans, QuarterJade and Swiftor who are also hosting Excedrin-branded livestreams.

“It’s targeting an interest and a love that people have for playing video games—headaches were hindering that,” Rishi Mulgund, Excedrin brand director, said. He added that players are already been weighing in during Nadeshot’s livestreams to talk about their own headache experiences.

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Nadeshot said in a press release that he's "experienced headaches while gaming for many years, but it's not something that's widely discussed within the gaming world."

"Instead, many of us brush it off or 'tough it out' to keep playing," he added.

The Excedrin gamer-targeted website includes a short animated video ad with Excedrin Extra Strength as the hero in “The Healing Academy.” On YouTube, a series of three ads show cartoon heroes helping a player say “game over” to headaches.

After a week in market, feedback has been "overwhelmingly positive" Mulgund said, with some gamers even "saying this Excedrin ad looks better than some of the games I've seen on Twitch."