Alpha Betas is a collaboration between global entertainment studio 3BLACKDOT, writers and showrunners Chris Bruno and David Howard Lee (Human Discoveries), cutting-edge animation studios Octopie and Yeti Farm Creative, and four of YouTube’s most popular creators: Vanoss Gaming, BasicallyIDoWrk, I AM WILDCAT, and Terroriser.
In Alpha Betas, video games are powering the world thanks to a massive, top-secret CIA program. In the comedic style of Rick & Morty meets Westworld, the animated digital series follows an elite virtual strike force of four top, willfully reckless gamers as they are sent into the virtual realms of video games to fix potentially world-ending issues.
Following an overwhelmingly positive response from fans for the pilot episode (99.1% positive sentiment, 8.2M views) and a successful Kickstarter campaign, new episodes dropped on YouTube in Fall 2022.
As a unique expression of gaming culture, Alpha Betas affords an innovative opportunity for brands to show up authentically in gaming. When brands support creators and their passion projects, they earn brand awareness and loyalty among a notoriously hard-to-reach 18-34 year-old audience.
In December 2022, Alpha Betas partnered with Cash App to create a memorable digital event for the community during the holiday season. Cash App had a campaign goal to highlight the benefits of adopting Cash App as a payment solution within friend circles by tapping into the social connection among gamers.
The YouTuber personalities at the heart of the show are a real-life friend group known to fans as Bush House. Over many years of creating content on their individual YouTube channels, the friends have come together regularly to play together, banter, and support each other’s endeavors. Alpha Betas is an expression of their genuine real-life friendship and nod to an unconventional career path that has seen them face a lot of doubters as they’ve carved out their own space in this new digital landscape. Along the way, the YouTubers have built a thriving community around a shared experience that has given millions of fans a strong sense of belonging.
Utilizing the camaraderie of the Bush House friend group, Cash App’s everyday use case among friends was highlighted in a custom storyline within an episode, where Alpha Team takes time off from saving the world to engage in a very relatable Secret Santa holiday gift exchange. In real-life, the guys are known by their fans to send each other the most random and often humorous gifts during the holidays, so this episode was conceived as an authentic reference to their friendship.
Since the holiday episode was already in development when Cash App was looking to come on board, we had to get extremely creative on how to integrate the brand into the content seamlessly due to long lead times and the multi-layered, intense animation process already taking place. The key was to integrate Cash App in a way that wasn’t jarring to fans or demand revision of some key milestones already completed.
The end result was a jolly one for all involved - we were able to smoothly weave Cash App into the storyline not only within the episode itself, but also in a post-credits scene.
The gift exchange premise during the episode positively demonstrated how Cash App can be an invaluable and convenient payment option in friend circles, in a highly relatable way.
The video debut was supported by a 1.5-hour, game-filled livestream watch party hosted by Bush House, which included an unscripted exchange of the friends playfully bribing each other with Cash App requests. These spontaneous moments reaffirmed the talent’s genuine appreciation for the product features and Cash App’s support of Alpha Betas which reinforced fan acceptance of the brand integration. Here’s just some of the banter:
Sark: Hey WILDCAT, how much money would you Cash App me to change games right now?
BasicallyIDoWrk: I’ll Cash App you $2 to not press the button
Terroriser: Hey! You, Paradox in the chat. Paradox just requested $10 on Cash App from me…GTFO
Fans actively engaged with the content, driving 18,226 live chat messages. 15,219 fans dropped their unique $Cashtag identifier into the chat and on Twitter, presenting exceptional social validation of the app’s usage to others within the community.
The video was supported with dedicated, humorous illustrations distributed through social channels, highlighting yet another use case for Cash App within friend circles.
In totality, the campaign organically over-delivered 21.9M impressions, 979K engagements, and community sentiment was exceptional with 99.7% on YouTube.
Cash App’s involvement with Alpha Betas community strengthened its association to gaming in a new and engaging way.