Apple TV+ 'Invasion' promoted with poorly executed Twitch campaign

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A series of events where popular Twitch streamers faked getting nosebleeds and video feed glitches was an attempted viral marketing campaign for "Invasion" on Apple TV+.

On Sunday, a number of Twitch streams on the Just Chatting category started to exhibit unusual behavior, affecting both the streamer themselves and the stream. The list of streamers, including "Ariasaki," "Boxbox" and "Krystalogy," all aired a loop of a stream where the video feed started to show video artifacts.

Along with the video glitches, the streamers themselves were also "affected," faking nosebleeds that coincide with the graphical alterations. The loops ran for around 30 minutes each, with no direct explanation as to what was really going on.

It turns out that the group effort by the streamers is an attempt at viral marketing by Apple for "Invasion." A Reddit thread discussing the campaign includes a comment saying the viewer saw an ad for the show on Apple TV+ during the segments.

The glitch style continued through the ad spots, which also featured a scene from the show where characters had sudden nosebleeds. It also occurs at a time Apple is ramping up its marketing efforts for the show's Apple TV+ premiere on October 22.

While viral advertising could be considered a break-out form of marketing, it's only really a success if people are talking about it. With the conversation largely centered on the "Livestream Fail" subreddit, and with a fair amount of confusion continuing after the fact, it seems the attempt may have missed its mark.

The ad spot also occurs a few weeks after Twitch itself fell victim to a hack. The Amazon-owned streaming service's source code, user comment history, and detailed financial records were posted online by an anonymous hacker.