Crimson Hexagon and Machinima use X data to target high-power gaming audiences

Crimson Hexagon

Crimson Hexagon uses X data to help Machinima find and inform gaming audiences for Fortune 500 clients.


of gamers at a two-day livestream eSport tournament created with social insights


game users added to whitelists, tracking non-gameplay conversation


hour audience analysis process, down from two weeks

The challenge

Machinima is one of the largest online video platforms in the world and targets communities passionate about video games, animation, movies, TV, and other forms of pop culture.

As an advertising company for digital video game marketing, it focuses on six types of “gamers” as sectors of the general gaming community. The six core gamer motivation segments are action, mastery, achievement, social, immersion, and creative. Audiences are broken down by their behavioral traits or interests relating to the video games they choose to play and the reasons they like a particular genre. For example, a mastery gamer enjoys playing games that rely heavily on skill and ability, whereas action gamers are aggressive and like to jump into the fray.

In the past, Machinima would use traditional surveying to understand its audience’s interests and behaviors. This approach had some inherent challenges. The information received required the user to know they were being surveyed, which carried an innate bias for results. Plus, the process was both time-consuming and expensive to administer. This obviously affected Machinima’s bottom line and it simply wasn’t scalable.

There had to be a better way to understand more about these gaming audiences. Machinima decided to work with Crimson based on its ability to use social data and insights over traditional market research techniques like surveying key audiences or creating focus groups.

The strategy

Focus on keywords

Machinima built monitors focused on keywords and associated with the way each segment talks about how they interact with their favorite games. It then downloaded the users who participated in these conversations and created a whitelist. These whitelists were uploaded for each gaming persona and individual monitors for each were created.

Identify relevant audiences

Machinima identified the gamer segment most relevant to brand goals based on Crimson Hexagon affinities and demographics. It then created a queried post list for brand mentions and/or thematic elements relevant to brand goals.

Connect brands to gamers with custom filters

Finally, Machinima created a brand-specific monitor and used gamer segments as custom filters to understand themes/topics connected to the brands from each audience.

The results

Client research in hours, not weeks

Using Crimson Hexagon and X data, the team could now parse specific consumer conversations that it was never able to reach at scale before. Matt Kautz, Machinima’s head of business intelligence, and his team of analysts now spend a significant portion of their research time in the Crimson Hexagon platform, reviewing data behind key personas and then creating strategies for video advertising campaigns on key YouTube gaming channels. Some of their top clients are Warner Brothers Interactive, Nestle Hot Pockets, Honda, and other Fortune 500 brands.

Using insights gathered over its years of traditional audience surveying, Machinima was able to determine keyword queries for each of the six core gamer motivation segments. For example, Machinima knows that “World of Warcraft” players who are interested in collecting treasures are most likely to be achievement gamers. Using Crimson’s unique indexed data library, Matt’s team was able to categorize posts for each persona they defined. Ten thousand users per monitor were then downloaded and re-uploaded as whitelists to track non-gameplay conversation.

These whitelists have helped take the turnaround time for client research from weeks to hours. Before they were created, if Machinima wanted to help a client understand which gamer segment had the highest affinity for its product, it would require a full survey be written, programmed, and delivered to its legion panel. Now, using Crimson Hexagon’s Affinities graph tool or a post list search, an analyst can understand audience affinity in minutes.

Machinima is now able to provide actionable insights and strategies to partners, and create influencer programs and fan event experiences that engage and inspire.

Using Crimson Hexagon and X data, Machinima ran ads targeting men age 18-34 for strategic advertising campaigns for Nestle Hot Pockets, engaging users with a higher interest in its brand by using the gamer motivation segment whitelists built within the platform. The Affinities tool demonstrated how action gamers who love eSports were the right audience to promote the product to. With these insights, Machinima created a two-day live-stream eSports tournament attended by thousands of gamers, with millions more engaging online. With social insights like X data, the team could find results fast and quickly deliver research on key audiences.

“Using Crimson Hexagon, we took a two-week analysis process and condensed our results in less than an hour, refining our reach to intended audiences and providing relevant content for advertising strategies. Crimson Hexagon allowed us to have greater insight into key gaming audiences, providing us with excellent data to compare and contrast segmentation and targeting strategies for major campaign strategies.”

Matt Kautz
Head of Business Intelligence, Machinima

Our solutions


  • Realtime PowerTrack data filtering
  • Historical PowerTrack data filtering
  • Premium X APIs

Ready to get started?