- Global Pride, a collaboration among LGBTI+ Pride organizations worldwide, this week started hosting a virtual Pride festival in Nintendo's hit social simulation game "Animal Crossing: New Horizons." The #GlobalPrideCrossing campaign aims to provide a safe space for people of any gender, orientation, color or ethnicity who are part of LGBTI+ and ally communities, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Twitch creators including ShubbleYT, ZoeTwoDots and Loveabilitites will livestream "Animal Crossing" game sessions and host Pride activities on a virtual Pride island in the game on June 27. The campaign will seek donations to support LGBTI+ causes through Tiltify, a Twitch fundraising tool, and invite people to watch a 24-hour livestream on Global Pride’s website.
- The virtual Pride island, which was created by studio Swipe Back, has a rainbow march, message board, hall of fame, club, catwalk and Pride-friendly clothing for game avatars in "Animal Crossing." #GlobalPrideCrossing also will support the Black Lives Matter movement in several ways, including content resharing. Creative agency We Are Social Singapore created the #GlobalPrideCrossing campaign, according to the announcement.
Global Pride's virtual events in "Animal Crossing" are notable for several reasons, including the expansion of Nintendo's game into a platform that resembles a social network. The game, which was first introduced in 2001, became a recent hit with the release of its latest version in March as the coronavirus pandemic kept many people indoors with their gaming consoles for entertainment. Several brands have taken notice, with fashion house Valentino, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Detroit Lions football team creating content for "Animal Crossing," PR Week reported.
While "Animal Crossing" has parental controls to keep kids safe from interacting with strangers, it also has apps that expand its functionality to connect with friends and to chat with other players. That expanded functionality makes "Animal Crossing" more like a social network for people of any age. It's too early to tell whether more brands will create content for the game, but the Global Pride parade on "Animal Crossing" is a sign of additional promotional opportunities for marketers seeking to engage players with customized content.
Global Pride's activities on "Animal Crossing" come as organizations and brands revamp their Pride events as virtual gatherings during the pandemic. NYX Professional Makeup this month started hosting a virtual Pride march on Instagram that is part of the L'Oréal-owned brand's "Proud Allies for All" initiative to educate people about supporting the LGBT community. PepsiCo's flavored seltzer brand Bubly launched its #UnstoppablePride campaign that asks people to post their "best parade strut" on TikTok or Instagram Stories. The virtual events are a way to show support for Pride causes while avoiding public gatherings that increase the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
"Animal Crossing" is the second-best selling game of the year behind "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" and is only available for the Nintendo Switch, which has sold 50 million units worldwide, Business Insider reported. The game tasks players with surviving on an island paradise with the help of animal villagers.