Hellmann's Canada is helping to stop hunger IRL by taking it virtual;
#HellmannsIsland has come to #ACNH to help turn virtual food waste into real meals. For each spoiled turnip you drop off on our 5-star island, we’ll donate a meal to @SecondHarvestCA to feed people in need. DM us with #HellmannsIsland for your dodo code. Limited spots available. pic.twitter.com/QOWXDR5FCQ— Hellmann's Canada (@HellmannsCanada) August 17, 2020
On forums, talk quickly turned to; "Why not just donate?"
This is not the first time brands have infiltrated the game since its release on March 20th of this year, to a world of unintended shut-ins.
Valentino put their Pre-Fall Collection online as QR codes to wear in the game. The Monterey Bay Aquarium hosted guided tours through the in-game museum. The Sentosa Development Corporation recreated the island in the game and invited visitors.
Is this companies capitalizing on a fad, invading people's play time, to press their product? Or a new way of marketing and reaching consumers?
Why not both?
I have often been of two minds when it comes to marketers and companies invading spaces for play. Video game companies having certain "skins" in their games as advertisement is less bothersome than suit-and-ties joining TikTok to press consumerism onto kids.
I'm not too bothered by in game advertising like this - If DC Fandome gives me a QR code to get an Harley Quinn outfit from the Able Sisters' shop, I'm not going to say no. There is something to be said for why Hellmanns' Canada didn't simply give - but by advertising their cause and tying it into a popular game, they can encourage others to donate as well.
Should we really care that this is happening? I mean, this is the 60$, 4th entry in the mainline game that we're playing on our 300$ consoles. The commercialization ship has sailed if you have one of these, and I count myself among them.
Why not let big business use each other?