Hellmann’s Mayo is setting up shop in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons with a mayonnaise-themed island. This is not a regular island, though, as visitors have the opportunity to convert their virtual food waste into real food for people in need.
In Animal Crossing food is a hot commodity that players work to acquire and sell in exchange for power advantages and currency. Turnips are the most valuable food in the game, but become worthless if not used within a week, which is why Hellmann’s new initiative lets players drop off their rotten turnips in exchange for a donation to a food bank. The donations go to Second Harvest, a Canadian food charity, which Hellmann’s hopes to donate 25,000 meals to as part of its virtual campaign. Once players have dropped off their turnips on Hellmann’s Island, they can stay and explore the brand’s other digital attractions, including Hellmann’s Farm, where players can see how all the ingredients for mayo are grown, or the Able Sisters Merch Shop where users can download Hellmann’s branded shirts, dresses, and jackets. Hellmann’s Island will also feature a bulletin board of food waste tips to inspire players to do more with their waste in the real world.
Not everyone can gain access to Hellmann’s Island, as the mayo maker is only giving out entry codes to players that message it on Twitter first. Users could direct message the Hellmann’s Canada account to receive a personal code on a first-come, first-serve basis between August 17-22. The limited access could help Hellmann’s directly track the impact of its campaign, including how many people message it on Twitter, how many players visit the island during the campaign period, and how many donate to Second Harvest. The push allows Hellman’s to connect through varied mediums, helping it leverage awareness with consumers across platforms, according to a Gartner report. Using Nintendo’s video game, which has seen record usage during the Coronavirus pandemic, also provides Hellmann’s with a unique opportunity to run a charity initiative despite not meeting with any consumers in-person.
Hellmann’s is upping its game to connect with consumers during the ongoing pandemic. By tapping into channels popular with at-home consumers, Hellmann’s could build relevance and admiration from consumers looking for brands giving back during an economically dismal period for people around the world.