For most of the last week, Ally, a financial services based in Detroit, MI, hosted a sponsored island in Animal Crossing. The weeklong “activation”—a marketer’s term for the actual execution of a long-planned marketing campaign—kicked off with a guided tour by charming and affable streamer Kang, who directed his (mostly) delighted audience of 15,000 or so around the island in the hours before it was open to the public. Ally Island was, admittedly, an impressive bit of creativity under constraint, using Animal Crossings’ assets to showcase homes, boats, cars, a playable-ish golf course, and “Little Detroit”. (Ally is descended, through a century-long mess of mergers, acquisitions, restructures, buyouts, sell-offs, and rebrandings, from General Motors’ car financing wing). But the main draw of Ally Island was the ludicrous 1,000 bells it offered for turnips, a good enough exchange rate for serious Animal Crossing fans that the island was eventually shut down early as a result of congestion.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4addvw/this-bank-wants-to-use-animal-crossing-to-sell-you-on-financial-services