UNIQLO jumps on Animal Crossing hype

Global apparel retailer UNIQLO is the latest brand to jump on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons hype by creating its own "UNIQLO Island" which will go live on 29 April. Upon entering UNIQLO Island, players of the Nintendo Switch popular game will be able to enter a realistic UNIQLO store. 

In line with the virtual world, UNIQLO will be launching a t-shirt collection in Japan with the Animal Crossing: New Horizons theme on 24 May. According to UNIQLO, the collection is based on the concept of "connecting with friends through clothing", and inspired by the game's uniquely original animal characters and life in the virtual world. Designs inspired by the fancy-free, slow-paced life possible on the islands will be presented on UNIQLO's t-shirts, tote bags, blanket towels, and other goods.

A spokesperson from UNIQLO told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that through the collection, it hopes to attract shoppers with interest in gaming content, and supporters of previous crowd-favourite gaming/character t-shirt collections such as Super Mario, Minecraft, and Pokémon. 

In a cross-platform strategy, UNIQLO will also be releasing special content for Animal Crossing players to fully enjoy the collection in-game. The island will have a custom designs portal, which will feature 21 t-shirt designs linked to its new t-shirt collection in real life. This way, Animal Crossing players can enjoy real outfits within the game. 

2020 nintendo animal crossing

Earlier in March, fashion brand Gucci also launched its own virtual island on popular Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons to promote its #ForeverGuilty campaign film and scent. Featuring the brand's distinct aesthetic, Gucci's Animal Crossing island replicates scenes from its campaign film, and features the scent of its fragrance. The island also houses a series of mini games and takeaway items, according to Gucci. 

Similarly, during the circuit breaker period in Singapore last year, Sentosa Development Corporation launched its own version of Sentosa Crossing, which was a digital reimagination of Sentosa island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The launch marked the first Animal Crossing: New Horizons island getaway to be developed by a Singapore brand, and was also used to help a couple host a virtual wedding celebration, since the couple had to postpone their actual wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Separately, UNIQLO Malaysia also recently tied up with snack brand Mamee for a special collection across t-shirts and tote bags. The t-shirt collection features its Mamee Monster characters - Blue Monster, Pink Monster, Red Monster - as well as Mister Potato and Mamee noodles, and comes with stickers that are exclusively available at the newly opened UNIQLO DA Square at Damansara Avenue. The collaboration is in celebration of the fashion brand's 10th year anniversary and the opening of UNIQLO DA Square.

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