This Thanksgiving might be a little lonelier than past years. Many people plan on staying home to keep their loved ones safe as coronavirus cases once again spike across the country. For that reason, food delivery service Grubhub, which has seen a surge in users since the pandemic began, is planning a special Friendsgiving within the virtual world of Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing: New Horizons"—with a number of celebrities as guests.
Starting this Friday, Grubhub is opening up its own Friendsgiving-themed island in the game and has partnered with rapper T-Pain, musician Jason Derulo and influencer Addison Rae, who has 69.1 million TikTok followers, to make special in-game deliveries to players.
On Twitter, “Animal Crossing” players can share their island name with the hashtag #Grubhubisland for a chance for a virtual visit from one of the celebs who will come bearing gifts from Grubhub’s own island, such as candy, pumpkins and difficult-to-find items that players can then use to build their own island paradises.
Each celebrity will also be live-streaming and taking questions on Grubhub’s YouTube channel on their respective days: T-Pain is up first on Friday starting at 10 pm ET, Addison Rae will be playing on Saturday at 5:30 pm ET and Jason Derulo will finish off the weekend on Sunday at 6 pm ET. Once the weekend is over, popular “Animal Crossing” creators like CrankGameplays and Igumdrop will continue to drop off virtual Thanksgiving treats for players.
“During quarantine, ‘Animal Crossing’ has created a platform for people to stay connected while we’re apart and this Friendsgiving Celebration is just another way Grubhub is helping people connect and adapt to the new normal,” said Addison Rae in a statement.
In another statement, T-Pain, who is avid gamer, says he first got into “Animal Crossing” because of his daughter, but says he also enjoys it because it allows him to express himself. “When Grubhub approached me about this activation it was easy—it connects on so many levels, allowing me to spread some Friendsgiving love in ‘Animal Crossing’ courtesy of Grubhub,” he said.
Players can visit the Grubhub “Animal Crossing” island through the game’s Dream Suite feature. The brand has an outdoor seating arrangement perfect for a virtual Friendsgiving, even better now that Animal Crossing’s latest update allows avatars to actually sit down. The island also has plenty of red and white Grubhub shirts and hats players can collect to dress their avatars.
Grubhub worked with The Outloud Group for the influencer aspect of the campaign and FirstTube Media for the live-streaming component of the activation.