Gillette Makes Animal Crossing More Skin-Inclusive by Adding Stretch Marks and Psoriasis

Partnership promotes new Venus Skinclusive summer line

Hundreds of new 'body positive' avatars will be made available on Animal Crossing. Nicole Cuddihy / Gillette

Gillette-owned razor brand Venus has partnered with Animal Crossing to create hundreds of new skin-inclusive avatars within the game, which has seen a huge surge in popularity as more people spend time at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Venus worked with digital designer Nicole Cuddihy to co-create the new avatar designs to promote its new Skinclusive summer product line and help better reflect the diversity of real people’s skin.

The collection will increase the diversity of avatars available on Animal Crossing to eight different tones and 19 different skin types. In total, there are 250 possible design combinations, including vitiligo, tattoos, psoriasis, stretch marks, cellulite and prosthetic limbs.

Some of the avatars, like this one pictured, have cellulite.

The activity forms part of the brand’s broader “My Skin. My Way.” campaign and will be supported by a live Animal Crossing Skinclusive Summer Social event on YouTube Aug. 31.

Grey New York is the agency behind the project.

“In a world where there are so many explicit and implicit rules on how women should show or feel about their skin, skin-inclusivity and positive representation matters,” said Anthony van Dijk, senior brand director of Venus North America.

Cuddihy added: “While momentum for diversity in design is building, there are many areas where progress feels slow. The fact that I could add scars and wrinkles to warriors or outlaws, but not characters in less combat-driven games, felt discouraging. With these designs, I hope that all women in Animal Crossing can find comfort and representation in this carefully developed collection.”

Animal Crossing has proven to be a popular playground for brand marketers, especially as opportunities for in-person experiential events evaporated with the arrival of Covid-19.

Most recently, Cottonelle worked with rapper T-Pain to promote the toilet paper brand via downloadable wallpapers.

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.