- Flip-flop maker Havaianas and agency partner Cheil Brasil created an in-game island in Fortnite that is shaped like one of the brand's signature slippers, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive.
- The location promotes a new Havaianas x Fortnite collection themed around iconic elements from the online multiplayer game, including DJ Yonder, Brite Bomber and the Battle Bus. Havaianas Summer Island was developed using Fortnite's Creative Mode and in collaboration with content creators Alan "Shinohara" Garcia and Mateus "Derponce" Yoshitani.
- On May 14, Havaianas will host a virtual event where visitors to the island can score a discount by sharing snapshots with the hashtag #HavaianasFortniteDay on social media. Brands continue to gravitate toward Fortnite even as owner Epic Games enters an increasingly ugly legal spat with Apple over the latter's app store policies.
Havaianas is targeting the elusive gamer cohort with a virtual activation that lives inside Fortnite, a massively popular battle royale shooter game. Players can find the custom island by searching a code — 6301-8935-3098 — within Fortnite's Creative Mode that lets users build custom maps.
In-game marketing has grown more common as a way to reach ad-averse players on the channels where they're already engaged. Burger King Spain recently deployed a similar concept around NBA 2K21. The fast-food chain designed a custom court with the pro basketball title's editing tools and then ran a trick-shot challenge that tied back to real-world menu rewards. Players could share gameplay footage on social media to redeem their food.
Havaianas is trying to drive traffic and social media chatter with an event on May 14 that will dole out discounts on its footwear. Other marketers have used Fortnite to hype upcoming releases.
Nike's Jordan Brand teamed with Fortnite two years ago on limited-edition skins — outfits for players' digital avatars — that showed off iconic sneaker models like the black and red, or "bred," Air Force 1s. Movie studios have also converted Fortnite into a space to screen exclusive footage or trailers, while music artists have increasingly tapped the game as a concert venue in the absence of live events during the pandemic.
Fortnite has proven enduringly popular after first making a splash and ushering in the battle royale gaming craze in 2017. A December tie-in event where players could team up to fight the Marvel Comics villain Galactus drew a record 15.3 million concurrent players, as well as 3.4 million viewers on streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
However, the channel focus of Fortnite's audience could be shifting amid a legal spat with Apple. Parent company Epic Games is suing the iPhone maker over what it alleges is monopolistic control over the app store space, including through practices like Apple's commission fees of up to 30% on subscriptions and other sales. Apple removed Fortnite from its App Store in August, dealing a blow to its mobile usership.
Marketers activating around Fortnite are now reaching a largely console-based group of consumers, but that cohort was already significant prior to the Apple dust-up. Court documents released ahead of the antitrust trial revealed that iOS generated just 7% of Fortnite's total revenue from March 2018 through July 2020, while Playstation 4 accounted for 46.8% and Xbox One made up 27.5%, according to The Verge.