Havas London makes influential gamers revert to default skin for Vanish
The #ReSkinChallenge campaign sees pro-gamers tackle virtual clothing waste and highlight real-world environmental issues
02 February 2023
Vanish, the Reckitt garment care brand committed to encouraging consumers to re-wear their clothes and raising awareness of clothing waste has partnered with some of Europe’s biggest gamers and streamers to expand its #ReWear message into the world of gaming – hacking the virtual ‘fast fashion’ trend to drive awareness of the real-life clothing crisis in new and super-engaged audiences.
#ReSkinChallenge sees high-profile gamers including CaptainPuffy, ShivFPS, FreyzPlayz, and fifakillvizualz – who combined boast more than 4.4m Twitch subscribers and are known for their frenzied consumption of the latest skins and in-game clothes – uncharacteristically revert to a basic, default skin for a whole week. If this didn’t raise enough questions from their communities – and it did – they also wore the same physical outfit on their streams for the duration of the challenge, starting conversations among their fans.
The big reveal came at the end of the week: that it was Vanish behind the #ReSkinChallenge all along, with a message to gamers to re-wear their clothes – both in-game, and in real life. The gamers then set their communities a challenge to play wearing their very first, or default, skin – with Vanish donating £20 to Oxfam for each stream shared.
The innovative activation, created by Havas London and Havas Play with PR from One Green Bean, was designed to tap into the engaged gaming/streaming community and highlight the growing problem of virtual ‘fast fashion’ and real world clothing waste. In the UK, a staggering 350,000 tonnes of clothing are thrown away each year* –which Vanish is committed to raising awareness of through its #ReWear positioning and purpose to help clothes live longer.
In online gaming, skins – mass-consumed visual effects or clothing that allows players to personalise their character in a purely aesthetic way – are a burgeoning virtual problem.
Just like in real life, these skins are at the mercy of the latest trends, typically becoming obsolete within a few months. As well as a financial cost to the player, typically between £5-50, these frenzied purchases have an environmental cost. Each discarded skin, rather than ending up in landfill like their physical counterpart, is instead stored in a highly energy intensive data centre.
Cigdem Kurtulus, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at Reckitt, says: “The environmental impact of our culture of extreme disposability is becoming just as prevalent in the virtual world as in real life – reinforcing the very behaviour that sees millions of perfectly good items of clothing thrown into landfill every year.
At Vanish, our mission is to help clothes live longer – and the #ReSkinChallenge represents an innovative, playful way to land our #Rewear message, credibly, with new and engaged communities.”
Elliot Harris, Reckitt Global Executive Creative Director & Creative Partner at Havas London, says: “By partnering with some of Europe’s biggest streamers – starting conversations within their hyper-engaged communities in a smart, unobtrusive and organic way – we are tapping into virtual fandom to drive important, real-world change. Gamers are a completely new audience for Vanish’s #Rewear message, and given their relative youth, will be a crucial one in consigning unnecessary clothing waste to the bin – for good.”
Fabrice Plazolles, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Play, says: "We are happy to have collaborated on this campaign with our friends at Havas London. After successful meaningful campaigns in the gaming universe like Undercover Avatar or Adopt a Mod, we continue to prove that gaming is a great media to evolve awareness and make communities engage around contemporary issues. Thanks to the complementary talents of Havas London and Havas Play, we allow millions of gamers to be aware of a cause that is so important ".
Project name: Vanish #ReSkin Challenge
Client: Vanish (Reckitt)
Cigdem Kurtulus, UK Marketing Director, Reckitt
Gulin Guner, Vanish UK Category Marketing Manager, Reckitt
Creative agency: Havas London
Chief Creative Officer: Vicki Maguire
Global Creative Partner: Elliot Harris
Creative Team: Ken Abalos & Sam Adio
Managing Partner: Ainhoa Wadsworth
Business Director: Dom Skuratko
Senior Account Director: Catherine Martyn
Group Strategy Director: Becky Taylor-Wilkinson
Agency Producer: Stefanie Price
Assistant Agency Producer: Lucy Farrell
Chief Creative Officer: Fabrice Plazolles
Head of Gaming & eSport: Pierre Acuña
Head of Business development: Thibaut Arthaud
Account Director: Emmanuel Münck
Project Manager: Thibaud Gounod
PR & Influence Manager: Clara Guitard
Pr & Influence Officer: Céline Tran
One Green Bean
Head of PR, EMEA: Sophie Nicholson
Associate Business Director: Inder Gill
Account Manager: Alix Vanderweele