Much as I love derivative works, I prefer my fictional characters to remain fictional. The official Rabbid Peach Instagram account gives me the heebie jeebies.
The all-purpose marketing account for the Rabbids franchise is now the personal Instagram for character Rabbid Peach, from the upcoming Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. In the trailers for the game and in many of the still images of Rabbid Peach, she’s taking selfies. This is the apparent result. On Instagram, the illusion isn’t wholly congruent—scroll down far enough and you’ll see old marketing campaigns from old games. This was posted April 17th, well before the announcement of Kingdom Battle:
But the newer photos are consistent in theme and composition, trying to make it clear that this is actually the personal account of a fictional character, who has an interior life off screen. She lives a luxe, Instagram model life, where she soaks in the bath, goes to self aggrandizing photoshoots, and takes selfies in bed (#naturalbeauty).
This might be funny in an ironic way, but it’s still creepy. Brands aren’t people, and as many giggles as this may give you it’s a smokescreen trying to cover up that fact. I’m not trying to ruin anyone’s fun—I think Rabbid Peach is a cute character and I definitely think Kingdom Battle is a fun looking game. But marketing like this, humanizing a brand, is bad no matter who does it. It’s even worse when the joke seems to be on women who use Instagram via comparing them to a delusional rabbit who thinks she’s Princess Peach. While fans of Rabbids and Mario alike seem to genuinely like Rabbid Peach, this marketing positions her, and the interests of women who use Instagram, as an object of mockery.
It’s weird when Wendy’s “claps back” at strangers, it’s weird when the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account throws shade, and it’s weird when Ubisoft creates an Instagram for a fictional character in an attempt to make you forget that they are a multimillion dollar corporation trying to sell you a product. If you look at this account and feel a shudder, good. Hold onto that.