Gold CASE winner badge

UCI Land, an animated, Anteater-themed island created for Nintendo’s popular Animal Crossing video game series, has won a 2021 Bronze Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America and a 2021 Circle of Excellence award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Also known as #AnteaterCrossing, UCI Land debuted last fall as a way to help students stay connected during remote learning. The virtual island features campus landmarks, branded clothing and UCI icons, as well as a character named Zots and an avatar inspired by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Willie Banks.

In the Bronze Anvil competition, which honors “the best of the best in public relations tactics – the use of social media, video, blogs, podcasts, annual reports, digital newsletters, websites – that contribute to the success of overall programs or campaigns,” UCI Land won in the “new digital platform” category.

2021 Bronze Anvil Awards badge

In the Circle of Excellence contest, which showcases “outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing,” UCI Land captured a gold award in the “digital communications: social media – public relations & marketing” category.

The creative team behind UCI Land includes alumna Hillary Phan and UCI Strategic Communications & Public Affairs staffers Jonathan Guzman and Laura Rico.