Aldi and Venmo: Together for Thanksgiving

November 9, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

With Thanksgiving right around two weeks away, it’s time to start making those shopping lists and consulting those cookbooks. Either that or figuring out if anywhere in town delivers a turkey pizza. Grocery chain Aldi, meanwhile, is getting together with peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payments titan Venmo to produce “Friendsgiving,” a celebration of friends at Thanksgiving.

Sounds noble enough—friends are one step behind family, after all, and Thanksgiving is all about family—and when you look at what’s really going into it, it will look just as noble as it sounds. Basically, any time someone uses the Turkey Hand Friendship emoji in Venmo—one of its biggest draws is its use of emojis in describing what a payment went for—Aldi will provide 10 meals at no charge to Feeding America, which is the largest hunger relief operation targeting the United States that operates therein.

In case you get the urge to run out and start spamming Turkey Hand Friendship emojis in a bid to feed the world, restrain yourself somewhat; apparently this will work up to a maximum of one million meals. So after that first 100,000 emojis, you’ll just be showing the Turkey Hand with no free meal correlation.

It’s also something of a first; Venmo reportedly built the Turkey Hand Friendship emoji specifically for this campaign, which has never been done before. Those less than familiar with the emoji system, meanwhile, can also type “Friendsgiving” to get the job done, reports note. Venmo has also been branching out with its branding, not just in charitable operations, but also in the “Blank Me” campaign, which takes user stories and hawks them relentlessly to help connect to other users.

Still, this is a great move for all concerned. Not only is there the clear benefit of providing a lot of free meals to folks on Thanksgiving—which is about one of the noblest things a person can do, helping others celebrate the true spirit of Thanksgiving, complete with gratitude for blessings—but Venmo also gets itself face-forward in a time when a lot of companies are getting ready to jump on the bandwagon of its market, which it formerly had mostly to itself.

In the end, everyone comes out ahead, with better optics and fuller bellies. It’s hard to beat a proposition like that.