The digital dream team behind IGA’s latest #ToughCookies campaign

As capital and interest steadily flow into the gaming industry, so do the opportunities for brands to integrate the medium into their strategy. This year, we teamed up with IGA to use this emerging power for good.

IGA’s #ToughCookies campaign has raised nearly half a million dollars for the Charles-Bruneau Foundation in support of kids living with cancer. Each year they bring levity and joy to an incredibly difficult experience by engaging youth in digital and tactical storytelling.

Last year, kids from the Foundation drew their favourite snacks to be transformed into AR tattoos that IGA customers could scan onto their phones and bring to life.

This year, in a push to grow our digital capabilities, we built a videogame.
tastes en
game levels

Tough Cookies: The Game

You, the player, enter a world of magical tastes by purchasing a temporary tattoo at an IGA store and scanning the QR code to your desktop or mobile device. Your quest is to save the flavours Salty, Sweet, and Sour from the evil Umami. Each of the 4 QR codes corresponds to a different Hero, taste, and level, and all 4 must be purchased to complete the game. So begins the journey to save the world of tastes by bopping monsters on their heads and collecting coins.

The cast of colourful characters, sounds, and even environmental elements were created by children at the Foundation. Since treatment can take away their sense of taste, we worked with IGA to build a world where they can experiment and play with taste in a new way.

World-building in house

Rome wasn’t built in six weeks. But guess what was? 13 artisans–UX Writers, Graphic Designers, Front-End Developers, and more–joined forces to create something they never had before: a platformer game. Timeline constraints provoked plenty of Macgyvering, like building the game engine at the same time as the environmental artists created the characters. (That sentence might not mean much to most of us, but it would be a jump scare to our friends at Ubisoft.)

The UX team was able to optimize their time by integrating software programs like Mario Maker on Nintendo Switch and Tiled into the production.

A taste of the future

For strategist Jean-François Lavigne, the strength of the campaign is in the merger of the physical and digital. “Let’s say I want to sell T-shirts for a charity campaign,” he explains. “Not only is it a huge undertaking to produce and distribute the T-shirts, it’s expensive, too. What’s brilliant about #ToughCookies is that we’ve connected a $2 temporary tattoo to an entire digital experience. Not only is that a good value for the consumer, it means that we’ve optimized the amount of funding for the organization. It’s extremely efficient.”

There’s no time to waste. The tastes, and the Foundation, need your help.