World of Max / Paddle Pop

Awards:

  • 2016 Festival of Media APAC (Bronze: Best Entertainment Platform)
  • 2016 Mumbrella Asia (Best Social Idea of the Year)
  • 2015 DMA Asia ECHOs (Gold: Creativity, Interactive – Gaming)
  • 2015 WebAwards (Outstanding Website)
  • 2015 W3 Award (Silver: Social Media – Food and Beverage)

Unilever’s Max (aka Paddle Pop) ice-cream brand is unique in its straight-faced employment of kids’ entertainment as a marketing strategy: there is no product placement, period. Instead, the team makes animated adventures starring their lion mascot, and we use digital channels to extend those stories.

So, given the success of our previous forays into gaming, and the magic/fantasy theme of 2014’s “Magilika” storyline, we knew there was an opportunity to give kids an immersive campaign they would not only love, but spend “massive” amounts of time with in a way other brands could only dream of.

The ambitious idea: the FMCG industry’s first 3D Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG), set in the world of Max’s TV series. For the first time in the history of Max’s digital entertainment push, kids wouldn’t play the part of a Lion Kingdom hero, but themselves. After creating a customized lion cub avatar, they’d be thrust into a parallel adventure while the Magilika storyline unfolded, crossing paths with Max, Leena, and other beloved characters.

Now that the game is live, kids can meet other kids in the game and talk to them. To ensure safety against online predators, they can only choose from a list of predefined messages and gestures to communicate with.

The epic adventure takes players across eight varied environments in the magic lands, on a quest to stop a mysterious eclipse that threatens the world. They cast spells to fight evil creatures in a collectible card game, earning gold to buy and upgrade their clothing and equipment. To get more items, we encourage them to venture further into our universe of play. For example, doing well in our Max Dash* mobile game earns daily rewards.

The initial results have exceeded all benchmarks and expectations. Repeat visits to the website climbed to a record 82%, and the average length of a game session has increased an unbelievable 10 times over previous years (we had to check thrice to make sure it was right). So someone who might have visited for 5 minutes before, now stays for half an hour!

Game Development Partner: Magma Studios


Map of the world

A magic map of the Max/Paddle Pop world in our game.

Lion Kingdom concept art

Lion Kingdom concept art

Lion Kingdom finished game

Lion Kingdom finished game

Egyptian-themed temple interior

Detailed 3D environments appeals to kids raised on console games

Questing alongside Max and other heroes

Questing alongside Max and other heroes

In-game combat

In-game combat

Customizing characters with clothing and weapons

Customizing characters with clothing and weapons

The Owl Library location in the animated series...

The Owl Library location as seen in the animated series…

Owl Library in-game

…and in the game as an interactive puzzle scene.

Safe chat interface for kids

Safe chat interface for kids

YouTube Channel

We also created global YouTube channels for the brand, featuring all the animated episodes, MMOG gameplay tips, and papercraft tutorial videos.

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