The APG Creative Strategy Awards Shortlist 2009: British Heart Foundation (2)

Planned by: Peter Zezulka
Agency: Grey London
Brand: British Heart Foundation
Campaign: Yoobot


When we think of people who are at risk of heart disease, we typically think of people who are older; we rarely think of children as potential victims. But as this paper from Grey London points out, obese children eventually become unhealthy adults.

The British Heart Foundation set itself the task of helping children understand how unhealthy habits can become dangerous long-term health problems.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the chosen solution was an online game that allows children to learn through play. But the real magic of the paper lies in the role of planning in the gameplay design.

It shows how planners can get involved in setting goals for interaction. Planning kept the team meticulously focused on desired actions and sufficient rewards throughout the design and build process. Players learn about heart health through what psychologists call "exploratoids" - small interactions that provide knowledge.

The result was a genuinely engaging game which, with more than one million registered players, rivalled other bestselling games such as Wii Fit.