Sunday 22 April 2018

Cool Cubes: Never Lose Your Cool

The mobile application developed by Lipton Ice Tea in early 2013, launched May 2013 has seen global fame and success – best of all, it’s all been organic.

In 2013, Lipton Ice Tea launched their new brand message – Never Lose Your Cool. Designed to make fans smile and stay refreshed, the messaging was rooted in playful brand experiences. Edelman Digital was presented with the opportunity to develop an activation that helped drive this message via a medium that was fun and enjoyable for our fans. Given that our target demographic of both males and females, 18 – 25, are mobile savvy, this had to be a clear element of the project. We also considered that while Lipton Iced Tea’s primary platform is Facebook, with 4.5 million fans in over 56 markets, the brand wanted to deliver brand fame across the larger digital space. This game needed to be activated globally and required localization.

Our strategy for developing the Cool Cubes mobile game was to engage fans with Lipton Ice Tea’s simple Never Lose Your Cool message and explore the digital space in a way that Lipton Ice Tea had never done before The game stars ice cube characters that the player directs to a glass of Lipton Ice Tea – never losing their “cool” along the way.

Edelman Digital has the benefit of cross-practice collaboration, which meant we could tap into the skills of our fellow colleagues around the world. gosub, Edelman Digital’s creative agency in Berlin, are masters of the mobile gaming world. We involved them in this project from the outset, and they helped us inform the strategy with technical considerations and ensure our objectives were woven through every aspect of development.

With strategic insight, mobile gamification experience and technical build expertise, we transformed the Cool Cubes concept into a globally relevant, engaging and interactive application. Along the way we discovered some essential elements in the game development that contributed to Cool Cube’s success:

  • Game Concept Characterization: To ensure ‘Never Lose Your Cool’ was brought to life in the most innovative and entertaining way for our audience, we created storyboards for a ‘Never Lose Your Cool’ adventure. These starred our responsive 3-D ‘Cool Cubes’ characters. The winning element was in the characters’ reactions to player’s score and gameplay – the Cool Cubes celebrated when fans had a perfect shot and melted when they missed. The Cool Cubes characters and game mechanics were tested among a number of focus groups from our target market, helping us determine which would be the most fun for our players.
  • Lipton Ice Tea Branding: When creating a branded game, incorporating the brand can be one of the biggest struggles. A key barrier to uptake and engagement with a corporate game is over branding as it doesn’t offer players a genuine experience. We avoided this with Cool Cubes by coding the game to display a maximum of 3 Lipton Ice Tea logos on screen at any one time. We also relied on refreshing visual cues such as the beach hut setting, surrounding objects and in-game sounds to reinforce Lipton Ice Tea’s ‘Never Lose Your Cool’ messaging. This allowed Lipton Ice Tea branding to appear throughout Cool Cubes without negatively impacting the user experience.

In the first 3 months since launch, Cool Cubes achieved results far beyond our objectives. We hit 500,000 global downloads before any local market had put paid media behind the application – proving that a strategically developed mobile application that’s fun and appeals to multiple audiences can see success purely through word of mouth.

Markets continue to use Facebook mobile app install ads to increase local downloads, driving our success even further. We have also seen a number of offline local activations using Cool Cubes characters in markets like Russia, where as well as in Ukraine, it’s ranked above Angry Birds. Nearly 80% of our over 730,000 total global downloads have come from this region.

We continue to track and monitor downloads and global rankings which have peaked in Russia and Ukraine at Top 2 in Google Play as well as in Poland at #1 and El Salvador at Top 5 in the App Store. This application has not only driven brand fame for Lipton Ice Tea but also raised awareness of the refreshing fun Lipton Ice Tea has to offer from this highly engaging and entertaining branded mobile application.

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