Last month, Ultimate were thrilled to be working on a new project with existing client eggplant, a global AI software test automation and customer experience specialist. Eggplant is a diagnostic tool which tests, monitors and analyses which can be used for any type of software, from websites through to the software used to fly the NASA Orion rocket to Mars!
A key element of this successful partnership has been Ultimate’s understanding of what eggplant are really all about; their ethos, design, style, brand values, language, and all the other elements which make eggplant the company who they are today.
Ultimate know eggplant, as a fun and lively brand. A refreshing take for a software testing and monitoring company, eggplant are colourful, exciting, and constantly seeking to change the boundaries of what’s possible. Indeed, all of these elements were brought to the forefront of the company in this particular brief: to create an exciting, engaging and visually incredible game which would showcase the purpose of eggplant’s software in a dynamic and unusual way.
The challenge of creating a playable game which would demonstrate the message behind eggplant’s product was too good to pass up, and with this in mind, Ultimate got to work…
The brief was to create a digital game for both desktop and mobile, which would both entertain the user at the same time as promoting the eggplant brand. A unique idea for a digital automation specialist brand, a dedicated eggplant game would be perfectly in alignment with eggplant’s prioritisation of creative and pioneering thought, which have seen them quickly rise through the ranks of their competitors.
The company’s product would be showcased at Eggplanet, eggplant’s dedicated exhibition and conference covering exciting new developments in the world of AI-driven testing and continuous quality. The game was to be played by attendees to the Eggplanet event, making its debut in the heart of all things eggplant.
As a dedicated branding agency, Ultimate strongly felt that the game should not only entertain, but also promote the brand’s products and services. It was extremely important that the game should resonate and be reflective of the work done by eggplant’s industry-leading software testing and monitoring services.
There were a number of important factors to consider in the game’s creation. Of course, primarily, the game should be fun! Games typically have a short shelf-life as they are used for entertainment purposes, but in this short space of time it should also be able to promote the services offered by the company.
It was also important that the game should be both relevant and current, incorporating if possible current trends in the gaming industry. The team recognised that a key component of modern gaming is the quasi-’90s revival’, evoking imagery and action of games popular throughout the 90s and the turn of the millenium. In an era where old arcade games like Ms.Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat II have enjoyed a swift return to the spotlight, a clear trend in the market has become visible – one that Ultimate decided to maximise.
With all these things in mind, the team at Ultimate set to work. The game would evoke the classic ‘Space Invaders’ arcade game which was first pioneered in the 1970’s, but which enjoyed an enormous revival in both the 90’s and the present day. Of course, it needed an eggplant twist! The game changed the classic alien invasion to the invasion of ‘bugs’ – to reflect eggplant’s goal of eliminating bugs in software. Taking their cue from eggplant’s strapline: ‘Our mission is to rid the world of bad software’, the user plays as Eggy (eggplant’s iconic aubergine mascot) inside a spaceship. Players start with 3 lives, and must eliminate the ‘bugs’ invading the system whilst avoiding their fire. The player continues as far as they can, and aims to get a high score, which can then be entered into a leaderboard!
Creating a game was a challenge that Ultimate welcomed, and recognised as a move towards future methods of brand awareness and interaction. Games like this provide innovative ways to connect with an audience, which feel authentic and therefore inspire further communication and customer engagement. The game inspired action; whilst not being complex to play, it achieved an enormous stand-out factor and sparked public interest. This model proves the effectiveness of such games in reflecting and demonstrating a brand’s ethos and values, as well as mirroring their product purpose.
This game made sense as it showcased eggplant’s products, evoked a nostalgia currently trending in the gaming community, and inspires Generation Z’s fascination with gaming, while remaining in-keeping with the quirky branding that is the hallmark of recent years. Considering games as a brand hallmark is a viable option for many companies, given the relatively recent shift in how brands and audiences communicate online.
Certainly, the user experience of a brand has become more and more important in recent years. How the brand stands out, in their retail environment; how a brand makes their mark – each of these elements is addressed by the creation of this game for eggplant.
At Ultimate, we loved every step of creating this game for eggplant, and are looking forward to creating more games for our clients in 2020. As the market increasingly turns to fast, effective ways of improving the user experience and perception of brands, games are rapidly approaching the spotlight, as a must-have element of online or app branding.
Here at Ultimate, we pride ourselves on our ability to create, adapt, and stay flexible, letting us keep branding impactful and relevant, no matter the format.Creating an experience for the client is the ultimate last word in brand interaction – and with our help to create Space Rangers, eggplant have certainly achieved that.
‘Ultimate have a knack for understanding your brand and delivering every time. The Space Rangers game was no exception and a success from start to finish’.
– Candice Arnold, eggplant’s CMO