it's all fun and games when applying for a credit card

Client:  CIBC       Project Date:  2015
About the Project
CIBC wanted to create a simple, engaging online game to promote their CIBC Aventura Visa card, and encourage enrolment. At the time, CIBC had just re-branded with Percy the Penguin, and they wanted him to be the star of the game. (Soooo fun! I really couldn't have asked for a better project).
My Role
ART DIRECTION / DESIGN / UX
I was the creative lead for the initial pitch to CIBC. I created all the concept visuals and the initial game play functionality. Once we won the business, I continued working on the project as Art Director -overseeing the overall design of the game along with a small team of designers. I also worked with the development team to ensure the game play UX was simple and straightforward.
About the Project

CIBC wanted to create a simple, engaging online game to promote their CIBC Aventura Visa card, and encourage enrolment. At the time, CIBC had just re-branded with Percy the Penguin, and they wanted him to be the star of the game. (Soooo fun! I really couldn't have asked for a better project).

My Role

ART DIRECTION / DESIGN / UX  
I was the creative lead for the initial pitch to CIBC. I created all the concept visuals and the initial game play functionality. Once we won the business, I continued working on the project as Art Director -overseeing the overall design of the game along with a small team of designers. I also worked with the development team to ensure the game play UX was simple and straightforward.

it all started with a story

When our team was asked to pitch a "Percy the Penguin"game concept to promote the CIBC Aventura credit card, we were pretty excited. We knew that to get the business, we'd have to come up with a simple game concept, backed by a great story and awesome visuals. The Aventura credit card is travel rewards card, so we structured the story around Percy the penguin travelling to different parts of the world, collecting souvenirs and dodging obstacles along the way. Our team decided on a simple, side scrolling game play structure so even newbie gamers could jump right in with very little instruction. The game was to be 5 levels, each getting progressively harder, with animated story sequences at the game beginning and end. Since the Aventura program helps its customers fly all across the globe, we thought Percy could upgrade to a different type of "flying machine" each time he reached a new level.

I designed some initial storyboards for the various game levels.
Note: All of the Percy the Penguin character illustrations in the screens below were created by Martin Bregman exclusively for CIBC.

I also designed some instructional and supporting screens:

Finally, I also put together some marketing & social media screens to tell more of a story and show how we envisioned the game being marketed and shared:

and the winner was.....us!

We won the pitch - and then the real work started. The time line was tight, so we ended up cutting the game to 3 levels. We also had to make sure CIBC's marketing messages weren't lost, so we incorporated product information and links to apply for an Aventura credit card on multiple screens.

At the same time we were creating the game, CIBC also went through a brand refresh and updated the look of their branded illustrations, including the design of Percy the Penguin. Although this change didn't impact our game functionally, we did have to update the look of the game to reflect these new guidelines. The background illustrations became more flat and two dimensional, and the colour palette expanded slightly.

Below are some screenshots of the finished game.
Note: All of the Percy the Penguin character illustrations in the screens below were created by Bea Crespo exclusively for CIBC.

The 3 finalized game play levels - Canada, China & Brazil

The level end screen, and the game end screen

The leaderboard, and final call to action screen

some final thoughts

Overall we were really happy with how the game turned out. 
The one drawback - for me - was that it was only created for desktop use. Being HTML5, you could play the game on your mobile device, but the experience wasn't ideal. The client had a very tight time line and they wanted to focus strictly on desktop for the initial launch. 

We ended up bridging some gaps by reformatting the game's landing page for mobile, but I still wish we could have built the game mobile first.

related works

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