GLICODE

Silver Spike
TitleGLICODE
ClientEZAKI GLICO CO., LTD.
Product/ServiceCORPORATE
CategoryA09. Branded Games
EntrantDENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN
Idea Creation DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN
PR DENTSU PUBLIC RELATIONS Tokyo, JAPAN
Production COCONOE Okayama, JAPAN
Production 2 BIRDMAN Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 3 ROBOT COMMUNICATIONS Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 4 DENTSU TEC Tokyo, JAPAN
Additional Company GOOGLE ZOO Tokyo, JAPAN

The Campaign

GLICODE is the first ever educational app that uses advanced image recognition to turn real candy into code to teach kids the fundamentals of programming. Every packet of Pocky, Bisco and Almond Peak turns into bite-sized programming lessons where kids can lay out and arrange their snacks, capture the sequence and watch it turn into code that moves a character through increasingly complex challenges. The app covers three basic programming principles: "BASIC SYNTAX", "LOOPS" and "IF STATEMENTS". We designed this easy to understand visual language so that kids can automate repetitive instructions and assign actions to specific triggers, making GLICODE a real programming language with endless possibilities.

Creative Execution

GLICODE is the first ever educational app that uses advanced image recognition to turn candy into code to teach kids the fundamentals of programming. We turned Glico’s most popular products, Pocky, Almond Peak and Bisco into a new visual language that represent three fundamentals - BASIC SYNTAX, IF STATEMENTS and LOOPS. The use of physical objects helps younger children learn more intuitively. They simply need to lay out candy sequences to instruct the game’s character how to move. Once laid out, capture the physical sequence and the mobile app automatically transforms it into executable code! We launched GLICODE across Japan working with elementary schools to get these bite-sized coding lessons into classrooms. We also distributed starter packs and lesson plans to school teachers and programming schools around the country and are continuing to work with Google’s Hour of Code initiative to champion computer science and programming amongst children and parents.

GLICODE generated a lot of attention both in and outside of Japan, earning praise from computer science organizations such as Hour of Code for fostering programming education in such an innovative way. More than 200 local and international media sites published the story, and together with its social media reach, produced an estimated media value of over 300 million yen. Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications even saw the potential of turning candy into code, giving GLICODE an MIC grant and adopting it as an official government program. GLICODE reached over 10,000 downloads in the first 3 months and continues to grow as more schools adopt it into their curriculums. Across the hundreds of initial workshops we conducted, 95% of children who experienced the application answered "It was fun" and continued the educational game at home. 75% of parents replied that "I think GLICODE is useful programming education."

Children all over the world are learning to express themselves through code, but programming won’t be made mandatory in Japanese schools until 2020. Glico snacks however, like Pocky and the famous caramel heart toys, have been making their way into children's lunchboxes and captivating them for over 95 years. So of instead of following traditions, we decided to include something more meaningful. GLICODE is the first educational mobile app that uses advanced image recognition to turn every packet of Pocky, Bisco and Almond Peak into bite sized programming lessons, giving kids the chance to learn to code whilst they snack.

Computer science and programming has become compulsory in curriculums around the world as people realize the power and potential that coding unlocks. But because of Japan’s dated curriculum computer science isn’t going to be made mandatory in schools until 2020. Existing educational programming tools are prohibitively expensive and aimed at older students and consequently elementary school children in Japan have little to no awareness of it. So we proposed a new, cheap and accessible utility to teach kids aged 5-12 the basics of algorithmic thinking and programming. Using physical objects helps children learn more intuitively, it just so happens these objects were also their favourite snacks. GLICODE turns every packet of Pocky, Bisco and Almond Peak into a bite-sized programming lessons which children can take with them anywhere - home or school. We needed something educational and newsworthy, but ultimately we wanted to bring the 2020 deadline forward to 2017.

Credits

Name Company Position
Yasuharu Sasaki DENTSU INC. Executive Creative Director
Hiroshi Koike DENTSU INC. Creative Director
Ryutaro Seki, Kazuyoshi Ochi, Moe Goto DENTSU INC. Planner
Kentaro Sagara DENTSU INC. Art Director
Yoshihiro So coconoe inc. Art Director
Shintaro Murakami DENTSU INC. Technical Director
Gene Brutty Google Zoo Creative
Tim Seddon Google Zoo Creative
Joe Fry Google Zoo Creative Strategy
Bryan Tanaka Google Zoo Creative Coordinator
Naru Kudo DENTSU TEC INC. Producer
Yosuke Suzuki Google Zoo Producer
Kojiro Fukami Google Zoo Producer
Yoichi Kanazawa BIRDMAN Inc. Director
Yoshimi Kano coconoe inc. Designer
Yohei Kajiwara BIRDMAN Inc. App Developer
Takanori Kawai BIRDMAN Inc. App Developer
Hayato Kuno BIRDMAN Inc. App Developer
Naoki Aso BIRDMAN Inc. App Developer
Takashi Okada coconoe inc. System Engineer
Yuta Yamada BIRDMAN Inc. CG Designer
Haruka Yokokawa BIRDMAN Inc. Project Manager
Yuki Ono WONDROUS inc. Music SE
Mitsugu Matsumoto Freelance Director
Yasuhiro Kawasaki ROBOT COMMUNICATIONS INC. Executive Producer
Akihiro Yoshida SPEC Camera
Ryu Matsumura Freelance Gaffer
Shinji Nomura ROBOT COMMUNICATIONS INC. Project Manager
Keiji Hayashi DENTSU PUBLIC RELATIONS INC. PR planner
Mitsuki Yoshida, Shigenari Kato DENTSU INC. Account Executive
Links
Website URL