Short List
Product / ServiceCORPORATE
CategoryB04. Business Citizenship / Corporate Responsibility & Environmental
Idea Creation DENTSU INC. Tokyo, JAPAN
Production COCONOE Okayama, JAPAN
Production 2 BIRDMAN Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 4 DENTSU TEC Tokyo, JAPAN
Additional Company GOOGLE ZOO Tokyo, JAPAN


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
Mitsuki Yoshida, Shigenari Kato DENTSU INC. Account Executive

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.


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 attention in and outside of Japan, earning praise from CS organizations like 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 appeared on national news stations demoing GLICODE. She saw it’s potential, awarding GLICODE an MIC grant and adopting it as an official government pilot program to teach programming at elementary schools nationwide - well ahead of 2020. GLICODE reached over 10,000 downloads in the first 3 months and continues to grow as more schools and teachers adopt it into their curriculums. Together with elementary schools across Japan we’ve conducted workshops and extracurricular programs to increase awareness amongst children and teachers. Across the hundreds of workshops 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 for children's programming education." A global English version has now also been released for the rest of the world to enjoy which was launched at the SXSW Edu conference this year.

The Situation

Children all over the world are learning to express themselves through code, but programming won’t be mandatory in Japanese schools until 2020. We used one of Japan’s oldest brands and famous confectionary company to bring the world’s newest language into schools. GLICODE is the first educational app to uses advanced image recognition to turn real candy into code to teach kids the fundamentals of programming. Using social media and PR we got the attention of the world, and then Japan’s government who are now supporting it as an official pilot program to integrate coding into Japan’s national curriculum.

The Strategy

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.


Website URL