One might be asking – What role does advertising carry in the future of education? In this age of competitive marketing communication, even an outstanding product or service can hardly move forward or get muffled by business rivals without the push from effective advertising, which requires creativity now more than ever. This also applies to endeavors to reinvent the education sector with unconventional ideas.
One such idea is ChemCaper, the world’s first educational RPG (role playing game) which brings into digital realm the learning of Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry, facilitating understanding of the subject through immersive 3D gameplay. Teacher and founder of ChemCaper, Anne Tham, stressed that education needs to catch up with technology or risk losing students in class.
Prior to its launch and still in its final stages of development, ChemCaper has garnered over 580 media coverages partly thanks to The One Academy graduates Kenta Choo Chen Peng and Roxanne Tan May Lynn. Under the developer ACE EdVenture Group, their marketing efforts for ChemCaper have earned them two Gold awards at the prestigious Summit Creative Award 2015 in 2 categories – Print Materials and Education Marketing.
The Summit Creative Award internationally recognises talents in the advertising field. The competitors for the award, be it agencies or individuals from over 50 countries across five continents, are judged by experts of the same field and are sifted through an exclusive selection process, allowing winners to broadcast their achievement with pride.
The response towards ChemCaper during the Game Developers Conference 2015 and Game Connection America 2015 in San Francisco were overwhelming. It was featured on one of the billboards in Times Square. To date, the project has also been covered in giant sites such as Bloomberg Business, Reuters, Yahoo! Finance and Fox, and has been featured on Google I/O, Gamasutra and IndieGames, all reputable platforms for discussing technological breakthroughs.
“For the game conference, instead of a typical press release write-up, we were inspired to create the complete game packaging itself,” said Kenta Choo, the Brand Designer for ChemCaper project. “Since we are already reinventing education, why not do the same and think out-of-the-box for the press kits?”
“Besides press kits, we also put together fun, captivating and playful marketing collaterals such as engaging pop-up business cards, a map of CampUngku (a town in the ChemCaper game) for the game’s brochure, media kits that are packaged like a Collector’s Edition game box and button badges with witty Chemistry wordplays,” asserted Roxanne Tan, ChemCaper’s project Visualiser.
Humor and wordplay carry a big part in the game’s storytelling and learning. The names of characters, mini-games, quests and game items correspond to concepts found in Chemistry. For instance, Petticles (derived from particles) and orbs help explain atomic structures and bonds.
For The One Academy’s Advertising & Graphic Design Graduate Roxanne Tan, the biggest challenge was to market the product across the categories of Education and Game. “We have to make sure that it appears relevant to both categories and appealing to our target audience as well because this will affect the outcome of the design and the message that we are trying to deliver to our audience,” she explained. “In a nutshell, it is simply finding the right balance between both Education & Game categories.”
Graduate in BA (Hons) Graphic Design Kenta Choo credits The One Academy for his success as the college’s holistic syllabus, Masters Train Masters philosophy (where guest lecturers from the creative industry present their real experiences) and constant encouragement to participate in competitions have moulded him into a seasoned artist for this project.
As for Roxanne Tan, “TOA has provided me the platform to expand my designs skills and further my skills development as well as provide me the exposure and also made me qualified to enter the education and game industry as a Visualiser.”
Evidently, advertising acts as a launching pad for ChemCaper to draw more attention – it catapults a vision closer to its goals using visionary ideas.
While the current advertising industry in Malaysia is rattled with dwindling margins and increase in competition within the region, what is certain is The One Academy of Communication Design’s continual mission to nurture the young and the talented to be savvy in the working creative industry.
Roxanne Tan May Lynn with her certificate and trophy from her Gold Summit Creative Award 2015 win.
A map of Camp Ungku, a town in ChemCaper, acting as a game brochure.
Part of the media kit for ChemCaper during the Game Developers Conference 2015 and Game Connection America 2015 in San Fransisco.
ChemCaper’s complete press kit and marketing collaterals that earned Roxanne Tan and Kenta Choo their Gold awards in Summit Creative Award 2015.