Stride gum is making video games as simple as sitting and chewing gum. With a new promotional effort, the brand -- owned by Mondelez International -- has introduced “Gumulon,” perhaps the world’s first chewing-based mobile game.
Using the front-facing camera on iOS (Apple) mobile devices, the players use their mouths to control the intergalactic game. A simple chewing motion causes the main character, Ace, to jump and advance through levels of the game, which takes place in a cavernous outer space mine (on the planet “Gumulon”). While working in the mine, Ace awakens a cave beast from which he must escape by climbing out of the mine to freedom.
“The Stride brand has always sought to entertain through product innovation, promotions or overall communication, and our new Gumulon game is no exception,” Lauren Sella, Stride brand manager, tells Marketing Daily, in response to e-mailed questions. “The Stride brand seeks to celebrate people who fearlessly live their life and ‘do their thing’ despite what other people may think about them. By creating Gumulon, we continue to celebrate those who put ourselves out there and daringly try something new.”
The game is available as a free download in the App store. The software used to track the user’s chewing movements was developed specifically for the game. (Agencies behind the game are Wieden + Kennedy London and Johnny Two Shoes.) “We all know the reasons why people chew gum -- for pleasure, stress relief, breath freshening, oral care, etc. -- but we decided to create a gum usage that's truly unique and memorable,” Sella says. “Once we came up with the concept, we needed to create face-tracking software to make Gumulon work and seem natural to control a game by chewing.”
Increasing brand awareness, players can scan bar codes from each of the brand’s nine flavors to unlock different bonuses and gain playing advantages.
To boost viral appeal, the game also uses the device’s front-facing camera to capture a still of the player’s face whenever Ace falls into the jaws of the monster. The image also includes a top score that can be shared across social media channels. The brand will support the game through mobile and TV media, as well as through its Dew Tour sponsorship, Sella says.