Québec en Forme is leading a campaign on several fronts to reach its target audience. As part of these initiatives, Frédéric Therrien (deputy director, marcomm) and Marie Élaine Normand (marketing advisor) had to resolve the dilemma of deciding whether, in an effort to get youths away from their screens, they should develop a mobile application.
This approach is a matter of making a compromise. “We have to go get them where they are,” states Frédéric. “We wanted to persuade them to be active and we did everything we could to minimize the time they spend on our application. Unlike other platforms that claim they keep screen time down to an average of twenty minutes, we wanted youths to use our app only as a quick, on-the-go source of ideas for activities.”
WIXX features coach Lionel who has lost his “Mojojumbo.” To help him recover it, you have to do exercises that allow him to overcome various obstacles in his quest.
To achieve success, you have to get active… and show it! Players have to send a photo or short video of themselves to Québec en Forme showing that they’ve completed the challenge. And after three levels, you cannot progress further without validation from Québec en Forme.
Bizarre, you say? Québec en Forme’s gamble was that with amusing characters, zany situations, and a storyline that piqued players’ interest in finding out more, youths aged 9 to 13 would keep coming back to help the lovable coach. “The first version of our application didn’t tell a story, which we realized would give it a short shelf life,” says Frédéric Therrien.
The 2.0 version seems to be a winner since Québec en Forme has received nearly 20,000 confirmations of physical activity sessions in the five months following its launch. “When we launched the application with our communications campaign, we’d receive up to 1,000 files a day,” states Marie Élaine Normand. “We responded to users very quickly, even on weekends.”
This success is surely due to the attention the application’s developers devoted to the way youths speak in their script’s narration. To make sure they reflected the world of 9-to-13-year-olds, they sought their views. “We didn’t want Lionel to sound too much like an adult,” says Frédéric. He overuses exclamation marks, and we worked on his expressions. We tested the text with many different types of users. We wanted the avoid the alienating effect of a character who spoke perfect French.”
Lionel’s adventure has enabled many youths to discover WIXX. Is this the end? “We’ll have something to announce in 2017,” asserts Frédéric. Québec en Forme pursues its campaign until 2019.