IGA builds a virtual world for its Tough Cookies

The latest fundraiser for the Fondation Charles-Bruneau includes a video game to bring kids' ideas to life.


IGA and Sid Lee have paired up with the Fondation Charles-Bruneau to help bring to life the imaginations of children living with or in remission from cancer.

The initiative, which is the latest iteration of IGA’s “Tough Cookies” campaign, includes an online video game created by Sid Lee that draws upon ideas given to the agency by children from Fondation Charles-Bruneau. Those who purchase temporary tattoos from the Fondation – the designs for which were once again conceived by the kids – are also given access to the game. The tattoos are available at all IGA locations in Quebec and New Brunswick until June 22.

“We wanted an interactive fundraising campaign that created a dialogue and, above all, a positive experience that children living with or in remission from cancer could share with their families, to prolong the impact of the gift,” says Caroline Duhamel, marketing director for IGA.

The tattoos depict four characters based on favourite foods of the kids who conceived them: Starfruit Ninja, the Skiing Cherry Twins, Madame Grape and Poirau the Magician. Each of the characters depicted are also featured as heroes in the video game, which takes place in the magical world of tastes – sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami. In the game, umami becomes upset about being underappreciated and seeks vengeance against the other flavors. The plot is inspired by one of the side effects of cancer treatments, which is a loss or alteration of taste.

Sid Lee’s digital team developed the tattoos, environments, characters, powers and sound effects based on the ideas of the children – part of the agency’s push to test and expand its own internal digital capabilities. The team developed the entirety of the game.

Previous “Tough Cookie” campaigns have also had a digital bent to them, such as using AR to animate the tattoos.

“This digital component gives us the opportunity to do more, better and to support visionary clients like IGA on projects like these,” says Yanick Bedard, managing digital director at Sid Lee.