Gram Invaders: Hacking Insta Stories to create its very first 8-bit game

The challenge

The most valuable customers to a mobile network also happen to be the least responsive to traditional advertising. Typically younger and highly connected, these heavy mobile-spenders live their life through their phones. So how to keep up with an increasing thirst for novelty and innovation?

The plan

We inserted ourselves where Three’s audience spend most of their time: Instagram Stories. But not with an incongruous ad. With an 8-bit game that exploited the existing interface to create a clever one-off interactive experience.

As part of Three’s PhonesAreGood campaign, which pokily fights back at the anti-phone brigade, we created an 8-bit character – a purple-haired millennial determined to navigate the world without looking up from her phone. Your mission as the player: to help her dodge three levels of obstacles she encounters along the way.

The technical bit

Instagram Stories is not entirely passive in nature. Timely tapping allows the user to curate their own narrative depending on how quickly they choose to tap from one story to the next. 

We realised that a deeper sense of interactivity could be forged with a set of stories designed specifically to run seamlessly from one to the next, each with two outcomes: pass and fail. Tap when prompted and you’ll guide the girl to dodge the obstacle with a jump, somersault or slide, but let the story run its conclusion and you’ll see her fail (and throw a little tantrum).

But the best way to understand? Play the game!

Visit @ThreeUK on Instagram and click the Story Highlight “GramInvaders”

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ThreeUK: Gram Invaders

Hacking Insta Stories to create its very first 8-bit game

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