Playgrounds don’t only exist physically anymore. Children are playing together virtually more often, and adults with bad intentions are finding their way into this world as well. To counter this, Wunderman Thompson Benelux created the 'OK Groomer' game for Child Focus. A virtual playground in which children playfully learn how to outsmart online groomers – adults who approach children for sexual contact.
A whole world against grooming
Grooming rates have skyrocketed during the lockdowns. And reports of grooming have continued to rise at Child Focus, the Belgian Center for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children. That’s why they decided to tackle the problem where it occurs, in online games, and more specifically in the hyper-popular Roblox: a virtual universe in the metaverse where children can play and create games for free.
Groomers found their way onto this platform as well. So, to help the fight against them, we launched Ok Groomer. An educational Roblox world in which young gamers learn to fight online grooming through a series of mini-games. Groomer tactics pop into these games like the bad guys in games. When kids learn to outwit and defeat them, they earn coins that they exchange for groomer repelling skins: the ultimate proof meant to keep the online predators away.
To remain relevant in the future, new mini-games are added sporadically. In this way, ‘OK Groomer’ will always remain topical as a tool in the fight against online groomers.
A campaign for all ages
“By playing OK Groomer, children will learn to identify, block and report suspicious profiles online. A valuable lesson in games as well as on social media. That’s why OK Groomer will soon be part of the curriculum in several schools”, says Kasper Janssens, creative director at Wunderman Thompson Benelux.
Besides children, it is also important to sensitise parents. Therefore, a broader-targeted OK Groomer campaign is also rolled out on social media aimed at young parents. They will get all the info on the problem of online grooming and practical tips to keep an eye on it.
Client: Child Focus
Contact: Stephan Smets, Stéphanie Leyn
Agency: Wunderman Thompson Benelux
Chief Creative Officer: Sandra Bold
Executive Creative Director: Kristof Snels
Creative Directors: Kasper Janssens, Arjen Tarras
Creatives: Cedric Trefois, Tijs Dejonckheere
Account Managers: Diede Michiels, Barbara Van Duffel
Strategy: Alexander Kolenberg
Design: KingComa, Jeffrey Uten, Jorg Meyer, Cedric Trefois
Copywriters: Jelle Raats, Tom De Block, Gavin Watt, Jerome Van Den Broeck
Digital Project Manager: Hugo Groensmit
Development: Bram Verdyck, Joran Schaeffer, Giele Cools, Sofie Gagelmans, Sam Serrien, Koen Speelmeijer
Motion Design: Bert Beckers, Karel Van Gucht
Production: Caroline Van Ranst
Sound Design: Menno Van Riet