Nintendo Switch and Xbox may not be obvious platforms for multichannel marketing initiatives, but an ad agency has expanded into gaming to boost brand awareness – and bring some joy to kids along the way.

Daniel Brian Advertising and California-based pediatric healthcare network Valley Children’s Healthcare have debuted “Castle on the Coast,” a video game that leverages an uplifting narrative to appeal to children under the organization’s care. The game might have appeal for older generations as well, given its retro, Nintendo 64-ish look and feel.

“When kids are given a sense of hope or joy, they are 2.5 times less likely to need additional hospitalization,” said Daniel Brian Advertising CEO Daniel Brian Cobb. “So we actually have data on things we’ve been believing for a long time – that hope, joy and dopamine in our brains are healing agents. We thought this would be a great way to expand on the idea.”

The game centers around George the Giraffe, the Valley Children’s Healthcare mascot who also appears in a book series launched by the network. The goal: To forge a stronger emotional bond with patients, and perhaps provide a unique brand experience along the way.

“A lot of hospitals are working toward brand experience, and people think about things like better service,” Cobb said. “But your brand experience can be something like a giraffe that ends up in a video game and brings a kid a moment of joy.

Cobb noted that, for this particular program, the video game medium itself is the primary driver of the message.

“When a brand is viewed in a premium media, like when we see a brand on TV, it shows that brand is a significant player in the marketplace,” he explained. “When a brand is on a Nintendo Switch, it elevates to another level.”

Cobb believes video gaming as brand experience won’t stop with George the Giraffe. He considers it a new frontier that will allow healthcare marketers to engage with customers, especially younger ones, in an even more personal way.

“Video gaming is the next frontier for ad agencies and marketers alike, and the beginning of what I believe will be a significant movement in the way marketing thinks,” he added.

To watch a video of the game, click here.