• Company: Nickelodeon

  • Design: Steven Ackerman

  • Creative Director: Jake Barlow

Nickelodeon AddictingGames Rebrand

AddictingGames held an important place in the mindshare of its audience — the eight- to twelve-year-old group that Nickelodeon's partners keenly target. But after Nick took over, traffic quickly fell off. Technology trends were partly to blame, but the edgy youth brand was softening, and Viacom's ad strategy was scattershot. As Senior Web Designer, I worked on solving these problems.


User research showed that a stronger Nickelodeon brand association would reduce the property's appeal to its target audience. However, short-term business interests prevailed over longer-term brand-building strategy, as other Nick-associated channels sought to capitalize on AddictingGammes' high DAUs for their own traffic and impressions benefit. Thus, a bold infusion of brand ownership and Nickelodeon IP was folded into the mix.   

And so the high-wire balancing act began. The first step was proving the property's cultural relevancy. We transformed AddictingGames from its indie startup persona into a title that could sit comfortably under the family-friendly Nickelodeon banner. The challenge was to continue to reference the nerdy, DIY, and edgy vibethat had drawn in a loyal fanbase in the first place.


The next step was finalizing the logo, design system, and style guide. Then we retrofitted the site to work with existing assets, optimized for performance, and built a mobile site to promote mobile content.


The scrum team's stories then centered around ways to increase engagement, and uniques, while simultaneously increasing impressions. We optimized traffic with mutivariate tests. And we rolled out a curated-list feature, a sort of treasure hunt, giving pageviews a measurable shot in the arm.