Area Code, one of the world’s most innovative agencies for urban games based in New York, commissioned Pictoplasma to produce a family of more than 150 individual character designs, allowing visitors of the American pavilion at the Expo Shanghai 2010 to engage in a unique interactive adventure. The challenge was to enhance the exposure of Johnson & Johnson with an installation that not only engages the viewer into a playful experience, but also communicates notions of caring and connecting. Visitors were encouraged to give birth to their very own, individual character on a huge presentation screen by texting personal messages via their mobile phones. The incoming messages acted as the DNA to create unique critters that would accompany the visitors during their long stroll through the exhibition, and could be given further instructions to playfully interact with other characters on their way. Each interaction was accompanied by a little, rewarding animation and generated points that were ultimately transferred to real currency and donated by Johnson & Johnson for Chinese charity purposes. The individual characters live on and can be revisited while they continuously populate an ever-growing interactive website, where they can be re-transferred to the mobile phones of their creators