The Background Story
We’ve all been there. Looking for an afternoon caffeine-based pick-me-up and unable to take the time to prepare a delicious cup of the hot beverage workers worldwide recognize and rever, aka coffee.
The people at Lavazza, a leading Italian brand in the coffee industry, know this very well and have developed a solution to allow slouchy workers to simplify their coffee-break operations. They have created Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy, the first espresso machine with Alexa built-in. Voicy, the number one Lavazza product in 2021, allows you to personalize your coffee preferences and have your drink ready by a simple voice command.
Tired office employees are not the only ones to benefit from it. You might be thinking: can there be someone who needs to get hold of coffee handsfree more than a busy nine-to-fiver? Lavazza and their partner agency We Are Social have thought about a community that most of all might benefit from their innovation: gamers, a key target market in constant growth.
64% of gamers identify themselves as coffee drinkers. With that fact in mind, they set out to innovate a historic brand like Lavazza, speaking to the digital youth via their passion for gaming in an authentic and disruptive way.
We Are Social asked for Vocalime’s support in defining some aspects of the design of Lavazza Gaming Partner and taking care of the applications’ development. The moment that fans of video games could have with their espresso cup through Voicy was to be expanded through a dedicated Alexa skill to create a full 360 experience. The skill was not only to help streamline processes of set-up and streaming automation, but truly become a part of their everyday life.
It was to bear two souls to support gamers in their all-round needs: facilitator of software automation and performance coach.
With regards to the facilitator of software automation processes, the goal was to make streaming on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook, through the widely adopted platform Streamlabs OBS, easier and more fun.
As a performance coach, the Alexa skill “Lavazza Gaming Partner'' was to help users become the best gamers they could be, through a well-structured training program. Lavazza was already a partner of Fnatic, the world's leading esports organisation, with a winning legacy of 17 years and counting, in over 28 different titles. The gaming professionals at Fnatic were entrusted to curate the skill’s content.
We Are Social asked for Vocalime’s support in defining some aspects of the design of Lavazza Gaming Partner and taking care of the applications’ development.
The task at hand was certainly not easy, especially with the time being limited. The paramount amount of content to be featured within the skill’s environment and the integration of Streamlabs OBS were notable challenges that Vocalime was called in to overcome.
The first features of Lavazza Gaming Partner to launch were those related to software automation. In this challenge to perfect Lavazza Gaming Partner, we were the first worldwide to enable users to use Streamlabs OBS via voice commands. This means that with the simple command “Alexa, ask Lavazza Gaming Partner to start a live stream”, streamers can now directly go live. Once open, users can also change scenes and stop the live stream once they’re done.
The training program in collaboration with Fnatic was only released a few weeks later. Thanks to our expertise in the Amazon Alexa environment, we were able to advise We Are Social on platform-specific requirements and help them improve design aspects to generate a higher engagement.
Our suggestion to break down the training program into 15 days reportedly motivated users to return to the skill in this time period. This was also thanks to the reminder feature, which allowed gamers to set up daily notifications to remember to train. As veteran skill developers, we know our way around Alexa environments, so we could help prove creative ideas to ultimately obtain Amazon’s certification, without putting our partners’ vision at stake.
The final training program was structured by Jens Hofer, Fnatic’s Performance Coach, and it’s a simplified version of the Fnatic approach to their professional gamers’ development. The plan was structured to be completed in a 15-day time span, but users have the freedom to personalize their experience and establish their own rhythm.
For Lavazza Gaming Partner, Jens created three different categories of exercises: physical training, including strength and mobility exercises, mental training and meditation. Every day in the time frame users are given three to four exercises to complete, e.g. holding a plank, a couch stretch, a gratefulness exercise, and relaxing meditation to aid sleep. The trainee can also ask Alexa to move to the next exercise or to execute a specific exercise that was not specified in the daily recommendations.
One of the goals of Lavazza and We Are Social was to motivate the gamers and encourage them to better themselves. So, once their training session is over, the Alexa skill launches an ambitious and engaging challenge to the user in its favourite games. An example of a challenge that the Fnatic team has developed is “Get an elimination with 5 different weapons in a single match”, if the trainee has chosen to play a battle royale game.
To recount this revolutionary gaming experience with A Modo Mio Voicy and launch the skill on the Italian and U.K. markets, Giorgio Calandrelli, known for his Twitch channel POW3Rtv, was the obvious choice to partner with. Pow3r, Pro player and Fnatic Frontman, is known for his professional yet fun approach to gaming and Twitch streaming. Alongside the official Lavazza campaign (below), Lavazza Gaming Partner was featured in various livestreams on Giorgio’s 1.7-million-follower Twitch account.
Numbers and visibility are important for us at Vocalime, but what is more important is helping our partners succeed. Working with a tight deadline on these complex issues was no joke. Our determination and expertise allowed us to be efficient and punctual, while still meeting We Are Social’s all-round requirements. Watching amateur gamers and Fnatic professionals engage with and support Lavazza Gaming Partner is ultimately what makes us proudest.