top of page

AFK Initiative

D&AD Newbloods Submission

For The D&AD Awards, Heinz put out a brief asking for a way to get gamers to enjoy Heinz without interrupting their gameplay.

We developed the AFK (Away From Keyboard) Initiative where we celebrate auto-farming in Minecraft and destigmatize the use of auto clickers so you can still grab a snack without interrupting your game.

Team Members

Jamie Ikley (XD) | Shoshana Cohen (ST) | Emma Finn (CW)

Phuc (Patrick) Nguyen (XD)


User & Game Play Research, Community Research, In-game Activation, 3D Design & Animation, Logo Design

grunge bground bigger.png


Gaming culture is saturated with brands, so it's imperative that Heinz understands the games and their communities.


There are slow moments of gameplay like grinding (a series of repetitive tasks) that players automate providing an opportunity for a snack break without pausing the game.


Recognize the Minecraft community's automatic Farming ingenuity with the Heinz: AFK Initiative.

Players Value Authenticity

Players are not receptive to brands entering their space without a genuine understanding of the game and its community.  We needed to find a way to naturally create a moment in gaming where players can take a break to grab a snack. Many brands are trying to enter this space, so the solution needs to be one that organically meets players and understands and utilizes the mechanics of the gameplay.

Game Console


Heinz can take the slow moments of Minecraft's gameplay (like resource collecting) and use that as an opportunity for players to grab a snack.

mc mining.gif
Improving Slow Moments of Gameplay

We wanted to take advantage of potentially dull moments in gameplay and turn them into snack break opportunities. We focused on games that required grinding (a series of repetitive tasks that gather resources or provide leveling experience). The game that we chose to focus on was Minecraft, as it has one of the largest online communities, is accessible for all ages, and grinding is one of its core mechanics.


Heinz can launch the AFK (Away From Keyboard) Initiative, helping players automate resource grinding so they have time to grab a bite to eat without pausing the game.

grunge bground bigger.png
AFK Initiative
Case Study Video

2 Minute Video summary and demonstration of the concept.

hero image minecraft.png
AFK Initiative

We created the AFK (Away From Keyboard) Initiative where we celebrated the concept of AFK farms in Minecraft.


The Minecraft community has always looked for and created innovative ways to automate the gathering of the game's resources so they have more time for building.

Heinz AFK Server

Heinz can reach out to key Minecraft content creators who have specialized in creating these farms. Heinz can host a server showcasing these farms while also providing an opportunity to engage with their favorite content creators.

Destigmatize Auto Clickers

Not all tasks can be completely automated solely with in-game mechanics. So Heinz can introduce its own auto clickers, so you can still take a snack break with these tasks. It will be made available to players as well as sent to streamers so they can take a break too.


A 3D printable model will be made available.

In Store Reach

For instore visibility Heinz can have a limited-run Minecraft inspired pixel art label.

grunge bground bigger.png


I really enjoyed this project as gaming is one of my passions. It was necessary that we did a good job researching Minecraft's players and gameplay of the game itself to make sure the solution felt authentic and fun rather than intruding into their space. I really like the fact that we were able to capitalize on such an overlooked aspect of the game and community.

If you would like to learn more about this project or see my process, I would love to talk. I can be reached at

bottom of page