Colgate USA approached Candyspace to create an e-Reader app focused at kids aged four to eight. The project had the dual goals of developing the kids’ oral hygiene habits, and their reading skills. As the centrepiece of Colgate’s Bright Smiles Bright Futures initiative it would need to work across mobile and tablet, for download on iOS and Android devices.

Candyspace were tasked with devising the full user experience for the app, creating original illustration & character design, producing the campaign look & feel, curating sound design, directing animation and of course, a full technical build. As an additional challenge we needed to build stories, and new characters, around the existing heroes of the epic Colgate ‘Tooth Defenders’ campaign.


We always start with the User and the e-Reader was no different. We began by producing detailed user-journeys to fully understand how both children and adults alike would use the app. From these we were able to draw up page-by-page wireframes testing them until users, and Colgate, were happy with both the structure and experience.

The app was developed using Ionic’s mobile SDK. The cross platform framework enabled us to publish to both iOS and Android markets while maintaining a single codebase. Regardless of screen size or hardware limitations, the same tactical, engaging experience was delivered across the board. Using local storage within the app meant teachers and parents in areas of weaker connectivity could continue on with the next book.


The app was released simultaneously on both iOS and Android, instantly gaining new fans all over the world! Children were able to tap, swipe and laugh their way to a better oral hygiene routine. Engagement rates were exceptionally high, with 90% of users reading and completing all of the stories, and over 75% regularly returning to re-read their favourite ‘Tooth Defenders’ tales!

The Colgate Bright Smiles App is due to expand yet again in 2017, with more original interactive stories being added. Thanks to the application's backend services communicating with Ionic's cloud infrastructure, we are able to seamlessly deploy updates with the push of a button enabling more kids, reading more languages, in more locations around the world to enjoy the experience.

Bringing these stories to life was magical. We found the right balance of ui, illustration, animation and sound design.

David Carroll, Senior Designer, Candyspace