A new name and identity for a ground-breaking mental health treatment initiative funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). gameChange is positioned to help radically transform healthcare using new virtual reality (VR) technologies that enable life-changing outcomes in mental health.


For Professor Daniel Freeman and the team at Oxford VR – a spin off from Oxford University – winning the NIHR’s i4i Mental Health Challenge Award meant that they had the opportunity to create a step-change in therapeutic approaches for people with serious mental health conditions. In order to make this goal a reality, they would need to successfully recruit and run a clinical trial before implementing the treatment through the National Health Service (NHS). They needed a name and identity that could represent this new way of using state-of-the-art virtual reality technologies in mental health and appeal to health care providers, potential recruits, and, ultimately, people requiring access to therapy.


Given this range of stakeholders, Straightline built a foundation of insights that looked at how clinical trials are named and how those names can impact the success, or failure, of the lifecycle of a trial. Through workshops, research, and Straightline’s unique tools, the team was able to generate a long list of potential names the best of which were tested with potential users. This process resulted in the name gameChange which uniquely encompasses the innovative therapeutic approach, and its potential impact on both patients and the healthcare community at large. It was also the catalyst for the brand identity including the wordmark logo highlighting the word ‘change’, the use of warm colors, and the overall feel of communications. The new brand is already delivering the pioneering spirit, optimism, and enthusiasm of the initiative across both digital and print channels, achieving extensive media coverage and successfully recruiting its first “gameChangers.”