In order to promote its recently released movie, the eponymous colourful building blocks brand unleashed a media first and took over an entire ad break during the final of ITV’s “Dancing on Ice”.
The real magic was that it teamed up with the British Heart Foundation, Premier Inn, BT and Confused.com and created Lego versions of its ads. This delivered a set of charming, playful and ultimately funny ads that tapped into the audience’s inner-child and connected with a sense of “child’s play” in anyone who had played with Lego in the past or whose kids play with Lego today.
The TV event was the product of many creative minds. The content was conceived by creative agency PHD and its sister content agency Drum. The ads were created by ITN Productions and Bricksports, a company that specialises in re-imaging major sporting events in Lego.
This multitude of contributors doesn’t spoil the experience. Instead, the audience was presented with an ad spot that genuinely delighted. By turning the whole ad break into a Lego experience, it immediately drew the viewer into the world of Lego and invited you to extend the experience and see the film.
The ad break also highlighted that there is space on mainstream TV for advertising that is quirky and has a sense of playful irreverence. It cleverly played upon consumers’ love for Lego and created a kind of mini movie-moment – far more entertaining than the usual ads.
For me, the bit that really stood out was seeing hard-man Vinnie Jones completely “Legoised” – maybe he should consider a Lego makeover on a permanent basis; frankly he looked more approachable than usual.
However, there was one thing missing for me. The real wit, humour and the slightly rebellious, anarchic behaviour of children was absent. The clever Lego UGC videos spoofing blockbusters that you can find on YouTube truly encompass it and capture the imaginative and playful worlds we create as children, often out of Lego. For instance, the Eddie Izzard Darth Vader Canteen Lego film is a true gem. I’m sure Eddie Izzard would approve, but perhaps Lego would not.
Mike Cavers is executive creative director at DST Global Insight Group (The GIG at DST)