CR Blog

Imagine with Lego


Posted by Eliza Williams, 20 March 2012, 10:42    Permalink    Comments (71)

German ad agency Jung von Matt has created this charming print campaign to advertise Lego. The ads feature minimalist interpretations of some of our best-loved cartoon characters, all created with blocks of Lego: can you guess who's who?

Here's a clue: The Simpsons, Asterix and Donald Duck all feature. We'll let you work out the rest.


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Got to love Lego advertising. Bit of a dream brief really.
Tom Heaton
2012-03-20 10:57:17

These are great. Not sure they are the most effective advert for Lego, but great all the same.
Liam Brazier
2012-03-20 11:00:44

Brilliant cant get last one though...
2012-03-20 11:00:49

The Simpsons
Donald Duck and Hughie, Dewey and Louie
Asterix and Obelix and Dogmatix
Bert and Ernie
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2012-03-20 11:02:31

Really sweet and simple idea, taking away just enough to make you think about the cartoons and the structure of lego.
Tomm Warham
2012-03-20 11:03:09

Oh I love this campaign ! pretty smart. I guessed them all but bert and ernie lol !
2012-03-20 11:09:49

Got the lot, that must be the result of not having a misspent youth.

Interesting way to go, using your imagination to create something from Lego. The opposite to what Lego do now in creating everything for you in specific kit form with the details painted on.
2012-03-20 11:12:35

All great a part from Asterix.
Joe Green
2012-03-20 11:12:45

Great I got them all, once I read the clues. Without the clues I got The Simpsons, Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bert and Erney.......
Laurens Nockels
2012-03-20 11:25:45

Brilliant campaign. Clever, engaging, right on brand. And the Turtles one is ace.
2012-03-20 11:29:51

Definitely seems like more of a blogosphere-aimed campaign, can't see this working on a billboard out of context, let alone appealing to kids.

Got to say though, that South Park one is genius :)
2012-03-20 11:32:50

Charming, yes, but why the need to feed on other brands in this way? One-liner appeal aside, I think this falls flat. What sets Lego apart from so many other children's toys (and no doubt accounts for its longevity) is that it creates opportunities for 'open play'. I suppose in some ways these reflect that, but that message is obscured by the references to popular characters.

And to pre-empt the usual slapdown of anyone who dares to criticise: no I probably couldn't do better.
2012-03-20 11:50:08

Stunning. Except, I can't help see the Street Fighter stuff infinite continues did a few years back -
Matt Kenyon
2012-03-20 11:52:14

2012-03-20 11:54:03

Wow, this sums up why lego is such a good tool for kids (and adult) to be creative. Lego, along with my colouring books was the only thing I ever played with. I think I'd still be as happy playing lego as I was when I was little.
2012-03-20 11:56:23

Yeah, was going to post the links in the last few comments. Ripped off that games blog.
2012-03-20 12:03:21

It's great, but how many children who play with lego today know who these characters are?

Although that's not to say that lego is just for children.
2012-03-20 12:05:45

Also reminds me a little of the fantastic minipops stuff craig robinson was doing years ago.

Just sayin
2012-03-20 12:12:48

Personally I think these are great but who is the campaign aimed at? Parents?! Surely none of the kids today would get these.
2012-03-20 12:14:22


I think it is very clever. Lego have clearly identified that people of a certain age to know and love all these characters will now be buying toys for their children.

Give the memory a jog about how good their childhood was when playing with their lego and bingo, mission accomplished.
Jamie Long
2012-03-20 12:21:09

Lovely stuff.

But I bet it never runs. It's 'scam' to win awards, isn't it?
2012-03-20 12:22:58

RIPOFF: InfiniteContinues did it years ago!
2012-03-20 12:23:53

Lovely but yeah it's a rip off. Numerous illustrators have been doing these for a while... Can't be bothered to find links, check the archives!
2012-03-20 12:26:08

Got 'em all thanks to a Lego-tastic childhood and a 5 year-old who's equally Lego mad.
Respect to Bert and Ernie!
2012-03-20 12:35:13

Brilliant. Reminds you that you've never grown up.
2012-03-20 12:38:49

I think this has already been done...

tut tut
2012-03-20 12:43:19

Yes I think once you've been given a hint, they're great. (I tested them out on an 11 year old Lego addict, the Simpsons got 'COOL!' but the rest just got a grunt but that's eleven year olds for you). But anyway isn't it refreshing that Lego are focussing on imagination, that's what it was all about 'back in the day' wasn't it?!! Just been using a bit of Lego in one of my latest projects as it happens.
alison Bates - Pingsweetie
2012-03-20 12:43:59

Lovely but wish the Lego logo would get a bit of consideration, love it but it could be refined in its application slightly I think. Looks a bit plonked on and old.
Greig Anderson
2012-03-20 12:46:02

I do like the simplicity - But doesn't it sort of miss the point? Yes it's clever, but why tug on the heart strings of people who realistically would need to be 25+ to understand all or most of the references made?

I guess it's hard to judge how successfully they've answered the brief without seeing what it was - I know Scalectrix did a 'nostalgic' campaign to target parents a few years ago, but for me that made a little more sense.
Dan Clarke
2012-03-20 12:48:07

check out for detailed lego characters
2012-03-20 12:51:13

2012-03-20 12:58:35

Ninja Turtles never looked so good
2012-03-20 13:10:28

Yes this has probably been done, designers grab inspiration from everywhere - if you have the time and your screen is facing away from the boss you will find similar examples. Does it pass the 'so-what' test, maybe/maybe not, but the cost will be a drop in the ocean for LEGO. It's certainly already evoking a response!

The simplicity of the brand + photography + message are there for all to too much into if you dare, it's LEGO, and as always, it's got Oomph!
2012-03-20 13:19:17

Dan Clarke - Lego refer to something called the 'Wilderness years' - the time between where you stop playing with lego as a child and start again as an adult. Clearly this advert is designed to lure more adults out of the wilderness.
2012-03-20 13:20:57

Why the need for criticism and post-campaign critique?

Jung von Matt have obviously used the incredible popularity and creativeness of lego (as a toy and company) to experiment with very simple forms. After all lego is at its rawest form a simple brick, its the combination of bricks that make lego what it is.

We've seen it a hundred times before; life size constructions of buildings, characters and people. Bravo to JvM for going in the opposite direction and delivering.

Surely the most appealing and engaging aspects of this campaign is that you have to think, use your imagination and study. Just because something isn't so blindingly obvious doesn't make it open for attack, JvM aren't advertising washing up liquid.

Personally i love it when stripped back simplicity rules the day over obvious, patronising tosh.

As for the idea being ripped off from the linked source previously mentioned, if its true, thats a real shame but hopefully an incredible coincidence.
2012-03-20 14:07:02

A campaign by South African Art Director won Grand Prix at Cannes in 2006. Same text.. "Imagine". Do Look it up
2012-03-20 14:47:27

The power of Branding theses days they were all very easy to guess
Karl Foster
2012-03-20 16:07:00

Fantastic. I can't work out who it is in the one before Bert & Ernie though!!
2012-03-20 16:52:21

Some posters above are complaining that these ads aren't aimed at children; but surely they're not supposed to be. Kids don't have any money. I think these ads are trying to appeal to parents' nostalgia using cultural references they understand. The ads aren't perfect, but they're not as stupid as some suggested.
Copywriter Northern Ireland
2012-03-20 17:33:05

It's interesting that the cartoon references a particular era of childhood - [obviously those who are now old enough to drive to the store and buy the lego for themselves or their kids] - but I think the fact that cartoons from that period can be distilled into such simplistic colour bands and still be recognisable is a testament to the art and even the commercial culture of the period.

Now cartoons and products are so blase and forgettable - nothing ever really sticks. What will the kids of today have to iconographise when they become a generation of advertisers and art directors - or will their references be product-as-toys like iPhones and iPads over the cartoons we cherished in our youth?
2012-03-20 17:35:00

Love this.
2012-03-20 17:39:12

The Simpsons
Donald Duck and Hughie, Dewey and Louie
Asterix and Obelix and Dogmatix
Bert and Ernie
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
All in now ,how great do they look............
Great Branding.
2012-03-20 18:16:07

Ripp off.
2012-03-20 18:42:05

Nice stolen idea but doesn't work properly. In the end it's a cannes lion as always. Advertising for advertisers.
2012-03-20 19:30:10

Reminds me of a great book by Cristoph Nieman called 'I (heart) N.Y.'

Bought a little smile to my mind
2012-03-20 21:04:50

Imagine if children had imaginations instead of regurgitating machines...

Obviously aimed at parents who used their imagination in the past,
and would like their children to use some too, I presume.

Homer is looking a tad svelte there, but hey, great fun campaign chaps!
2012-03-20 21:22:04!/MattBloomFilms/status/161406754683502592/photo/1

did not the designers of the posters consider an oatmeal carpet background?
david janes
2012-03-21 00:05:45

This is absolutely amazing. Does exactly what it's meant to do, make us imagine. Brilliant.
2012-03-21 01:44:35

Excellent stuff!
Chris Raybould
2012-03-21 03:08:04

jvm is quite famous for ripoffs. but a 1:1 copy is even for them pretty embarrassing.
2012-03-21 08:57:27

There seems to be a very mixed feeling from the comments on this post. I like these posters and was happy to recognise each of the characters being portrayed here although I am unaware of the original that these are supposed to be a rip off.

It reminds me of how useful lego can be. Such instances I can think of is the White Stripes music video and also the house that Top Gear Presenter, James May, had entirely constructed out of lego.
The Shrunken Designer
2012-03-21 09:37:14

With a title like "imagine" and a wonderful brand like logo, is this the best they could come up with. Piss poor IMO.
Peter McCabe
2012-03-21 11:04:24

@Jamie and others

Yes, it makes us imagine, or more so just remember...and if people buy them for their children because of that then great, but...

What exactly does a child take away from this?

Can they really interpret anything, as opposed to building something that they know is e.g a car?

(I'm just trying to create debate)
2012-03-21 11:15:43

There are some really thick people on the thread. These ads aren't aimed at adults or kids. They're aimed at juries. Something similar has already won at cannes and no doubt this will do as well. It's an utterly irrelevant campaign.
2012-03-21 11:44:44


Sure it's a sparkler project, just for awards...But it still has to be contextualised.
2012-03-21 12:47:37

I think by the time you have stopped and tried to understand the message Lego are trying to deliver, a lot of people would of moved on to the next page.
Neil Townsend
2012-03-21 13:21:55

I did this years ago? it sure as hell wasnt on creative review blog. f*ck this business.
2012-03-21 23:07:38

When did Lego start making flesh coloured bricks?
2012-03-22 09:30:41

There is no denying that this is a beautifully simple and clever concept, even if the source of the idea is in dispute.

I would have liked it that little bit more if Jung von Matt had been a little braver for it not make it smack of 'look how clever we are'. Perhaps some contextual lego backgrounds or mini dioramas.
Luke Knight
2012-03-22 19:30:13

Love this, have you tried building this with the laser pegs attachments that light up? Check them out if you haven't seen them yet
2012-03-26 15:57:53

Jeez! It's only lego! All those negative comments! Says more about the people leaving the feedback than the product they are having a pop at. GET A LIFE!
2012-03-28 12:23:03


Commenters aren't having a pop at the product – They're having a pop at the advertising, which for many of them either is or is directly related to their job (and for a global client like Lego is probably pretty lucrative). It's professional interest, not just idle snarking.
2012-03-28 15:07:22

Creative! I love the South Park ones. I really wish I could be that creative!!
Ken OBrien Graphic Design
2012-03-29 16:01:57

Personally i don't like it, I don't think it works and cannot see the benefit of this campaign to what could have been done. It's a nice creative idea though.
2012-04-05 15:04:46

Love it. Even if it was stolen!
2012-04-06 14:45:44

They are great!
Don't see how you get "Ashlie" for the last group though. You need to search a little deeper....
2012-07-12 16:44:14

I love this campaign, so minimalistic but because of the reputation of the characters you just know what they are. I wish there were more lego campaigns like this with slogans.

2013-01-22 09:06:46

Love this, minimalism works every time. Perfect.
Brigit Hegarty
2013-01-22 12:35:00

Love this, minimalism works every time. Perfect.
Brigit Hegarty
2013-01-22 14:17:29

Brought a smile to my face. Lovely simple execution - wish I was still a kid.
2013-01-22 14:34:38

Ha, love the top image. Simple and effective. I
2013-05-31 07:34:13

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