Lego is such a dominant part of the children’s toy market that it is surprising to discover that it has been over three decades since it last released an ad.
Parents might feel that Lego is everywhere, with the brand’s hugely successful film and magazine franchises constantly putting it front-and-centre in kids’ minds. Yet while these are arguably excellent pieces of advertising in themselves, the messaging in Lego’s new ad campaign speaks to the broader creative benefits offered in its products. The campaign will run on TV, social and out-of-home and at its centre is the tagline Rebuild the World.
“Creative problem-solving skills are needed now more than ever,” says Rémi Marcelli, Senior VP Lego and Head of the Lego Agency, of the reasoning for running the campaign now. “As recognised by The World Economic Forum, the future job market will look very different from today – due to the advancement of automation and digitation. Creative problem-solving skills will therefore be one of the most important and valued qualities any job candidate can have. With Rebuild the World, we want to remind the world of the full value of Lego, a fun play experience that is tapping into kids’ passion points and enables role play, but that also stimulates and develops creativity.”
The campaign, created by BETC Paris and the Lego Agency, features a major commercial shot by Traktor. And despite the more serious message that underpins it, the spot is out-and-out fun, with the directing collective creating a Lego world IRL, complete with a selection of surreal touches and a plethora of in-jokes for Lego fans.
Accompanying the TV spot is a delightfully simple and elegant poster campaign, which puts the joy of Lego bricks front and centre via a series of witty scenes where convention is turned on its head. We see sharks chased by a school of fish, male cheerleaders with bushy beards, and a car emitting a bouquet of flowers from its exhaust. The posters also present a subtle move away from the Lego kits – where children create specific sets designed by the brand – to the notion that Lego can be used to create your own creative visions.
“People think of Lego as construction or building, but not creativity,” says Rémi Babinet, BETC Founder and Creative Director. “Not build, rebuild, fail – these kinds of things. Lego is a fantastic system because you can build ‘reality’ and you can take the reality and change it a little bit, the possibilities are infinite.”
The Lego campaign is an unusual example of a blockbuster ad campaign that avoids going too far down the purpose route. The line ‘Rebuild the World’ is brilliant in its literal associations with the Lego product but also in its scope as a utopian dream for kids. However, thankfully for everyone, the brand has resisted being too earnest in its application of the message.
Babinet admits that the agency and Lego’s in-house team went through a lengthy process to get the tone correct. “We began a little bit too high in terms of being too intellectual, too adult,” he says. “We had big discussions with the client and found the right balance.”
Instead, the resulting campaign has the right amount of fun – with even occasional toilet humour – for kids, with a deeper underlying message that will no doubt prove appealing to parents. “It has different levels – just fun, just crazy – or a little bit about society too, what could happen to make it better,” says Babinet. “There are different levels of ‘Rebuild the World’.”
Agency: BETC; Lego Agency
Lego Agency Creative Team: Rémi Marcelli; Vivi K Schlägelberger; Lucas Reynoso Vizcaino; Lotte Baek Stokholm; Ryan Cooper-Brown; Christian Myhre Nygaard; Genevieve Capa Cruz; Leah Juaymah Mababangloob
BETC ECD: Rémi Babinet
BETC Creative Directors: Agnès Cavard; Valérie Chidlovsky
Production company: Stink