LEGO – 40 years of collaboration and still going strong

Background

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We have been working with LEGO since 1976.

It was our first client and, having developed over 100 global product launches together, we’ve grown up with the LEGO brand. We have been part of their journey, helping them secure their place amongst the world's top three toy brands.

Unusually - at least in this day and age - this ascent to the top has been mainly built on communicating great product and play experiences, instead of big brand campaigns.

It's a long relationship and one of which we are exceptionally proud. We're more than just "the agency", we're a true partner. So how have we kept that relationship fresh for over 40 years? Well, it was a great match to begin with. Like millions of fans around the world, we simply love the LEGO brand. And beyond that, we take play seriously,and understand that quality toys and kids entertainment promote thinking and creativity, and encourage kids to explore.

Today, we work with LEGO in three main ways:

  • Concept and Intellectual Property (IP) development – from research and front-end concept development to the actual building of original Intellectual Properties (LEGO Bionicle, Hero Factory and LEGO Friends) in collaboration with designers and marketing in Billund. We also create unique launch concepts for existing IPs.
  • Campaign strategy and global marketing toolboxes – insightful, focussed strategies and campaign assets for LEGO's very different markets around the world.
  • Digital production and content creation – development of the campaign assets and content from packaging & print to stop-motion & CGI story starters to websites & social media engagement campaigns.
  • Notable achievements

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    At a critical time in the company’s history, we pitched an innovative idea for an original intellectual property – BIONICLE. Set in a unique visual universe, it revolved around an archetypal battle between good and evil. It was a bold move, but one that paid off as the property became a much-loved bestseller over its 10-year lifespan. It pushed the LEGO brand to the top of the industry and created tribes of dedicated fans, winning Advance the Advertising Effectiveness Award in both Denmark and the USA.


    BIONICLE’s success led to us helping to develop more original properties including Hero Factory, Power Miners, Exo-Force, Ultra Agents, Knights and many more. So it was a sweet moment last year when LEGO celebrated its place as #1 toy company in the world. This latest achievement was helped by growth in the girls’ toy category fuelled by the launch of LEGO Friends, a line that we helped develop and launch as well as subsequent girls’ toy themes including LEGO Disney and LEGO DC Super Hero Girls.

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    Some of the LEGO product lines we have helped bring to life:

    Team players

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    Most of the playthemes that we develop involve a range of partners and interests, as well as the local markets. We’ve developed launches and campaigns in conjunction with LUCAS Film, Disney, Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, EA, Porsche, Ferrari, Mojang and more. We put pride in our daily dealings with multiple stakeholders around the globe over the long development processes in the LEGO production world.

    LEGO Showreel

    Knowing the target

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    From research and early concept development, creative sparring and campaign design and implementation for different themes, we’ve gotten to know kids of all ages and cultures, as well as many adults and adult fans of LEGO (AFOLs). And we’ve seen how quickly kids can change and develop. Indeed, what’s cool for an 8-year-old can lose its appeal almost overnight.

    Dual-target marketing has come to be a unique area of our expertise. The delicate balancing act betweeninspiring desire for a product in a kid and communicating value and quality for their parent or gift-giver differs greatly across time, gender,ages and cultures. These are areas that we understand deeply for different markets around the globe.

    From creative and strategic sparring on LEGO Duplo to an original community outreach campaign for LEGO Minecraft, we dig deep and gather true insights to understand how best to communicate to different type of kids.

    After years working on boy and gender-neutral themes, the development and launch of LEGO Friends was a whole new ballgame. Over five years of extensive research went into the development of a new line and an integrated 360-degree global marketing campaign that challenged the dynamics of the girls’ toy category and, once again, helped push LEGO towards the top of the toy industry.

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    Some of the lines we've worked on:

    Adapting to change

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    We’ve always made great concepts, stories and campaigns for LEGO themes. From big bang launches to small campaigns, we’ve produced countless packaging designs, key visuals, in-store concepts, print ads and TVCs.

    But over time, we’ve also evolved our expertise in areas such as digital strategy and development, game and app creation, content production ranging from short-form to 22-minute TV specials, and social media engagement and community management.

    That’s led to a development in the make-up of our teams, which now mix experienced veterans with fresh new talents. And we never underestimate the power of packaging; because we know that when the campaign has left the building, the box has to do the job.

    But no matter how things are changing, the core of our approach remains unchanged: a determination to ensure coherence between the communication and the product and brand. One of the keys to maintaining any long-term relationship is not taking your partner for granted. We never forget what an honour it is to work for one of the world’s most beloved (and pitched for) brands.

    Get in touch

    Want to know more about our work with LEGO? Reach out to Client Service Director Jeppe Fonnesbæk.

    Jeppe Fonnesbæk

    Director, Head of Concept Activation, Partner

    40 31 35 66 JFR@advance.dk