Having worked with the LEGO Group as their UK experiential marketing agency since 2015, we’ve seen many Christmases come and go in a snowy flurry of excitement, joy and creative brand-in-hand play. However, Christmas 2020 was different. We were in the midst of planning to deliver a more inclusive Holiday experiential activation for people, no matter where they live, when the global pandemic hit. What we quickly learnt is that some of the solutions to create inclusive experiences also resolved the challenges posed by Covid-19.
The LEGO Group’s global brand campaign, Rebuild the World, is all about seeing where imagination takes us and celebrating the natural creativity of children – while building resilience through creative problem solving. Never had we been more in need of the ‘rebuild’ mantra when we were planning an experience to engage and build brand love with UK families; albeit in a socially distanced manner, without touching any bricks, and uncertain if anyone would even be allowed out of their homes to visit.
For many brands, 2020 saw an immediate pause to experiential marketing and a pivot to virtual events (remember Zoom quizzes anyone?). After a long period of contingency planning, as a brand and agency team there was a collective feeling that we needed to bring some positivity and joy to families nationwide – as long as we could do so safely and adapt the experience practically so this could be enjoyed across the nation without needing to leave home.
Fast forward to November 2020, and the brand experience was live in Covent Garden, London; an immersive walkthrough journey of the LEGO Group’s lyrical ‘Really Cool World’ TV campaign, featuring awe-inspiring LEGO big builds created by the imaginations of children. We were fortunate to have a large outdoor site space which complied with pchat lens experiences for the brand campaign were also integrated, to ensure an at-home engagement could be every bit as fun as a real-life visit.
A Really Cool World by The LEGO Group, Covent Garden London, 2020
Of course, we all know how December 2020 unfolded and the doors did have to close on the live experience two weeks early. However, we had contingency planned for this and the momentum that had been built up around the activation through earned and paid media meant it lived on in digital form, giving families the chance to feel connected to the brand wherever they were in the country.
While Christmas 2020 might be a time many of us want to forget, we learnt some valuable lessons that we took forward into this year’s activation. Chiefly that the more accessible and multi-layered we can make a brand experience, both online and offline, the more consumers we can engage and positively impact. The tangible nature of a live brand activation is also vital for its reach and visibility, especially in earned media.
The LEGO Group and The Producers are bringing a new brand experience, the Carousel of Creativity, to Covent Garden, currently live until 2nd January and available to experience online at LEGO.com . Read more about this year’s Christmas campaign here.
The Carousel of Creativity by the LEGO Group, Covent Garden 2021
Author: Lucy Porter, Head of Planning & Innovation at The Producers