Traditionally, LEGO has treated Christmas like any other retail campaign, showcasing products/price points to get it on wishlists.
Consumers today expect more from brands they love, and if UM were to achieve LEGO’s ambition it needed to go beyond ‘selling’ and find an ownable role for LEGO at Christmas; one that blended the spirit of the brand with the spirit of the season.
BRAND INSIGHT: Christmas is a cluttered time of year to inject your brand and for toy brands it’s even worse. Luckily it had a major advantage – everyone loves LEGO. It’s the one toy that truly brings families together, sparks imagination, and helps everyone suspend reality; all attributes that make for a perfect Christmas.
CONSUMER INSIGHT: Recognising this, the agency looked to integrate into the Christmas ritual that best aligned with these attributes and the LEGO play experience - building the family tree.
This ritual is ultimate creative Christmas experience for the whole family, where through the different combination of decorations, families can capture and celebrate their unique story each year. However, in investigating this ritual, one powerful insight emerged. That the most important decoration, the one every family leaves until last, was often the least meaningful.
Despite taking top spot on the tree, the family star is typically a mass produced decoration with no emotional significance or story behind it. In other words, Families come together to build the decorations on their tree, but not their star…
With that, UM saw a rich opportunity to not only create a new Christmas ritual, one which LEGO could own and that adds genuine value to families lives, but to transform the ultimate Christmas real-estate in families homes into a brand new media channel – one that acted as constant reminder to families across the season that LEGO is the ultimate present.
The idea: Build Your LEGO Christmas Star.
The agency set out to inspire and help families across Australia to come together and finally give their star the personal meaning it deserved, by building it out of LEGO!
INSPIRE: To excite families across Australia to build their star the agency knew it needed to first rally its biggest fans to get, the 5,000+ LEGO Club members. Through a competition to feature their builds in LEGO’s advertising it enlisted them to create a bank of stars to inspire the masses. Their response was awesome, sharing over 3,500 stars! Alongside this the Master Builder family, the Steiningers, were busy rebuilding the massive star that sat atop a 32ft LEGO tree in Melbourne.
Time lapse content of this build was shared via PR and social, accumulating over 1.8million views. Then to link stars to sales the agency created unique stars for all play themes (e.g. City, DUPLO) using them as retail drivers online and via proximity out-of-home.
BUILD: Not all families are master-builders, so UM made things easier by partnering with NewsCorp; distributing a ‘thoughtSTARter’ - full-page instructions in all major weekend mastheads. It also held ‘brick-in-hand’ experiences across Australia, where families received free LEGO and help building their own stars on-site.
CELEBRATE: The real Christmas magic came when families across Australia got to see their stars in the LEGO commercial. The agency created five custom versions of the TVC that not only gave fame to the competition winners, but also showcased a wide variety of imaginative builds – proving to other families just how unique they can make theirs.
Alongside this, it exhibited the remaining thousands of families’ stars across social through interactive picture units and videos; inviting more families to share theirs.
In just four weeks thousands of families built and shared their LEGO stars, 255 pieces of earned media coverage reached 22 million people, and social engagement increased YoY by 237% – all helping to extend this campaign far beyond what the budget allowed.
By focusing on purpose over sales, LEGO Australia saw its best-ever Q4 sales results (+18.8% YoY, +4.8% above target ), and retained its #1 toy brand position, results that are particularly impressive considering that compared to 2014 it had: No LEGO Movie, which accounted for +11% increase in sales, A 10.5% reduction in budget, no shifts in product pricing or retailer support, increased volume of competition (+12.7% toy products advertised) and market spend (+4% in December retail spend).
By inspiring families to come together and build their star, the campaign not only transformed the most valuable Christmas real estate into a new media channel, but also helped shift LEGO from being just another product consumers opened on Christmas Day to a brand that’ll be a meaningful part of their Christmas for years to come.