While exploring the Internet one afternoon, I stumbled upon an article on Buzzfeed claiming to outline the “four best Lego ad campaigns ever.” I’m assuming it’s entirely based on opinion but still interesting to dissect.
This sparked my attention immediately for many reasons. Of course, now that I work in the advertising field, I am genuinely curious about the campaigns. Second is that I have distinct memories of me sitting alone in my childhood bedroom, building various objects… for hours. Besides my army of Barbies, Lego bricks were my go-to toy. As a little artist, this was just another way to use my growing imagination, without having to use Crayons and a pad of paper, which I loved.
The four campaigns come from agencies all over the world: Russia, USA, Malaysia, and Germany. Each one captures something totally different, but equally amazing, about playing with Legos. The first from Leo Burnett, Moscow, uses zero copy. Doesn’t need any. The ads consist of one photo showing an elaborate, almost other worldly object built from Legos. In the corner, is a small thumbnail image of what the object was supposed to be. The examples given were the Taj Mahal, a pirate ship and a grand carousel. This campaign is great because it basically says that just because the box says it’s this one certain thing, certainly doesn’t mean it has to be that. And that’s OK.
The next campaign from the Blattner Brunner, United States, is another simple but effective way of telling kids to use their imagination. Each brightly colored poster shows a simple, generic object built from 2 or 3 Lego pieces. The shadow of each object shows what it really is: a T-Rex, jet plane and an army tank are featured. I have a feeling many children around the world can relate to these ads. We’re not all future architects. Sometimes the simplest idea is the most effective… and the most fun.
In the next (from Malaysia), agency Ogilvy Malaysia hired Lego artists to construct different posters made entirely of Legos, each playing off the surrounding area. They were displayed on sidewalk signs. Not only did the artists magically re-create the environment entirely out of Legos, but they added various sea creatures, monsters and robots. The outcome was pretty cool.
The final campaign from Serviceplan, Munich, is probably the best of the bunch. It’s a series of photographs that appear to be from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Everything about these ads work. The tagline is “Builders of Tomorrow” and features a child showing his or her parents their inventions. The first child, obviously taking place sometime in the 1980s, shoes a little boy building what are obviously wind turbines. His parents have a look of bewilderment. The next is a photo from the 1960s. A little boy has built what appears to be an early cell phone. The last is a 1970s little girl who’s installing an energy efficient light bulb into a lamp. Both the tagline and the accompanying photos are brilliant. It’s futurism through a retrospective point of view.
Legos are a great toy. They will NEVER go out of style and these ads showcase that. As long as you have an imagination, you can make anything. Come to think of it. I made my dad an elaborate truck made out of Legos that I insisted he keep on his desk as a paperweight. I was about 5 years old. He still has it and it still looks great. Thanks Lego! Btw, if anyone wants to buy me a Lego set for Christmas, that would be great.
In the 1920s, a company called Burma Shave — producers of brushless shaving cream — started putting signs up that delighted and educated drivers. These