In order to hit its UK box office targets, The Lego Movie needed to get adults who could easily dismiss it as a ‘kids film about toys’ to go and see it.
To do this, PHD offered a media solution that would rekindle childhood memories of the magic of the brand and unlock their inner child by joyously turning part of their recognisably ‘grown-up’ world into Lego.
For a movie in which the whole world is made of Lego, the agency replicated that experience for viewers of the UK’s most-watched weekend family TV show, Dancing on Ice, by turning existing TV ads into branded content for The Lego Movie – rebuilding them brick-by-brick in Lego. It would be a TV event in its own right which would delight both adults and kids at the same time.
PHD approached and secured four Lego-friendly brands – the British Heart Foundation, British Telecom, Confused.com and Premier Inn hotels – and remade the familiar TV ads they had on air at the time in Lego, interspersing the break with imagery of the movie’s characters and ending it with a trailer.
(NB. Such was the appeal of this unprecedented idea that these four brands paid their own production and media costs to ensure they could be part of it. Warner Bros did not pay for anything other than its own media.)
Managing the combination of four different brands whose original ads were created by four different ad agencies and bought by three media agencies, PHD sourced production companies to recreate the ads in Lego and co-ordinated it into a single 3”30 break, supported with a full PR launch and social media strategy.
Six million people saw the Lego break live on TV and social media led to an additional one million watching it on YouTube. Post-launch tracking indicated that the ad break influenced an incremental 5% of opening week’s box office revenue, resulting in ROI of £5.96 ($10) for every £1 ($1.70) spent.
Market research company YouGov independently tested the ad break and described it as the best performing ad break it had ever measured. Aggregating the ads into a piece of ‘Lego-tainment’ made the break 14% more enjoyable than an identical break featuring the originals.