How LEGO Used Proactive PR To Expand Their Audience
Using Innovative Campaigns to Stand Out on Social and Traditional Media
By: Erin Virgil
I believe the LEGO Group has always been an innovative company, constantly evolving with media and social change, and that is why they are celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. This leading toy entertainment company has mastered expanding its audience while promoting good causes in several ways. All of these actions can be categorized as public relations strategies, which according to JOUR 4460 Instructor, Rebecca Poynter is defined as, “Positive, proactive strategic public relations actions by an organization which builds goodwill with audiences, support the brand and maintain a positive reputation.” I admire how the LEGO Group maintains genuine relationships with audiences of all ages through effective social media strategy, unique product partnerships, and direct social involvement efforts, all of which I greatly admire from a major company.
LEGO for All Ages
In 2019, LEGO decided to confront this modern-day challenge: “How could they inspire people of all ages to unleash their creativity and retain those skills through the infinite possibilities of LEGO play?” Therefore, they launched a global campaign on Twitter #RebuildTheWorld, as a lot of their audience has grown up and LEGO could boost engagement with the specific demographic of young to middle-aged adults there. Twitter explains that this is because people go there to discover what’s new and trending, and brands are twice as likely to meet their KPIs when launching on Twitter than elsewhere. LEGO’s in-house creative agency adopted a strategy specific to Twitter’s framework: Tease, Reveal and Reinforce using ad products called First View, Promoted Trend, and Promoted Trend Spotlight to announce products. The campaign was evidently successful in shifting perception and building awareness. According to Crimson Hexagon, a social media measurement firm, their campaign hashtag was repeated nearly 100,000 times and positive sentiment surrounding their keywords increased by 35 percent. The #RebuildTheWorld campaign earned mainstream and industry coverage globally.
Brand collaboration has been a huge PR trend in recent years because of its success in enlarging customer bases and positive perception of brand values. LEGO frames each of its partnerships as individual campaigns, with Star Wars, Marvel, Nintendo, and Adidas being some of the biggest. Through these, they are able to reach so many different markets and fan clubs, people will want to buy their products simply because of their association with these brand names. Each of the collaborations has its own innovative elements, whereas LEGO aims to recreate playing and creating. For example, LEGO wanted to achieve the goal of blending physical and digital ways of playing through the launch of LEGO Super Mario, with interactive figures and real-life game levels using LEGO bricks. Both brands are doing very unique things that allow children and adults to rethink gaming and encourage media coverage that would otherwise not be possible without these notable collaborations.
For the Parents Too
LEGO also develops campaigns surrounding social involvement, like creating a dialogue with parents about the importance of imaginative play, and positioning themselves as a resource for parents wanting to foster creativity. Their two objectives were to inform the new generation of moms about their products and talk to dads about the benefits of playtime. LEGO enlisted 360 PR LLC to help reestablish these goals, and they created the LEGO Builders of Tomorrow platform. Through here, LEGO could directly communicate with a vital part of their consumers, the people who buy the toys, about the importance of early creative play and how it reflects into their future of successful adults. They developed a variety of online tools including a website for play tips and testimonials from celebrities and educators, a podcast series, LEGO Playtime Podcasts, and a blog for dads. Because the generation of young parents today is so dependent on technology and online resources, the Builders of Tomorrow website and the campaign was successful and featured in several parenting media outlets.
As a Gen Z PR professional, I believe the LEGO Group has its public relations department working overtime to support its brand’s reputation. They have done great in maintaining genuine relationships and excitement from several different audiences of all ages. The company meets the definition of PR by always being proactive in social efforts like improved parenting, and strategic actions through social media activity and partnerships as well as developing a positive reputation through unique campaigns and their earned media.
About the Author
Erin Virgil is a young marketing and public relations professional based out of Fort Worth, Texas. Virgil graduated with honors from the University of North Texas class of ’22 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a specification in public relations and a minor in marketing. She is passionate about writing for good causes and is interested in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle media.