2015 winner: LEGO Movie, Branded Content/Leading Thinking - case study

2015 winner: The LEGO Movie, Content

For the UK theatrical launch of Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie, there was a clear challenge. The movie had no existing cinema heritage, known characters, or previous franchise knowledge to help it gain traction pre-release. This made it easy for cinema-goers to dismiss it at first glance, as ‘a kids movie about toys’. In order to deliver a successful box office performance, it was key for them to engage a ‘grown-up’ audience - enough to get them to see the film.

The key to achieving this lay in understanding and harnessing grown-ups’ powerful childhood memories of LEGO, and combining them with the best of Hollywood entertainment - a strategic approach they called ‘LEGO-tainment’.

Replicating the experience
To launch a movie in which the whole world is made of LEGO, they created a branded content idea which replicated that experience in media - by turning an everyday part of ‘grown-up’ life completely into LEGO.

So, five days before the movie’s launch they re-created four well-known existing TV ads in LEGO to create the World’s first all-LEGO ad break on peak time ITV.

The most successful
The break was described by YouGov as the most successful it had ever tested and it delivered an ROI of almost £6:£1 in incremental box office to the movie’s opening week takings.

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