Lego is a marketing machine!

What do you do after someone leaks unofficial photos of your new, unreleased product?

If you’re the Lego Group, you publish a cool video from your design team revealing the new model in all its glory, of course! (you even include some behind-the-scenes details as a bonus).

Although Lego is currently the talk of the town with their new movie and message that everyone can be special if they think beyond the standard bricks, marketers should take note of how the brand actually adheres to this message every day as they act more like a media company instead of a typical toy company.

A feature length movie is a whole new level of branded entertainment, but Lego is no stranger to content marketing. The brand’s timely video release right after a leaked image of the LEGO Simpsons set this January was genius, and the way they showcase videos on their website in an immersive experience sets them apart as a video trailblazer.

Evolving with Audience Preferences

Lego Club Magazine The Lego Group was one of the pioneers in the content marketing space with their bi-monthly Brick Kicks Magazine, which evolved into what’s now the Lego Club Magazine. They produced this branded ‘zine long before content marketing was a recognized strategy.

Unsurprisingly Lego has adapted to become a leader in the video marketing space too.

Committed to delivering an amazing customer experience, Lego uses an entire part of their website to display hundreds of their video assets. They have built a content hub where fans can be entertained for hours with original video clips – and, just as you’d expect, it’s really fun.

You can sort through the content you want to watch on Lego's video page

Not only does Lego make the video experience front and centre in a channel-like destination on their site, but they’ve tailored everything around viewers’ interests. You can sort videos by themes, categories, and favourite characters. If you only want to watch videos about Indiana Jones or Batman mini figures, that’s the personalized experience you’ll get. There’s even a sidebar recommending content based on interests “Just for you”.

What this tells us about Lego

With such a large collection of video content, and this level of personalization, it’s safe to say Lego has made a huge investment in video because of the amazing customer experience the medium delivers.

Even though the company has a YouTube channel (as all brands should), it’s clear they want a dedicated experience on their website where they can keep brand fans engaged with only their content (free from distractions and competitor’s ads). This exclusive video destination on their site allows Lego to feature special offers, promote new product lines, and prompt you to play branded video games. It’s a fully immersive experience that works especially well as Lego’s target audience moves from a world of print magazines to tablets and video.

Using Video as a Communications Channel

Beyond using video to market to fans on their site, I was really impressed with the way LEGO used video to support the release of the new Simpsons House model.

On January 5th on a Eurobricks fan forum, ‘Carlos S.’ leaked the first ever photo of the new Simpsons set. In just three days, however, Lego released this awesome video from their Design team:

Without ever mentioning the alleged leak which had bloggers and fans speculating just days before as to whether the set was even real, this video uncovers all of the mystery on Lego’s terms and showcases the beautiful product in a professional, exciting way.

What’s more is that the video doesn’t just show off the set. Instead it features real employees from Lego Play Themes and goes behind the scenes to give some background on how the mini figures are designed with clay before they become the iconic claw-handed characters we know and love.

This video was a terrific way to address what may or may not have been a legitimate product leak, and give fans an intimate look at how Lego designs their world famous models. Lego maintained their playful brand tone in that they didn’t release the video to address leaked images; the timely video simply confirmed that there was indeed going to be a Simpsons release and seemed like more of a happy coincidence rather than a warning not to pry. Ultimately the video encourages a sense of play and curiosity.

What you can learn from Lego

  • Include video as distinct component of your website: You too can stand out as a video marketing leader with a dedicated spot on your website to showcase your video collection. With a central location outside of YouTube, fans can peruse your content library free from distractions and the landing page is your owned media, so you can maintain the look and feel to match your brand completely.
  • With every video you add to your website, you provide more and more content for search engines to index. Over time, each video will contribute to a better search rank for the phrases covered in the content (when you use transcriptions), and the dedicated hub (when used with effective calls to action) can help you convert more prospects on your site.

  • Brand a professional video series: The video featuring Marcus showing off his new Simpsons model isn’t a standalone asset. Lego actually has a Design video series featuring multiple models they’ve released this year with the designers speaking to the key features of the sets. The series attracts tons of views and you can create something similar for topics of interest for your target audience.
  • Showcase your staff and their passion: One of the best aspects of this Design series is that we get to meet the people behind the Lego models. The sets originated in these designer’s imaginations and there’s something special hearing them talk about the Lego they have personally created. They’re very passionate about showing you their work and you can feel their emotion because video allows for their authenticity to shine through.
  • When creating your videos, use your excited, approachable, and energetic team members to tell everyone why you love to do what you do. It’ll make all the difference when you’re trying to convince us that you build beyond the standard bricks.

What do you think?

Check out the Lego video page and let us know your thoughts on how it’s set up. Do you like the direction branded content is taking with larger brands? Sound off with a comment below!

Jennifer Pepper