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Inside Lego's 'home-grown' IP push for DREAMZzz

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By The Drum | Editorial

December 7, 2023 | 7 min read

Lego and Golin have won the International category at The Drum Awards for PR. Here is the award-winning case study.

Check out the award-winning campaign

In 2023, the LEGO Group wanted to establish an all-new ‘home-grown’ IP of its own to excite and amaze kids and families with original storytelling, LEGO DREAMZzz. The world of LEGO DREAMZzz would bring kid’s wildest dreams to life in truly fantastical fashion, but building love for a whole new IP in today’s world is always going to be a challenge to capture audience’s imaginations and to ensure LEGO DREAMZzz stood out amongst the crowded toy industry and LEGO portfolio.

And there was one added challenge – the brand wanted to flip its typical launch plans on their head, launching with just the episodic show first, and no product or LEGO bricks to get into kid’s hands until months later, removing a key element of trial, media engagement and the ability to create appeal.

This meant the key objectives for establishing LEGO DREAMZzz internationally were:

Drive maximum coverage for LEGO DREAMZzz amongst target audiences (without product!)

Deliver a truly international launch that excites consumers throughout key global markets

Create appetite and hype amongst fans for the arrival of LEGO DREAMZzz episodes

STRATEGY

Our strategy was to turn kid’s dreams into a major cultural talking point for media and show how the dream world can be the ultimate creative space for kids to play in and express themselves, with no limits.

The wider creative campaign throughout the LEGO Group was ‘Dreams Just Got Real’ – demonstrating how LEGO DREAMZzz is bringing kids dreams to life in a new and creative way with paid media activations that showed dream creatures entering the real world.

Our PR approach was to augment this by building a narrative that LEGO DREAMZzz is the first theme from the LEGO Group that truly brings to life the way children’s imaginations work whilst they are dreaming – pointing to in-depth testing undertaken by the brand with 20,000+ kids in our target demographic throughout the development of LEGO DREAMZzz and global research to give us media-friendly talking points.

This global research was undertaken in more than 30+ countries and helped us establish ‘Why dreams’ as a topic. The research looked at why kids dream, how it makes them feel, and what in their waking lives can affect their dreams, with the results intended to create a point of tension amongst media.

We planned to pair this data with our own PR campaign to find a way to bring to life the infinite creative possibilities of the dream world within the world of LEGO DREAMZzz as we announced the new IP.

Our approach as a global team was to create a wide-ranging PR campaign that deployed a suite of assets to promote LEGO DREAMZzz throughout key markets – with both global direction and enough flexibility for local teams to tailor their approaches to suit their local media.

Global research and expert commentary from a sleep expert about the importance of dreams and dreaming for kids was commissioned and assembled, offering key data points on how dreaming helps kids process complex emotions. This created media-friendly talking points across more than 30+ markets – offering us a point of tension, and helping give us a clear reason ‘why’ we’re talking about dreams as a topic.

A strong stable of global spokespeople to cover topics from series development, to product and more were briefed and trained by our global team, before being deployed to local markets for individual events and interview opportunities, meeting media from across the world to drive home messages and build hype ahead of LEGO DREAMZzz launches.

These spokespeople were used across a series of in-person and virtual roundtables with media in markets across the globe during a three-week period, to create more in-depth articles and consistently messaged pieces that brought LEGO DREAMZzz to life.

Employing this range of tactics allowed us to create a global narrative, but one that could be adapted by local markets to suit their media through individual activities, including:

Spokespeople in Denmark appearing across livestream reveals and premieres for APAC markets

Our sleep expert hosted a broadcast morning with US TV stations, driving impactful local coverage that increased relevance and conversation around the topic of dreaming and LEGO DREAMZzz

EMEA media hosted in-person at LEGO HQ to see behind-the-scenes of how LEGO DREAMZzz was developed and meet our team in-person

Working with teams across the LEGO website, legal and social, we also created a PR contest where kids can become a Chief Dream Creator – helping inspire the future of LEGO DREAMZzz by sharing their own dream creatures with a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them animated within the TV show.

This contest saw thousands of winners from over 30 markets, with six kids invited to LEGO HQ to see their dream creatures (including a seahorse submarine, dreamer dragon and more) re-created by LEGO designers and given the full LEGO DREAMZzz makeover.

RESULTS

The campaign saw us hit and exceed all coverage KPIs for LEGO globally, all without products to put into consumer’s hands.

Our launch of LEGO DREAMZzz drove 50% higher coverage levels than average LEGO product launch across 2022/23, with 68% positive sentiment, 30% higher than average positive campaign sentiment (and just 2% negative).

Amongst our results, coverage levels were 148% above global target, with a favourable mix of mainstream & fan media. Events drove 100% positive coverage and in-depth articles and features, and the Chief Dream Creator contest was mentioned in one of every five pieces of coverage.

And the reveal was truly global, with coverage in more than 55 countries around the world, 22% above target and creating strong buzz and anticipation amongst key markets ahead of more content and product to come – with the level of interest on the LEGO.com website seeing pre-orders set to open up earlier than planned.

Outcome vs Results

These results saw us meet and exceed all of our objectives to establish LEGO DREAMZzz as one of the most hotly-anticipated LEGO launches of recent years:

Drive maximum coverage for LEGO DREAMZzz amongst target audiences (without product!)

Hit and exceeded all coverage KPIs for LEGO globally, without products to put into consumer’s hands

Coverage levels 148% above global target, with a favourable mix of mainstream & fan media

Events drove 100% positive coverage and in-depth articles and features

Spokesperson interviews drove high levels of well messaged coverage in multiple markets

Chief Dream Creator mentioned in one of every five pieces of coverage

Deliver a truly international launch that excites consumers throughout key global markets

68% positive sentiment, 30%

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