LEGO Build with Google, LEGO Movies, LEGO Spaceman and LEGO VW Combi Camper

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LEGO is a brand that has successfully re-invented itself.

Licensing innovation and an ability to evolve has been a major part of the strategy. LEGO has realised that it’s functionality and core proposition of creativity expressed as “Just imagine…” can be applied to an abundance of diverse brands and even services.

Some great examples include:

LEGO Technic, originally launched in 1977 and relaunched in the modern format in 1984, made efforts from brands like Frank Hornby’s  Meccano redundant to modern kids.

Star Wars LEGO with cheeky characters and amazingly accurate models, relaunching the brand to a generation of new consumers (and collectors).

A LEGO pilot even took to the upper atmosphere courtesy of some enterprising Canadian students:

And I spent a very enjoyable couple of days, unashamedly reliving my childhood by building a LEGO VW 1962 Combi Camper, using all 1,322 pieces of the stuff.

A few sore fingers later and it has pride of place on the mantlepiece and well out of reach of the kids…

Needless to say every great brand is in the sights of a Hollywood producer.

The “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller is directing “LEGO: The Piece of Resistance” which is a hybrid of live-action and LEGO-based animation. It follows the adventures of “instruction worker” Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), a manual labourer in the LEGO world, capable only of following directions from a manual. Will Arnett will voice the role of LEGO Batman. LEGO Yoda, Indiana Jones and Superman will also feature in this battle of good versus evil.

Australian visual-effects house Animal Logic will handle the CGI, which is expected to comprise 80 percent of “LEGO.” The project is scheduled for US release on Feb. 28, 2014.

So despite its plastic rigidity, LEGO has certainly become an incredibly flexible brand without losing it’s core promise of creativity and imagination – as brilliantly established in its classic 1981 Mike Cozens “Kipper” ad, still one of the best ads ever made (interestingly the impressionist Roger Kitter not Tommy Cooper does the voiceover):

If movie licensing and production weren’t enough, this latest collaboration with Google proves LEGO is a brand still innovating in exciting and very relevant new areas.

LEGO and Google have linked up in a new project, called Build, via M&C Saatchi’s digital agency Mark, to showcase the 3D capabilities of Google’s web browser Chrome. The project was produced by Swedish digital agency North Kingdom. It also marks the 50th anniversary of Lego’s launch in Australia.

The campaign allows users to claim their own plots anywhere in Australia and New Zealand, with plans to roll it out globally. Builders can use up to 1,000 virtual bricks to construct buildings and can then share their creations online and with their friends.

To show just how far LEGO has come, Lucinda Barlow, head of marketing for Google Australia and New Zealand said in a press release:

“If a toy could be part of a company’s DNA then Lego would be part of Google’s. We’ve loved working together to create Build, which turns the web into a collaborative canvas where you can create and explore a new Lego world together, online.”

All this from a brick first invented in Billund, Denmark in 1949.

Once in Build, it feels a bit like the early virtual world / second life experience, but you are excused any criticism of reality and pixilation because it’s LEGO.

Also fascinating to see the bizarre buildings already built in my street. Who knew that I had such interesting neighbours!

This latest Google collaboration continues to perpetuate the core brand proposition across another new sector and user group, helping to secure LEGO’s  future for another 50 years amongst kids of all ages.

Have a go, but watch out it is incredibly addictive…BUILD

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Pedigree “rescue unrescued” cinema ad – adoption drive

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This stirring (and long) cinema ad by Colenso BBDO New Zealand, invites cinema goers to make a choice in coloured 3D glasses. Accordingly they see a film based on whether they donate.

It’s a nice spot. Bit long in narrative and the idea is creatively intriguing holding your attention in the story.

But, the real point is Pedigree and their true commitment to the cause. The cynical might suggest it is a one off PR stunt. Not so. Pedigree really are pet people (dogs to be precise).

I’ve previously posted a brilliant spot featuring slow motion footage of dogs eating treats. It captures everything that the pet owner wants to see in a deliriously happy dog. And it is incredibly shot.

But back to the commitment to the annual Adoption Drive. last year Pedigree launched an eight part online documentary series for Facebook and YouTube to champion this year’s Pedigree Adoption Drive. The fourth year it has partnered with PetRescue.

Few campaigns can even claim a 4 year period of consistency. Yet fewer can claim such creative resourcing of the campaign which is based on the simple insight of pet lovers wanting to help dogs (not just nurture their own).

To place the icing on the cake, the entire effort is branded in the now trade mark yellow and black.

This is one of the best examples of a strong brand leader asserting it’s position in market through exemplary strategy and on-brief execution. The fact that they left the kitchen floor / bowl advertising and championed something new in the category is to their credit.

And here is one of the best pet ads ever made…

Maximum Ride – The Kids Who Could Fly / Standing on the ledge – New Zealand

Rarely you see some striking “ambient” creative. Too often base graffiti is confused with ambient media under the “guerilla” banner.

Here is a good one.

Maximum Ride is a children’s book series from the original author James Patterson.

The story is about fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, who knows what it’s like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the ‘Flock’ – Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel – are just like ordinary kids – only they have wings and can fly.

The decals which appeared in Auckland, do the publicity perfectly and creatively captured the kids imagination as shown below:

Nice job by Colenso BBDO, Auckland, New Zealand.

New Zealand moves closer to Australia. Literally.

Kiwis are funny people (sheep jokes aside). As proven by Kiwi comedy. Pamela Stephenson used to be funny and she is a Kiwi. Flight of the Conchords is still very funny and they are very Kiwi as proven in the clip.

The latest news from NZ is that Air fares from Sydney to NZ are due to drop as NZ has now moved closer to Australia after last week’s “huge” earthquake. The quake was so powerful it pushed the South Island 30cm closer to Australia (in the west). The island’s east coast moved only 1cm westwards, as if in defiance.

The 7.8 magnitude quake, the biggest in New Zealand for 78 years, caused slight damage to buildings and property when it struck the remote Fiordland region last Thursday.

A tsunami was generated – a tide gauge on the west coast recorded a wave of 1m causing excitement amongst the local surfing community.

Classic. And an excuse to use the fantastic FOTC Mermaid song.