Wham! Bam! Pow! Batman rocks his content – Lego Style. Walking through a dimly lit room in my home and accidentally stepping on a sharp “mini block of pain” is universal at this point. Yes, Lego, those wee ubiquitous, interlocking, multi-coloured Danish building blocks that have been in our lexicon and a mainstay in children’s play areas since 1949. And since their inception, a global Lego subculture has evolved. Lego is not just a child’s brick company anymore, as they support international retail stores, games, competitions, Legoland amusement parks, and of course, movies.
Hollywood or bust. In 2014, Lego released its first full-length feature movie, aptly named – The Lego Movie. It crushed at the box office worldwide bringing in over $469 million, winning a BAFTA award for Best Animated Film, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song – with critics praising its infectious humour, dynamic visual style, incredible voice cast, and heart warming message. All matched with a robust omnichannel content marketing plan that solidified its success trajectory. When the dollars settled from their Hollywood success, one character stood out from the rest – Will Arnett’s Batman. So of course, this year, he gets his own movie.
Lego and Warner Bros. took the incredible content marketing lessons they learned from their first Hollywood outing and cranked it up to eleven with Lego Batman. A tireless, year-long marketing campaign with far-reaching collaborations through the Warner Bros ecosystem including: Big Bang Theory (Lego Batman appeared in place of Sheldon on the couch), Chevrolet (Chevy used 344,000 Lego pieces to build its own Batmobile, and displayed it at the Detroit Auto Show), MTV (with Will Arnett’s voice carrying the gone-but-not-forgotten Cribs featuring a “sick tour” of Wayne Manor), and Apple (letting fans ask Siri – or “Puter” as Lego Batman calls her – questions about the character, leading up to Siri’s role in the film), and many more, with all campaigns generating impressive groundswell of viral jokes/engagements online.
Why does it matter? It’s a plastic block people. Yet, Lego has taken their concept and morphed their way into content i.e. movies that play into both adult and child worlds. Lego Batman taps into our emotional engagement engine big time with endless content plays for the rye, dark, Batman character to tickle our funny bone at every turn. So next time you think your product is dry, reflect on the little plastic block company that was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2004, but used content marketing to scale to new heights and become a tool for creation and imagination.
Michael Chase, CMO
St. Joseph Communications