We all love Lego, right? As kids we loved the potential. We could put one piece on top of the other and build tanks, airplanes, boats, castles… stories.
We crafted narratives. From fighting dinosaurs, to creating our own fairy tales, Lego allowed us to travel through space, taking us far into the recesses of our imagination. And now as adults, we treasure those memories, remembering Lego not as a product, but as a relic, as a piece of our childhood. Those little pieces of plastic that built ships and castles, well, they built us too.
So, when Lego released a big budget blockbuster movie we flocked to see it in droves. We took our kids, we went with friends, and we all remembered the potential of those little pieces of plastic to tell stories. This time though, they were assembled, they were crafted into something bigger: they were placed one on top of the other to create Lego’s brand story. The product itself no longer mattered. Lego was now a codified storytelling medium in its own right, it was now more than the sum of its parts, it was now a cohesive whole. No longer a blast from the past, the Lego movie landed in cinemas and told its own bold story.
LEGO’S STORY IS OUR STORY
Of course, this isn’t a movie review. Instead, what we’re focusing on is how storytelling can be used to create a brand, in turn making us fall in love with a product. For most businesses, their brand story is something they spend hours creating. For Lego, it’s left to the consumers. We are the ones telling tall tales, creating our own narratives, using the pieces Lego gives us.
When Lego made its movie, it had to respect the way that its users played. It had to show that it knew the people who loved the potential of those little pieces of plastic. It had to package up that magic and create a story that reminded us of why we fell head over heels for Lego. To do so, they too tapped into that human need to tell stories and they created a big budget epic of their own.
The Lego movie builds on the brand’s existing reputation. It adds value, context, and it reminds us of the things that Lego stands for. Narrative, story, ideas, imagination… it shows why brand storytelling is so important. We don’t connect with a product; we fall in love with an idea. Lego facilitates delightful experiences, earning our loyalty in the process. When we watch the Lego film, we remember the storytelling potential we loved about the brand as children. And our children see the potential there to tell their own stories, to imagine, and to create.
WE WERE ALL STORYTELLERS ONCE
And for us adults, we remember too that we were all storytellers once. Perhaps not writing down our stories, perhaps not using ‘proper’ storytelling devices, but still, we put the pieces together and painted larger than life pictures. Those are the desires, the ideas, and the thoughts that brands should reconnect with. Those dreams, those stories that we told ourselves, those unexpected places our imaginations took us, we still want those things.
That’s what Lego does so well with its movie. It reminds us that we dreamed once, and we can dream again. Play isn’t just for children, stories aren’t just for fun; they help us understand the world around us, they help us find ways to understand the chaos, and they allow us to see reality through different eyes. We don’t always have to be ourselves. Sometimes we can be the hero of a story, or the villain; a bit part, or the lead role. With Lego, the choice is always ours.
Lego lets us become better (or worse) versions of ourselves. It gives us the pieces; we tell the story. And the Lego movie? Well, that’s Lego’s turn to play and spin its own narrative. But it still comes from the minds of two grown ups. Written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, folks who love Lego and understand its potential; who get to play on the big screen, with a big budget. Their story only exists because Lego gave them the pieces to tell it.