Monday 10 February 2014

A review of the new LEGO advert

The Incredible Suit doesn't normally review commercials, but I saw one recently that's so groundbreaking it's set to open up a whole new world of advertising potential. This particular ad is for a brand of plastic bricks called LEGO, and the genius of this marketing campaign for the popular kids' toy is that you actually pay money to watch it. And people will. And then they will pay more money for LEGO, because the ad is so bloody good. Genius.

Long-form commercials are no new innovation, but while, say, the Gold Blend couple spread their tedious unresolved sexual tension over six years in order to flog brown grit to idiots, if you edited the whole campaign together it lasted just nine minutes. The LEGO commercial, on the other hand, is A HUNDRED MINUTES LONG. How do you get away with battering people over the head with a promo for a toy for so long? Simple: make it really, really entertaining.

The LEGO commercial is a ruddy blast. Like most ads, everything happens incredibly quickly, barely giving you chance to register what's going on, but it's done with such technical skill and a near-palpable sense of fun that it's actually enjoyable to watch. Granted, the experience is akin to what it must feel like to drown in Skittles, but that's no bad thing. Why, if anything, it's almost enough to make you forget you're watching an advert at all! It's also got an excellent voice cast, a positive message (underneath the "BUY LEGO!" one, obviously), a couple of great surprises and a canny kind-of twist. All the things, in fact, that a lot of good movies have.

It's no wonder, then, that LEGO have gone as far as to call the ad The LEGO Movie, although it's a little disingenuous to describe a commercial in such cloaked terms. What if people go to the cinema thinking they're actually paying to see a movie, rather than a riotous, exceptionally well-made attempt to get them to buy more LEGO? I guess in the end it doesn't matter, because it works equally well as either. So bravo, LEGO marketing team. Next thing you know people will be giving them even more publicity by writing about their product on the internet for free. Imagine!

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