LEGO City and Cartoon Network

LEGO used tailored TV spots to drive kids to an online competition with which encouraged them to step forward and become LEGO citizens themselves.


The lead up to Christmas is the busiest time of year for toy brands, and none more so than LEGO. When LEGO wanted to cut through in this period and recruit boys aged 5 – 6 into the brand – whilst retaining the existing fans aged 7 to 8 – they partnered with Cartoon Network and The Story Lab to create an enticing on-air and online competition.

LEGO and Cartoon Network created a LEGO City mystery where, every 10 days for 40 days, a different member of the City disappeared, leaving the City in need of a hero. Step forward the kids: the chaos and disruption caused by the missing LEGO characters was showcased humorously in a series of 10” top and 20” tail teaser spots, which challenged kids to go online and fill in for each missing citizen.

Content partnerships lego city 2

Turning children into LEGO heroes

When LEGO City lost a policeman, kids had to go online and play ‘LEGO CITY THIEF RAID’. When a racing car driver went missing, kids filled in by playing ‘LEGO CITY SLOT RACER’. A train driver goes AWOL, kids are invited on board to play ‘LEGO CITY CARGO TRAIN’. The final burst lifted the curtain on the mystery with a 30” ‘Grand Reveal’ spot, which aired from the end of November to mid-December, revealing where everyone had gone: they were getting ready for an amazing Christmas party in the Arctic.

This partnership was about using on-air TV spots to drive viewers to an off-air brand partnership. It was hugely successful with over 200,000 page views for the competition, 25,000 unique users who spent an average of six minutes and clocked up over 40,000 game plays. In total there were over 7,000 competition entries.

This collaboration has enabled LEGO to trial new approaches to marketing the City brand, using sponsorship as a key component. Cartoon Network provides a perfect platform to reach our target consumers, but the true value comes from the team’s creative expertise.

Harry Harrison, LEGO Senior Brand Manager


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