Ever wondered how to win at The Oscars when you don’t actually win an Oscar?
Lego know how to do it!
The Lego Movie might not have even gained a nomination, but the games giant found a way to create an in-telecast branded moment and dominate the Oscars’ digital discussion.
Since last year’s spectacularly successful Samsung selfie stunt, devising a branded moment has become a key objective for Oscar sponsors and Academy Awards associated brands.
This year it was an in-event Lego stunt in the form of Lego Oscar Statue Souvenirs that generated the biggest brand buzz during the 2015 Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Awards telecast.
Not only did the live performance of The Lego Movie song ‘Everything Is Awesome’ (up for Best Original Song) generate 47,290 in-show Twitter mentions (only 14% of which were negative), but the specially made Lego Oscars were a big hit with stars in the auditorium such as like Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood.
The Lego statues were given out in the theatre during the song performance (by The Lonely Island alongside artists Tegan and Sara, with Questlove on drums) – thus boosting the brand’s in-show visibility.
As ever with Lego, there was also a remade in Lego version of the video posted online,
which was part of its Oscars marketing that had already included a fun online spot of the characters from the Lego Movie watching The Oscars ceremony itself.
The statues were made by Lego artist Nathan Sawaya.
The seeds of the stunt were planted back when the Oscar nominations were revealed and the film wasn’t included for best animated film and in response director Phil Lord tweeted that he’d made his own Oscar statue (actually it was made certified Lego builder Nathan Sawaya).
That tweet spread and was widely reported and from there the Lego team began to discuss how it could make the in Oscars’ performance of ‘Everything Is Awesome’ really fun.
Its model shop built the Lego clarinet, saxophone and keytar used for the performance and it grew from that.
‘I don’t think it was intentional distribution – t was just whoever they saw coming off the stage – Oprah got one, Emma Stone got one, Steve Carell got one and Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper and Meryl Streep were all in pictures holding them, so I guess it was a hot souvenir,’ says McNally.
Indeed, according to McNally: ‘It was just us wanting to be part of the performance, rather than wanting to be the next Oscar selfie.’
No wonder mid February saw Lego steal the World’s Most Powerful Brand top spot from Ferrari in the latest annual rankings by strategy consultancy Brand Finance.
Lego not only made $470m from its movie at the box office, but also trended nationally on Twitter at the Oscars and carved out its own piece of the showbiz spotlight on the movie industry’s biggest night.
According to net stats outfit Amobee, Lego topped the event’s brand social (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) mentions table, followed by Dove (29,250 mentions – 91% of which were positive), Coke (12,600 mentions), Samsung (11,502 mentions) and McDonalds ( 6,075 mentions).
All the brands trailed well behind the show’s big performers who were led by musical performer Lady Gaga (577,143 mentions), host Neil Patrick Harris (219,375 mentions) and award winner Patricia Arquette (168,930 mentions).
As with the Oscar’s ceremony itself, big telecast event brand activation should be carefully planned right down to the last 2×8 brick.
The objective of this performance and event brand integration was, according to Lego Systems’ senior director of brand relations Michael McNally, to ‘keep the whole performance as Lego as possible’.
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