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Interview: LEGO HK breaks consumer perceptions of being an 'indoor brand'

Interview: LEGO HK breaks consumer perceptions of being an 'indoor brand'

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LEGO’s recent campaign “Playing and creating around Hong Kong” has broken boundaries between life and play by bringing LEGO's bricks into real life. The campaign was created to educate HongKongers on the powers of preservations. 

The creative idea behind the campaign was to highlight the importance of sustainability, said Ivan Zeng (pictured), general manager of LEGO Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, who credits the out-of-the-box execution to the imagination of his marketing team. By rebuilding the gaps in the city with its bricks, LEGO wanted to celebrate the architecture of Hong Kong as part of the city's culture and nostalgia. 

“There are some gaps, but it doesn't mean that it's broken. It just needs to be rebuilt. How we rebuild and celebrate the architecture is a big part of Hong Kong culture,” he said. Moreover, a focus for the brand moving forward in Hong Kong, is in bringing LEGO outdoors to create a buzz. This will be done by inviting families and fans to combine toys with culture, and understand how LEGO and Hong Kong’s history are connected together. 

Having joined LEGO in 2014, Zeng honed much of his experience as part of the global marketing leadership team. With close to 10 years of marketing experience, Zeng also shared that in his view great marketing is in being able to deliver new perceptions, and new behaviours. “When you're able to shape people's perception and behaviours, you're able to help them to also lean more towards your brand and the products,” he said, adding that this is especially important for innovation.

“If you have to bring a new product into the market, and you don't shift your consumers’ perception and why they need the product, then you're not creating new market spaces. This will lead to your business being stagnant,” he said. 

Zeng believes marketing plays a big role with innovation – especially when you're able to create a desire and impact behaviour. This allows any business to further expand their space and business to build long-term relationships with consumers.

When it comes to delivering new perceptions, Zeng said that changing the perception that LEGO is more geared towards boys, and is often played indoors, would be perceptions he’d like to break. As such, Zeng and his team created the LEGO Playful Run campaign to convey a message that LEGO is more than just a brand that is played indoors and creativity should be part of women's lives as well. 

LEGO Playful Run campaign

According to Zeng, the LEGO Playful Run is about creativity, as well as a holistic healthy lifestyle of children and families.

"It's not about running fast. It's about being able to do it together with your loved ones. Be your girlfriend, your wife, your daughter or your son. We are pushing the boundaries of our marketing but while keeping a pulse on what is going to be holistically awesome for the lives of our consumers," Zang explained.

While he did not specify how much of LEGO's marketing budget was parked under creative campaigns, Zeng said that it’s important for marketers to pin a vision, and help the management team understand the vision and value that it is delivering to the business. At the same time, they should weigh out the risks that come with it, in order to get more budgets for creativity-driven campaigns.  More importantly, brands must be able to measure the impact on consumers. “Then we are able to have the conversation beyond just profit and loss, and businesses can understand from a future value point of view,” he said.

Related articles:

LEGO pushes out long-haul campaign to open up conversations in LGBTQIA+ families
LEGO shows why 5 minutes is all a child needs to 'Brick the Rules'

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