Campaigns Showcase: Consumer - Bright PR, Place PR - Lego builds brand quality at St Pancras

Campaign: World's Tallest Lego Christmas Tree at St Pancras
International
Client: Lego/St Pancras International
PR team: Bright PR for Lego; Place PR for St Pancras International
Timescale: November 2011-January 2012
Budget: £34,000

Lego and St Pancras International teamed up to create the world's tallest Lego Christmas tree at St Pancras Station. The station displays a different style of tree each year.

Objectives

- To create a strong news story to secure coverage with national and online media in the run-up to Christmas

- To encourage more people to visit St Pancras and to stay longer

- To drive station visitors into retail outlets and boost Christmas sales

- To show the creative potential of Lego.

Strategy and plan

Bright PR came up with the idea to install the tallest Christmas tree made entirely out of Lego in the station. The plan was to create an initial news story and maintain interest and buzz in a high footfall location. The tree was created by the UK's only certified Lego professional, Duncan Titmarsh, adding an extra element of news interest.

The 40ft Christmas tree was assembled on-site during a two-week period. It was made of 600,000 Lego bricks and decorated with 1,200 Lego baubles made by children. The progress of the tree was updated daily on Lego's Facebook page.

Place PR led a social media campaign for St Pancras International. It also displayed posters around the station promoting the switch-on and ran a treasure hunt competition that involved discovering Lego Christmas baubles hidden in shops.

Official photographs and tree statistics were released to secure coverage. To create theatre at the switch-on, the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk, which was playing at the local Shaw Theatre, and West End Kids performed to entertain station visitors.

Measurement and evaluation

Time Out declared the Lego tree the number one Christmas tree in London. BBC London broadcast the weather by the tree on the night of the switch-on.

Newsround also covered the story and some international broadcast coverage was generated. Radio mentions included BBC 6 Music, Absolute Radio and Heart FM. Press included the London Evening Standard, Metro, The Guardian and The Times, as well as The Sun Online.

In total, the campaign generated 88 pieces of online coverage. Abroad, it was picked up by the Malaysia Star, Washington Post, Sydney Herald, New Philadelphia Times and New York Daily News, among others.

A feature on Titmarsh, the owner of custom-built Lego design firm Bright Bricks, who built the tree with the help of local primary schoolchildren and members of the local Explorer Scouts unit, was published in The Mail on Sunday.

Results

In the three weeks leading up to Christmas, St Pancras International saw a 20 per cent increase in retail sales compared with the same period a year earlier.

Hamleys' concession store, which usually sells only own-brand products, stocked Lego during the promotional period. It also ran a 'Guess the number of bricks competition' for a chance to win trips to Legoland.

HINDSIGHT - PAULA FISHER, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, BRIGHT PR

Christmas is a key time for Lego and we wanted to create a strong news story for national and online media in the run-up to and throughout December, to increase visibility for the brand and demonstrate that with Lego, creativity holds no bounds.

The Lego Christmas Tree at St Pancras was widely regarded by partners, media and peers as the Christmas story of 2011.

Thanks to the tree, 2011 was the most successful Christmas ever at St Pancras International; visitor numbers were up, spend per head was up and they hadn't enjoyed that level of positive publicity since first opening.

The client felt that Bright came up with a highly creative, engaging campaign to shout about the brand in the build-up to Christmas.

Lego is all about play and creativity and Christmas is the time for celebration and fun, so the magnificent Christmas tree was a shining example of these values.

The campaign definitely had the 'talkability' factor as well as generating huge amounts of editorial coverage in print and online, plus ongoing theatre for a six-week period at St Pancras.

As a result of its success the tree is back for Christmas 2012, on display at The Trafford Centre in Manchester.

The agency has also been tasked with coming up with an even bigger and better campaign for this festive season, allowing Lego to take ownership of Christmas and building on the anticipation of 'what will Lego do this year?'.

IMPACT

- Gave Lego a chance to take 'ownership' of Christmas, associating the brand with a new and exciting event each year.

- Achieved access to high-footfall locations for 2012 including The Trafford Centre and Covent Garden.

- Stimulated enquiries from Lego counterparts across the globe.

- Campaign nominated for an internal marketing award.

- Hamleys St Pancras still retails Lego as the only non-own brand product in its concession store.

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