The Lego Foundation, the Danish toymaker's learning-through-play initiative, has let loose six children in a bare room containing just a table, chair and a single roll of paper, to see what happens. It turns out "the most boring room ever" becomes anything but.
Created by Ketchum London as part of the Lego Foundation's Build a World of Play campaign, the results of the "social experiment" have been filmed, designed to highlight the simplicity of play.
The 80-second film opens with a shot of a plain room. Children enter, sit at the desk, look bored, before being given a roll of paper by an adult. Still unengaged, the children slowly begin playing with the roll, until their creativity becomes unleashed.
They begin tearing up the paper, using it to make masks, a superhero cape, a telescope, a ghost outfit, a bow tie, a robot costume and a den under the table.
Citing Lego's Play Well Study, the on-screen copy tells viewers that "84% of children wish they had more playtime".
It continues: "Play can come from anywhere and anything. It develops problem solving, creativity and team work. So make the #PlayPledge and make on money each week more playful. It will be fun. We promise. Build a world of play."
The film, which has been directed by Justin Hackney at Mad Cow Films, has been created on the back of finding that children's free time is in decline. The Lego Foundation is seeking to "remind the world that playtime provides a crucial role in helping children develop skills like confidence, collaboration and concentration".
The global campaign will run across all social platforms, while Ketchum and its clients are working with partners such as museums, galleries and cultural institutions in seven countries.
Once the video has launched, the agency said it is collaborating with a "group of small, diverse parenting and family influencers in the U.K. and U.S. to share content that inspires parents with ways to create playful moments in their daily routines." Content will roll out over the next two months, building up to Lego's 90th birthday celebrations on August 10.
"While we want to stress the urgency of a lack of playtime for children, our aim is also to highlight how easily this can be resolved. Learning and play can happen everywhere," said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, chief executive of The Lego Foundation. "We want to remind the world not only of the real value of play, but also how easy it can be to create an environment that enables play to flourish and key skills to develop, because we all run out of inspiration sometimes."
The work was created by Ketchum executive creative director Indy Selvarajah, creative director Lipe Faria and senior creative Emily Gosen.
Selvarajah said: “It’s so easy to overcomplicate play and overthink what it takes for kids to be playful. So we thought, let’s put them in a really uninspiring space, with just one roll of paper and watch what happens. And as you can see, they unleashed their imagination and creativity in bucket-loads."
This story first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.