Bring Your Kids to Work Day proves to be a lot more enlightening for the adults than the children in Lego’s new global short film, in which merry band of youngsters—armed with Legos, which turn them into superheroes—disrupt the gloomy workplace where their parents toil away sullenly.
The five minute-film was directed by Ellen Kuras (cinematographer on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” among other films), who worked with DP Rachel Morrison (“Black Panther”). It also features a cameo at the end by Jane Lynch, who plays a work-obsessed CEO at the fictional Yalpcorp—“yalp” is “play” spelled backward—who in the end is impressed by the kids’ highjinks. (Actress Sun Li plays the CEO role in an adaptation of the film for China.)
The campaign, themed “Play Is Your Superpower,” is part of the toy marketer’s “Rebuild the World” effort, which launched in 2019.
The campaign emerged from research suggesting that free play—as opposed to structured, achievement-based activities as well as screen time—is under threat. On average, children are spending just 2% of their week (about seven hours) engaging in free play. The new campaign emphasized the importance of play in childhood development and the role it has in bringing fun to families around the world.
“For over 90 years, we have been a champion of children and their right to play,” said Julia Goldin, chief product and marketing officer at the Lego Group. “We believe play helps children develop skills like creativity, confidence and communication that help them learn and thrive today and in the future. Our ‘Rebuild the World’ platform has helped us celebrate the power of play since 2019, and we’re excited by the next iteration of the campaign to inspire people of all ages to reprioritize play in their lives.”
There is a “playable” version of the film at Lego.com, which prompts viewers with questions about the film and rewards correct answers by unlocking other interactive content. The campaign also encompasses TV, digital, out of home, cinema, PR, influencer, in-store and e-commerce.
“Our creative team were on a mission to develop a campaign idea that was big enough to flex across the three key moments from fall, right through to the holidays, and ‘Play Is Your Superpower’ is exactly that,” said Jen Speirs, chief creative officer of Droga5 Dublin, part of Accenture Song. “Of course, the only way to launch an idea like this was with a brand film that mimics a true superhero epic and opens people’s eyes to the wonders of play, which has actual ways to play hidden inside. We’re proud to have created a piece that features a lineup of diverse young talent that will empower both kids and adults to approach life in a more playful way.”
The influencer group for the campaign, dubbed “The Play Squad,” includes Tan France, Naomi Watanabe, Bindi Irwin and Stephanie Beatriz.