Transmedia storytelling is a vital recourse for public relations practitioners, not only in regards to selling a product or service, but also in conveying a business’ brand in an innovative and engaging way. From the recent success of the Hunger Games trilogy, to the use of propaganda in the World Wars (British Library 2019), transmedia storytelling has been used to evoke emotional reactions (Johnston, Rowney 2018, p. 206) and often-financial contributions for decades.
Danish toy company Lego is a prime example of transmedia storytelling. With films, games, toys, apps and TV shows, the Lego brand is both engaging and profitable. The company philosophy “good quality play enriches a child’s life – and lays the foundation for later adult life” (Lego 2019) is reflected through their brand narrative, which spreads across a variety of media platforms.
The Lego film franchise allows for customers to create a more in depth relationship with their brand, providing the characters and associated products with voices, names and personalities that the audience can relate to and mimic when playing with products. The sense of adventure and fun portrayed through these films supports Lego’s philosophy as it enriches the lives of children through entertainment and fun.
Games and Apps
Lego’s games and apps provide characters with voices and personalities users are able to relate to and customise. Lego’s games and apps allow the user to create their own narrative, to interact with the brand across apps, web and video games. Lego’s use of interactive games and apps supports their philosophy as it supplies children with interactive learning experiences that can assist in developing cognitive skills in an engaging and relevant way.
Television programs such as Channel 9’s ‘Lego Masters’ assists in engaging an older audience in the Lego brand, encouraging viewers and their children to purchase products and engage with the company across multiple media platforms. This television program encourages both viewers and participants to explore and promote their creativity and imagination in an interactive and engaging way. Programs such as Lego Masters assist in portraying Lego’s brand narrative as they stimulate “imagination and the emergence of ideas and creative expression”.
While this post only briefly examines the media platforms employed by Lego to communicate their brand narrative, other platforms include social media content, blogs, videos and collaborative events run frequently worldwide (Johnston, Rowney 2018, p. 224).
This vast use of transmedia storytelling has assisted in cementing Lego as one of the most profitable toy companies worldwide, reinforcing the use of “multi platform storytelling” and “using transmedia opportunities” as an “integral media strategy for public relations and related industries” (Johnston, Rowney 2018, p. 230).
Hungry for more? Check out this awesome YouTube video to learn about the fast pace of transmedia storytelling in the digital media era!
British Library 2019, World War One – Propaganda, British Library, retrieved 14 May 2019,https://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/themes/propaganda.
Lego 2019, About Us – Our Mission, Lego, retrieved 14 May 2019, https://www.lego.com/en-au/aboutus/lego-group.
Johnston, J, Rowney, K 2018, Media Strategies, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, p. 206, 224
Lego 2018, We think these pyramids are a thing of beauty!, photograph, Instagram, retrieved 24 May 2019, https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk2WzMznPiv/.
Lego 2019, They come in pieces, promotional poster, Instagram, retrieved 24 May 2019, https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsa-hyqhqmW/.
Lego 2019, Mobile Apps, program icons, Lego, retrieved 24 May 2019, https://www.lego.com/en-au/games.
Lego 2019, Creativity doesn’t age, Instagram, retrieved 24 May 2019, https://www.instagram.com/p/Bss_pDJFTbb/.
Lego 2019, Lego Masters Australia, Lego, retrieved 24 May 2019, https://www.lego.com/en-au/campaign/lego-masters.
Lego 2019, Oh boy! The @Disney Series 2 #LEGOMinifigures are coming soon!, image, Instagram, retrieved 24 May 2019, https://www.instagram.com/p/BvO5JGLga1-/.
Cinderella 2.0: Transmedia storytelling, YouTube, FCB Global, 20 May 2013, retrieved 26 May 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP-zOCl5md0.