It's not like Lego hasn't done great ads with girls over the years. In fact, it was ahead of its time. (Everyone has seen the famous "What It Is Is Beautiful" print ad from 1981 by now.) But lately, the brand has let toy rivals like GoldieBlox lead the way in messages of girl empowerment.
Lego retakes that space with confidence, though, in the 60-second spot below from Union Made Creative and director Brigg Bloomquist—a lovely meditation on moms and daughters and the independence that both inspires and is reinforced by imaginative play.
"I don't always want you to help me," a girl says in voiceover, seemingly addressing her mom. "Do you know why? I want to figure it out on my own. Even when it doesn't turn out the way I want, I know it's not wrong. Because you taught me how to think. And how to dream. I'm about to make something that I know will make you proud."
The ad nicely flatters parents—suggesting Lego is the choice of smart, creative kids who've been brought up well—while also recognizing that girls play with Lego differently than boys do. Lego research has long indicated that boys tend to build in a "linear" fashion, replicating what's on the box, while girls prefer a more personal approach—creating their own story-filled environments and even imagining themselves living inside them.
The theater-show theme fits that perfectly. And while the visuals are perhaps a bit vague here and there, the spot's message is clear and uplifting.
Now that Lego is talking to girls again, how about another great holiday ad like last year's?
Spot: "Inspire Imagination and Keep Building"
Brand Managers: Erin Fortier Reed, Jennifer Paoletto
Lead Model Designer: Erik Varszegi
Art Director: Laura Norman
Agency: Union Made Creative, Culver City, Calif.
Chief Creative Officer, Founder: Keith Cartwright
Copywriter: Whitney Ruef
Art Director: Lydia White
Producer: Charity Bustamante
Production Company: GO
Director: Brigg Bloomquist
Line Producer: Greg Jones
Director of Photography: Pablo Berron
Production Assistant: Shawn Davis
Editor: Isaac Chen
Creative Director: David Parker
Flame Artist: Shauna Prescott
Sound Designer: Bill Chesley
Telecine: Company 3
Colorist: Tyler Roth