Here’s How LEGO Won the Oscars

LEGO's Senior Director of Brand Partnerships talks shop.

First a confession: we saw several of this year’s Best Picture nominees, and we didn’t enjoy any of them as much as The LEGO Movie.

A few years ago, another comms blog asked the question, “Why do LEGO’s PR stunts get such great media coverage?” We think we can answer that one: they’re well-produced, masterfully performed, and topical.

This year’s Oscars stunt was a perfect example. One of our PR contacts called it the best “start-to-finish immersive media” campaign in recent memory, noting that it tied perfectly to the film’s own message about NOT just following the leader (a sentiment that happens to define the LEGO brand).

In case you missed it, the Internet was disappointed when the movie didn’t get any major nominations. Co-director Philip Lord responded with a joke that became a meme of sorts:

That meme later made the musical performance into something even more impressive:

Those fake statues became a story unto themselves.

Here’s Nathan Sawaya, the artist responsible, showcasing his work along with some classic Oprah (h/t The Verge):

The “stunt” also ensured that no one in the audience would forget the brand or the movie thanks to shots like this one via Valerie Macon, APF/Getty Images and USA Today:

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We asked Michael McNally, senior director of brand partnerships at LEGO Systems, Inc., for more:

“We were contacted by the film’s writers and directors to explore how to incorporate LEGO touches to the performance. We collaborated on creation of the video and a couple of our LEGO Master Builders customized the saxophone, clarinet and keytar props in life-sized LEGO brick form. Other props were sourced by Lord & Miller’s team in conjunction with the producers of the Oscars…

We’re thrilled to have added a playful touch to the evening in a way that embodied the creative and fun spirit of The LEGO Movie.”

The Lord mentioned in his quote is the very same Philip Lord who first tweeted the LEGO Oscar. A spokesperson for Lord & Miller confirmed that there were no third-party firms involved in the event; the incorporation of all these elements was a decision made by “the creatives putting the performance together.”

Still, we think the win could be a great case study for bringing disparate media elements together.

Also: if the film hadn’t been snubbed by the Academy, the performance would have come across as more than a little arrogant.

Given the circumstances, it was very close to perfect.