TAIWAN - As part of its ongoing City Adventures campaign, Lego has released a new video that seeks to shine the light on time lost with children due to long working hours.
The three-minute film was shot in Taipei, a city that we're told keeps the longest average working hours in the world. It focuses on the story of 6-year-old Hsiao Feng, who likes to build, because he wants to take after his father, who repairs and sells cars.
But, just like most other working parents in the modern metropolis, Hsiao Feng’s father works extended hours, and consequently, like a lot of Taiwanese children, Hsiao Feng’s creativity often goes unnoticed.
To bring all this to his father’s attention, the toy brand worked with Hsiao Feng’s mother to film Hsiao Feng building with Lego at his local enrichment centre and talking about his father, sharing that he wanted to spend more time building and creating with him.
Lego then dedicated its media space across the city. The film was aired across 25 OOH media screens in the city, including a 100-metre digital screen at Taipei Arena and in Taipei 101, which Hsiao Feng’s father would walk past on his way home from work.
Moved to hear the thoughtful message, the film finishes with Hsiao Feng’s father promising to not neglect his creativity, impressed with what his son has built.
The campaign will roll out across Asia—specifically in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The brand hopes to spark a social conversation—and a “change in mindset” around the role of imagination.
Kevin Hagino, senior regional brand manager, Southeast Asia, Lego:
At Lego, we have a mission to inspire imagination and creativity to develop the builders of tomorrow through play. Our kids are all creative geniuses and we want parents and the world to see how amazing they are. Hsiao Feng’s message to his father is a powerful message to all parents. We all have busy schedules—but a childhood doesn’t last forever. Through this film, we hope to inspire parents to value the importance of their child’s imagination, and give it the encouragement and attention it deserves.
Ed Cheong, creative director, iris Singapore:
It’s easy to talk about the importance of imagination, much harder to truly drive the message home. I’m incredibly proud that instead of an ad campaign, we had the support of Lego to walk the talk by giving precious airtime and media spaces to a boy and his priceless imagination.
Campaign Asia-Pacific’s view: Well the film certainly taps into a long-time issue, especially in workaholic Asia, about the challenges of parents needing to earn a living and balancing that with spending time with their children. It also did make this writer sniffle a little at her desk while watching it—so points there.
We also appreciate how, nonchalantly integrated within this “message of good” about spending more time with your children, nurturing their imagination and creativity is the role that Lego’s toys have in that particular pursuit. Overall, some really nice work here for an iconic brand.
However, I’m not overly impressed by the claims around the brand “giving up precious airtime and media space” to help Hsiao Feng’s message reach his father.
After all, it’s still airing of content that intrinsically links back to the brick-making brand—combined with the “stories of real life people” and feel-good messaging that’s proven to be quite effective. Not to mention the additional publicity and value of earned media gained from the effort.
Ultimately we hope young Hsiao Feng got a lifetime supply of Lego as part of the deal for this campaign, and that his father’s company granted him an extra day or two off work.
Marketing director, regional marketing, Southeast Asia: Vera Ivanova
Senior regional brand manager, Southeast Asia: Kevin Hagino
Agency: Iris Singapore
Creative director: Ed Cheong
Senior creatives: Sylvester Poh, Adam Yeo
Creative: Pearlyn Ong
Regional CEO: Luke Nathans
Group account director: Margaret Leong
Account manager: Sharon Chan
Regional planning director (APAC): Mark Hadfield
Production house: Sky Limit Productions
Producer: Chao Tian Hao